Micro-finance | Jean-Christophe Spiliotis


The goal of this course is to develop a conceptual and practical skillset required to operate a micro-finance initiative. It begins by identifying problems with current micro-finance practices, then delves into specific issues to do with behaviour, regulation, business, and poverty alleviation. Essays and discussions on theories and real-world examples are complemented with two hands-on assignments: coding and running an automated lending platform (which won the 2019 Finance & Blockchain Hackathon at Imperial College London) and designing a feasible business proposal for a new micro-finance enterprise.

I. A case against micro-finance: Identifying challenges and limitations

II. Personal finance in low-income countries

1. Financial literacy

2. Financial protection and regulation

3. Financial technology and innovation

III. The future of financial inclusion

IV. SME finance in low-income countries

1. The credit gap for SMEs

2. Building an algorithmic micro-lending platform


V. Capstone project: Business proposal for a micro-finance initiative