Microfinance officers are usually hired in non-government organization (NGOs), where their main duty is to support a microfinance project. A microfinance officer reports to the director of the project, making sure that all logistics of the program or project are properly coordinated. Since microfinance is a concept that is based on assisting individuals or small organizations in managing their work when they have financial limitations, it is important for microfinance officers to be exceptionally good at communicating with people from different walks of life.
At times, micro finance officers work on projects such as early recovery from large-scale disasters (fire, floods or earthquakes). In order to work as a microfinance officer, you need to possess exceptional mentoring skills, sound leadership qualities and the ability to understand and execute administrative support appropriately. A degree in business or developmental studies can work wonders for your candidature, and if you have worked with NGOs before, you may be considered a good option to hire as well.
Depending on where a microfinance project is based, you may be required to know a language other than English. In addition to this, you will need to be insightful and analytic, and be able to handle research work with excellence. Some of the main duties that are entrusted to a microfinance officer are provided in the list below:
• Comprehend the scope and mission of each assigned microfinance project before initializing activities to support it
• Conduct market survey in desired areas and compile facts and figures in appropriate reports
• Develop metric for awareness creation and mobilization of the project and ensure that correlating activities are carried out
• Choose staff members to handle microfinance project activities and monitor and supervise them on a constant basis
• Conduct regular internal audits and review and consolidate accounting books
• Handle the overall coordination, management and implementation of the microfinance and cooperative development components of each project
• Monitor the status of each project, including affected communities and their access to revolving fund and micro loans
• Support the development and usage of microfinance services in designated areas, identified by the project scope
• Identify and implement partners, their capacity building and training needs as they correlate with microfinance
• Disburse loans to identified communities in a time-efficient manner and ensure that loan payments are made timely as well
• Put in place mechanisms of managing arrears to ensure a healthy lifetime at all times
• Create and submit periodic reports to communicate project status to the management and financers
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