Islamic microfinance
A solution to expand financial inclusion?

December, 13th 2016


The global Muslim population counts about 1.2 billion people but over 70% of them do not use formal financial services. Only 0.5% of global microfinance institutions propose the services and products responding to Islamic financing principles (CGAP survey, 2008). Islamic financing is unique and essentially different from conventional microfinance. The sector seeks to provide an economic empowerment tool for poor or disadvantaged people based on Islamic financing methods that avoid interest, but focus on profit and loss sharing.

Mohammed Kroessin and Fadoua Boudiba discussed about the development and the contribution of the Islamic microfinance to the financial inclusion. The speakers explained the main principles of the Islamic microfinance, as well as challenges it copes with today and the opportunities of its expansion. They also explained how the sector adapts the social performances standards, woman empowerment and rural development. David Demulier moderated the discussion.


Mohammed R. Kroessin (MA, PhD) is a development economist with over 15 years experience of working with Islamic development and financial institutions. He has formerly worked for Chambers of Commerce in the UK, was Asst. CEO of Muslim Aid, a visiting research fellow at Aston Business School (UK), a research associate at the University of Birmingham (UK), where he has also completed his PhD on the political economy of Islamic finance.

Heading Islamic Relief’s Global Islamic Microfinance Unit, UK, he is leading on the strategic transformation of global microfinance portfolio spanning 12 countries towards sustainability and social investment grade.

He currently serves on the board of two Islamic microfinance institutions in Bosnia and Kosovo and also has worked with and researched Islamic financial institutions in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Europe.


Fadoua Boudiba, Senior Investment Officer for MENA and Africa, Triodos, Netherlands.

Previous to joining Triodos Bank, Fadoua was working with Incofin as a Senior Investment Manager.

Prior to that she was active as an Operation Analyst for Microfinance at IFC based in Egypt covering the entire MENA region. She worked on Advisory's side handling TA's projects mainly on Risk Management, Housing microfinance, Products development, Islamic Microfinance research.

She also worked for PlaNet Finance in Morocco as an operations consultant. At this position, she led TA missions mainly in rural microfinance NGOs where she has been responsible for market surveys, policies and procedures design and product development.

Before that she worked with Sanabel, the Arab network of Microfinance in Egypt where she wrote many papers about Islamic Microfinance. In addition, Fadoua has 4 years of experience in the banking sector as an Investment fund Manager for Citibank and as an operations fund analyst at Euroclear.


David Demulier. From April 2013 to August 2016, David was seconded to the European Investment Bank to work as a business development officer for the MENA region. His main areas of expertise are SME financing, innovation, microfinance and social economy (civil society).

It was his interest in Arabic culture and passion about the Middle East, that encouraged him to start learning Arabic three years ago. He travelled regularly to the region where he has led various projects with structural impact to ensure not only the success but the perennity of the projects.  

He is eager to share ideas and business opportunities related to the Middle East and Maghreb which emphasis the participation of local actions.  David holds Masters’ degrees in law, corporate finance, management and Islamic finance.

Watch the full video coverage hereunder.