The research cluster “Microfinance” has been established by the departments of Economics, Finance, and Innovation & Technology Management. The focus is mainly, but not exclusively, on understanding how to foster research on Microfinance in Egypt and the Middle East. Since the Grameen Bank emerged in the early 1980s in Bangladesh, most developing countries established a system of Microfinance to pursue this aim. Most observers agree that Egypt operates the most advanced system of Microfinance in the Arab world. Nevertheless recent estimates suggest that 59 percent of the adult population do not use any financial services and 31 percent of the population in Egypt do not have access to financial services. Though Microfinance has been much researched in South Asia, Latin America and to a lesser extent in Sub-Saharan Africa, there is hardy any evidence on how well Microfinance works in the Arab world. The aim is to close this research gap and to establish a center of excellence on Microfinance in the Arab countries which will create and provide resources that allow for high-quality, original research on Microfinance, bundle and utilize available knowledge in the Faculty of Management Technology in the most effective and efficient way, and generate recommendations on public policies related to Microfinance.

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