Making Microfinance Work: Managing product diversification

Making Microfinance Work: Managing product diversification during and after the COVID-19 pandemic

Making Microfinance Work: Managing product diversification

21 June–23 July 2021
The course is available in English

Product diversification is a critical strategy for improving the outreach of financial service providers (FSPs). By expanding the range of products offered, institutions can serve more people, reach underserved markets, satisfy more of their current clients’ financial service needs and, as a result, make greater progress towards the achievement of their commercial and social objectives. Yet product diversification is not an easy strategy to implement successfully.

This second volume of the Making Microfinance Work curriculum examines the challenges inherent in product diversification and identifies strategies for meeting those challenges. It explores various product options and market segments that FSPs may wish to diversify into, including some of the traditionally underserved segments. It also provides tools and advice for managing the product diversification process as well as the ongoing delivery and maintenance of a diverse product portfolio.

Key features

Global and local practices, experiences and examples


Interactive, activity based and with wide use of case-studies


Latest advancement as well as practices that proved to be working well in various contexts


Learn from the experience through the case-studies and collective wisdom

Introduction to the course

This training programme will help microfinance institutions and other financial service providers (FSPs) to diversify their product portfolio in a strategic and cost-effective manner. It is relevant to institutions that are looking for ways to manage their diversification more effectively, as well as institutions that have not yet diversified and are seeking guidance on where and how to start. The course offers a management perspective and draws on the materials and publications of the ILO Social Finance Programme, in particular its "Making Microfinance Work: Managing Product Diversification" publication. 

Who attends this course?

The course is designed for middle and senior-level managers of FSPs. It will also be valuable for funding agencies, trainers and technical assistance providers who are supporting financial inclusion and the diversification efforts of FSPs. 

What will I learn?

The course has four specific objectives:

  • To raise awareness of the opportunities and risks that product diversification presents
  • To explore options for improving FSPs outreach through product diversification
  • To provide tools and strategies for managing product diversification successfully
  • To encourage a more proactive management of FSP product portfolios over time
Course framework

The e-learning course will be implemented over a period of approximately 5 weeks and is structured around 5 content modules with activities and assignments.

An equivalent of 1 day of learning is planned in each week. Each week will have two live webinars that will be recorded and available until end of the course.

  • Week 1, 21 June – 25 June: Module 1: Introduction to product diversification. Current state of the financial inclusion industry.

  • Week 2, 28 June – 2 July: Module 2: Diversification risks, product options and market development process.

  • Week 3, 5 July – 9 July: Module 3: In focus: selected market segments and outreach strategies (rural segment, youth and SME segment will be discussed).

  • Week 4, 12 July  – 16 July: Delivering diverse product portfolio: strengthening institutional systems.

  • Week 5, 19 July – 23 July: Module 5: Partnerships. Product portfolio management. End of course activities and action planning

Course delivery format

Each of the five learning modules of the course includes the following components:

  • 1st live session of the week
  • 2nd live session of the week
  • Individual self-learning, activities and assignments, as well as group activities when possible

Each session’s duration is 1 hour 30 min; sessions will be delivered via zoom. The sessions are interactive and facilitated, adult learning methodologies are applied.

The schedule will be adapted to the group composition and timezones. In case of conflicting timezones the default timezone will be CET or CEST Rome time.

Course content base
  • The course content is set out in a comprehensive manual developed by the ILO's Social Finance Program and International Training Centre of the ILO, available for download here.
  • The course draws on other works, projects and publications of the ILO Social finance programme
  • The course is practical in nature, providing real tools and insights (including – on technological innovations) and drawing out the wisdom and experience already gained by members of the group.

Upon completion of the course, participants receive a certificate of attendance.