There are many different kinds of microfinance organizations and even more job roles within them. There are microfinance jobs that focus on all aspects of running a for-profit or not-for-profit organization. Educators, development specialists, managers, and accountants are among those particularly likely to find microfinance jobs that fit their backgrounds and interests. PR and marketing experts, writers, and IT professionals also commonly are in demand.
The kinds of microfinance jobs available depend largely on the particular type of microfinance organization in which one seeks them. For-profit organizations such as commercial banks and not-for-profit NGOs both offer microfinance services. Community based associations, Rotating Savings and Credit Associations (ROSCAs), and credit unions also provide microfinancing.
All of these organizations are structured and managed quite differently, and the jobs and pay scales associated with them will vary accordingly. That said, most organizations have some roles in common. There will normally be an executive board of managers that direct the organization's activities and lead decision-making. Members of top management should be well-prepared through financial training and experience in banking or finance. They must also be leaders capable of inspiring a team.
Depending on the size of the organization, middle managers or area managers might be required. Such managers are responsible for leading the organization's activities in a specified region or department and traditionally report to senior management. Subdivisional managers may also be hired. In large organizations, branch managers may be necessary to supervise and lead the daily operations of a branch and to handle its bookkeeping. Staff responsible for credit appraisals and general customer service is also common.
Community organizers, or field officers, are members of staff that liaise between community members, lenders or donors, and management. In some organizations, their roles extend to offering business training and support for the various microenterprises and projects being funded.
Microfinance jobs also include freelance positions. Freelance consultants, proposal and grant writers, and PR experts are often contracted by microfinance organizations to handle particular projects or campaigns. Freelancing and volunteering are common ways to gain valuable experience working in microfinance, which can often lead into full-time microfinance jobs.
It also is important to note that jobs in this field are not all financial. There are positions related to other areas, from marketing to research to providing educational services that support microenterprises and develop communities. As organizations often rely on new technologies, such as Internet banking, to conduct business and deliver services internationally, there are also many positions related to technical support, training, and development.