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Finance and Development Focus Area

Valuable addition to your FEB MSc diploma!

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What does Finance and Development Focus Area entail, and what does it means for you?

About forty percent of the world’s population live in poverty. Most of them live in developing countries. Financial development may help people escape poverty by providing access to financial services, such as bank accounts and digital payments. The idea that financial inclusion, e.g. by inducing people to become micro-entrepreneurs, is crucial for bringing about a process of sustainable growth, has found many supporters over the last decade. Yet, the evidence is still mixed and severe discussions continue about the role of financial development in enhancing growth and reducing poverty.

As development finance may be related to national as well as global initiatives, the Focus Area pays specific attention to domestic finance and foreign capital flows. The course “Inclusive Finance”  focuses on the potential benefits from financial inclusion, especially due to microfinance initiatives and digital financial services. The course “International Finance and Development” deals with the importance of attracting foreign capital –e.g. foreign direct investments, foreign debt, remittances and foreign aid -for national development, as well as the role of multilateral financial institutions.

By completing  the Finance and Development Focus Area you will obtain specialised knowledge about theories and empirics on Finance and Development, which will enable you to understand and contribute to crucial academic and policy debates on the importance of a well-developed financial sectors for sustainable growth and poverty reduction. The Focus Area is especially recommended for those who aim to work at national and/ or multilateral development banks, such as the Rabobank Foundation, FMO, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Bank (EBRD) and the African Development (AfDB), or at Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) like Cordaid or Oxfam Novib.


Completing the Finance and Development Focus Area

FEB students can compete the Focus Area if they:

  1. Choose and successfully complete two of the five following electives:
    A. Inclusive Finance
    B. International Finance and Development

    Together, these electives deal with a balanced portfolio of economics and business topics related to energy.

  2. Successfully write and round off a master thesis on an energy topic. Topics to be covered include, but are not limited to:
  • The importance of microfinance for improving (micro-enterprise) growth and reducing poverty
  • The importance of savings and insurance for consumption smoothing and risk reduction
  • The importance of international capital flows
  • The operations of multilateral financial institutions
  • The role of digital financial services for sustainable growth

When you have passed the above requirements you must inform your programme coordinator, who will then apply for the acknowledgement on your diploma on your behalf.

Finance and Developent within FEB Master programmes

The required electives can be found in the Msc Finance. This Focus Area is therefore currently only accessible to MSc Finance students.


The electives will take place in the following blocks:

  • Block 2.1 International Finance and Development (EBM207A05)
  • Block 2.2 Inclusive Finance (EBM069B05)


If you have general or specific questions or suggestions, please contact Prof. Robert Lensink, Professor of Finance and Financial markets at FEB and coordinator of this Focus Area.

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Last modified:12 March 2019 12.49 p.m.