Founded in 1999 as the Microenterprise Development Institute, the Carsey School of Public Policy’s Sustainable Microenterprise and Development Program (SMDP) will now be known as the Sustainable Microfinance and Development Program. We are updating our name to more accurately reflect the emphasis of the programs we offer including face-to-face, online, and other training and learning experiences in the microfinance and wider development field.    

More Than a Decade and a Half of High Quality Practitioner Training

For more than seventeen years we have been offering development finance practitioners training and networking opportunities in the fields of microfinance, enterprise development, social enterprise, and community-based and rural development. We have trained more than 2,000 practitioners from more than 100 countries around the globe through workshops in Tanzania, Ghana, Togo, South Africa, Kenya, and New Hampshire. The SMDP offers an intensive professional training experience with a concentration on program planning and implementation of client and community inclusive economic development strategies.

Consistently, the SMDP training workshops have been rated as “very good” to “excellent” by 98 percent of program participants. Since its inception, the program has provided an affordable, high quality, and accessible professional development opportunity which counts among its alumni many of today’s leaders of the development finance field.

Courses and Faculty

Course topics cover a wide range of best practices from financial, risk, and human resource management, social performance monitoring and management, value chain and ProPoor market development, social enterprise, and Savings Groups.

The program maintains a commitment to providing highly relevant and effective practitioner training for mid- to upper-level managers, board members, government officials, donors, and others working in microfinance, enterprise, and market development.

The SMDP features a diverse and extremely talented faculty of some of the most highly regarded practitioner experts in the microfinance and enterprise development fields. SMDP faculty has published extensively, teach in other training programs such as the Boulder MFT and the School of African Microfinance, and are leaders in the development field.

SMDP Educational Philosophy

We strive to make the SMDP training workshops in New Hampshire and Africa affordable and practical for a wide range of development organizations by offering modular one- and two-week enrollment options, group discounts, and access to scholarship funding.

The SMDP New Hampshire learning experience is based on a learner-centered model in its approach to education and is based on the following principles:

  • Education promotes critical thinking and empowers the learner to act effectively.
  • Experience is a rich resource for learning. Participants’ prior experiences are integrated into the learning process. Participants play an active role in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of his or her learning experience.
  • Cultural diversity and a respect for cultural diversity enhance the learning process and are an integral part of sustainable development practice.
  • We promote development from holistic and systems approaches centered on the triple bottom lines of “people, planet and profit.”
  • Whenever possible, we foster the development of ongoing student networks, including Communities of Practice (COP) around interest areas highlighted during our training and academic programs.