Our Staff Writers and Editors offer insights on the latest news, events, interviews and other happenings from the development through enterprise and base of the pyramid universes
Thursday, March 26, 2015 — No Region Specified

U.S. Consumer Watchdog Unveils Plans to Regulate Payday Loans

Source: Yahoo!

The U.S. consumer financial watchdog on Thursday outlined its plans for cracking down on the payday lending industry and ensuring that borrowers can repay their loans.
Thursday, March 26, 2015 — South Asia

India’s SKS Microfinance: Back From the Brink

Source: Live Mint

SKS Microfinance Ltd, one of the largest microfinance companies in India, was a model for many other firms in the sector. Established by financial services professionals, the company was once considered the answer to India’s financial exclusion problem. While SKS has been through its fair share of struggles in the last four years, things are starting to look better for India’s only listed microfinance company.
Wednesday, March 25, 2015 — South Asia

Artoo IT Solutions Raises Rs 3.1 crore Series A Funds From Accion Venture Lab, Artha Initiative

Source: The Economic Times

Bengaluru-based Artoo IT Solutions, which has developed a financial customer relationship management solution for the financial sector, has raised $500,000 (Rs 3.1 crore) in Series A round of funding from Accion Venture Labs and Switzerland-based Rianta Capital Zurich's Artha Initiative.
Wednesday, March 25, 2015 — South Asia

You Need a Banking Law to Create a Bank for the Poor

Source: Business Today

Muhammad Yunus, the founder of Grameen Bank and a proponent of 'social business', a not-for-profit business model to combat unemployment and other social evils, does not mince his words when it comes to micro-credit for the poor. The Nobel Peace Prize winner is dismissive about some recent innovations in the microfinance sector and warns about the direction they are taking. He also believes that micro-credit should be kept outside political influence to run it as a sound financial institution. "The best scenario," he says, "is when a micro-credit bank is owned by the poor." Excerpts from an interview with Shamni Pande:
Monday, March 23, 2015 — No Region Specified

What Brazil and Malaysia Can Teach the U.S. About Financial Inclusion

Source: American Banker

When people think about financial inclusion, their minds tend to go first to highly-publicized unbanked regions in Africa and parts of Asia. But many people right here in the United States lack access to traditional financial services.
Friday, March 20, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Microfinance Companies to Be Hit by Mergers and Acquisitions in Ghana

Source: Ghana Web

Ghana’s microfinance industry is expected to be hit by mergers and acquisitions as the regulator demands recapitalization of companies in the sector.
Friday, March 20, 2015 — South Asia

Pakistan’s Largest Conventional Bank is Expected to Enter the Microfinance Sector

Source: The Express Tribune

Habib Bank (HBL) is expected to enter the microfinance banking segment by acquiring Pakistan’s second largest microfinance bank in terms of the value of savings, according to a regulatory filing by the country’s biggest commercial bank on Thursday.
Thursday, March 19, 2015 — No Region Specified

Calls Grow for a New Microloans Model

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Some of the world’s top experts in microlending recently gathered to debate a hot topic: Has the microloan boom of the last decade actually helped global efforts to lift people out of poverty?
Wednesday, March 18, 2015 — South Asia

INTERVIEW: Muhammad Yunus discusses the Indian microfinance industry

Source: Live Mint

The Nobel laureate and founder of microfinance pioneer Bangladesh’s Grameen Bank says MFIs in India could be greedy and tapping the capital market or raising loans from private equity funds is a bad idea.
Tuesday, March 17, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Press Release: International Finance Corporation Loaning $2.5m to La Fayette Microfinance Bank, Nigeria

Source: MicroCapital

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, is investing NGN 400 million (USD 2.5 million) in La Fayette Microfinance Bank, one of eight members of the Advans Network of microfinance institutions, which is based in Luxembourg and managed by Horus Development Finance of France. The investment will support the growth of La Fayette, which was created in June 2012 and target micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises in Nigeria’s urban areas.
Tuesday, March 17, 2015 — No Region Specified

The Mysterious Disappearance of Poverty

Source: Maclean's

How do you help the poor? It is a very old question. The Roman emperor Nero found the answer in the advice of Stoic philosophers like Seneca, and built an awe-inspiring palace covered in gold leaf. This would fill the lower classes with gratitude for being blessed with such a glorious leader. Perhaps not coincidentally, the Roman senate ended Nero’s reign by ordering him to commit suicide four years later.
Tuesday, March 17, 2015 — South Asia

Financial Inclusion in Focus in India, but Bank Loans to Micro Sector Fall 5.5%

Source: The Economic Times

State-run banks may have created a record with opening of Jan Dhan accounts, but when it comes to lending to the poor, they are actually faltering. Bank loans to the micro sector, the target group of the government's financial inclusion drive and Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), have fallen 5.5% over the last 14 months, according to data from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
Tuesday, March 17, 2015 — South Asia

Interview: Stuart Hart on How Indian Microfinance Institutions Can Improve Their Negative Image

Source: Business Insider

In the second part of his interview to the Chairman of Indian Council of Competitiveness, Amit Kapoor, global thinker and Founder and President of Enterprise for a Sustainable World, a non-profit organisation dedicated to helping businesses make the transition to sustainability, Stuart Hart talks about how Indian micro finance institutions can work towards cleaning their negative image.
Monday, March 16, 2015 — No Region Specified

Deutsche Bank Closes $50 Million Social Enterprise Fund

Source: Yahoo!

Deutsche Bank’s Global Social Finance Group today announced the closing of the Essential Capital Consortium (ECC), a five-year USD 50 million social enterprise fund, which is part of its family of social impact funds first launched in 2005.
Friday, March 13, 2015 — South Asia

Grameen Foundation USA Partners with MetLife Foundation to Provide Microfinance in Uttar Pradesh

Source: Moneycontrol

Grameen Foundation US has partnered with MetLife Foundation to provide savings and other services to at least 40,000 poor and women clients in Uttar Pradesh.
Friday, March 13, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Bramer Bank Provides Gateway to Investment in Africa

Source: World Finance

Mauritius is the easiest place to do business in Africa, offering a compelling banking environment for industry pioneers such as Bramer Bank.
Thursday, March 12, 2015 — No Region Specified

Press Release: Solar Expert Joins Microfinance Leader FINCA International's Board of Directors

Source: PR Newswire

FINCA International, a leading microfinance organization based inWashington, D.C., is pleased to welcome Dr. Fred Seymour, a solar energy expert, to its Board of Directors. A pioneer of microfinance, FINCA is actively exploring the development of additional social enterprises that can deliver nonfinancial products and services, starting with solar energy.
Tuesday, March 10, 2015 — South Asia

Does India Need Microfinance-Focused Mudra Bank?

Source: Live Mint

Do we need yet another refinance agency in the Indian financial system? Quite a few such agencies already exist; none of them can claim to be a success by any yardstick.
Monday, March 9, 2015 — No Region Specified

A Plan to Empower More Than One Million Women

Source: The Huffington Post

There is a story that persists around the developing world, to the detriment of families and entire economies: Women are being sidelined from economic progress because of limited access to financial services.
Thursday, March 5, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

A million sign ups in two months: How is EcoSure growing so fast?

Source: TechZim

EcoSure has registered over 1 million users, an uptake that translates to 150,000 new users every week. These are impressive numbers, so what’s the secret behind this?
Thursday, March 5, 2015 — No Region Specified

This Firm Keeps Capital Flowing to Micro-Entrepreneurs

Source: Entrepreneur

The global financial crisis didn’t dent the demand for loans from small businesses and micro-entrepreneurs around the world. But it sure whacked the supply of capital available to lend to them.
Thursday, March 5, 2015 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: Free Loan-Repayment Processing Helps Grameen America Increase Macro Impact on Women

Source: Market Wired

Through PayNearMe, Grameen America Borrowers Gain Convenient Option to Repay Loans at 7,800 7-Eleven Stores Nationwide, as Grameen Expands Solution to California and New York.
Thursday, March 5, 2015 — South Asia

Funding the unfunded: India helps small business borrow to grow

Source: Reuters

A new bank announced in the annual budget last week could boost loans and cut borrowing costs for the country's cash-starved small businesses - tailors, mechanics and phone booth operators who account for around a fifth of the economy.
Monday, March 2, 2015 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: Deutsche Bank Marks Milestone for USD $83 Million Microfinance Fund

Source: Insurance News

The Fund reached 5.5 million low-income and rural borrowers in 15 countries
Monday, March 2, 2015 — No Region Specified

Microcredit oversold as anti-poverty tool, economists say

Source: Reuters

Microcredit is no panacea for lifting millions of people from poverty, leading economists said on Friday in releasing research from seven countries that challenges a key development tool.
Monday, March 2, 2015 — No Region Specified

Bitcoin Takes a Step Into the Microfinance World

Source: Wall Street Journal

Stellar, the cryptocurrency-based payments system launched last year by Jed McCaleb, announced a partnership with banking-software company Oradian to use Stellar platform in its core banking software for microfinance institutions.
Wednesday, February 25, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

MasterCard, Grooming Centre Boost Financial Inclusion for MSMEs in Nigeria

Source: Disrupt Africa

Over 500,000 female entrepreneurs in Nigeria are to be introduced to electronic payments under a new partnership agreed between MasterCard and local microfinance institution Grooming Centre.
Tuesday, February 24, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Banking Africa’s Unbanked Population is Not the Solution to Improved Inclusion

Source: Ventures Africa

Banking Africa’s unbanked population–adults who don’t use formal banks or semi-formal microfinance institutions to save or borrow money–may not be the solution to providing wider access to financial products and services.
Tuesday, February 24, 2015 — Europe & Eurasia

Kompanion Financial Group Completes Equity Raise with Investment from FMO and Triodos Investment Management

Source: Kompanion

Kompanion Financial Group, one of the largest microfinance institutions in the Kyrgyz Republic both by loan portfolio and number of clients, has concluded an equity raise selling a 35% stake to international investors. The shares were purchased by Netherlands based investors FMO and Triodos Investment Management, with the latter investing through Triodos Fair Share Fund and Triodos Microfinance Fund. Kompanion’s founder Mercy Corps will remain majority shareholder and hold a 65% stake. The funds will be used for growth capital in the lending operations and support Kompanion’s transformation to a licensed banking institution.
Monday, February 23, 2015 — South Asia

Bangladesh's Entry Into Impact Investment

Source: The Daily Star

Growing up as a daughter of a high ranking civil servant in Bangladesh, I have distinct memories of my father's trip to Paris every year in the 1980s. To me it was exciting -- Papa was seeing Paris -- the most romantic city in the world. To him it was a dreaded trip because it was Donor Consortium that brought him to France to beg for donor money for Bangladesh.
Thursday, February 19, 2015 — No Region Specified

Consumer Protection in Microfinance Exceeds 15-Million-Client Mark via Smart Certified Institutions

Source: Center for Financial Inclusion Blog

It’s been an exciting few months for client protection in the microfinance industry. FINCA Kyrgyzstan, MBK Ventura in Indonesia, SKS Microfinance in India, and a number of other MFIs around the world demonstrated that they successfully integrate the client protection principles into their practices and joined the rapidly growing list of institutions that are Smart Certified. Today, we’re pleased to share that the number of clients across all the Smart Certified institutions surpassed the 15-million-client benchmark.
Thursday, February 19, 2015 — No Region Specified

Whole Foods Market Launches Campaign to Fight Global Poverty Through Microcredit

Source: Investor's Business Daily

Whole Planet Foundation is kicking off its 2015 Prosperity Campaign at Whole Foods Market with the goal of raising $5 million for microlending programs worldwide—enough to help 135,000 people lift themselves out of poverty and start a new life.
Wednesday, February 18, 2015 — No Region Specified

What Impact Investors Can Learn From Microfinance

Source: Devex

What has microfinance achieved for the world’s poor? Estimates vary widely, but 300 million people are estimated to be direct beneficiaries of the microcredit movement, and more than $68 billion may be currently invested in the industry, according to a 2010 estimate from the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor, a unit of theWorld Bank.
Wednesday, February 18, 2015 — South Asia

Vikram Akula's Next Big Gig

Source: Business Today

On January 29, the board of SKS Microfinance, the country's only listed microfinance entity, approved the company's proposal to apply for a licence to set up a small finance bank, a new category of lenders that the Reserve Bank of India has created to drive financial inclusion. A few kilometres away from the SKS office in Hyderabad, Vikram Akula, who founded the company in 1997 and had to unceremoniously exit in 2011, is giving final touches to the application for a small finance bank for his start-up VAYA Finserv.
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 — South Asia

Microfinance Strikes Deep Roots in West Bengal

Source: Financial Chronicle

The Indian microfinance sector has found a new Andhra Pradesh in West Bengal. The sector, which has not been able to see any business in the state of Telangana and AP, has seen brisk business in this eastern state, piping other southern states as well.
Friday, February 13, 2015 — South Asia

Bangladesh's Political Turmoil Taking Its Toll on Small, Medium Businesses

Source: The Financial Express

The ongoing political turmoil continues to take its toll on the small and medium businesses who have borrowed money from micro finance institutions (MFIs) as the big MFIs have tightened their vigilance fearing the future impact on loan recovery.
Thursday, February 12, 2015 — South Asia

For MFIs in India, Transition to Small Banks Could Be Arduous

Source: Business Line

The Reserve Bank of India’s decision to create small finance banks could be a game-changer for microfinance institutions (MFIs) in the country.
Wednesday, February 11, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

World Bank Boosts Financial Inclusion in Cameroon

Source: Ventures Africa

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has recently announced an advisory services agreement with Mircrofinance Institute Advans Cameroun geared at expediting the rate of financial inclusion in Cameroon by expanding the range and reach of services available to underserved urban and rural populations.
Friday, January 30, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Why More Nigerian Microfinance Banks May Collapse

Source: The News Nigeria

The Managing Director of Asha Microfinance Bank, in Nigeria’s western city of Lagos, Mr Aminul Bhuiya, on Thursday raised fears about the possible collapse of more microfinance banks in the country saying this was due to high cost of operation.
Thursday, January 29, 2015 — South Asia

Viewpoint: Entrepreneurial Dream mEntrepreneurial Dream Made Easy in Pakistan

Source: Pakistan Herald

When 40-year-old Salma Bai wanted to set up her own tea shop in Faisalabad, her main worry was obtaining the capital that was required to start an entrepreneurial venture.
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 — No Region Specified

Reaching the Hardest-to-Reach: Financial Services for Overlooked Populations

Source: The Huffington Post

The growth of microfinance solutions to address pressing development challenges has brought many of the world's formerly "unbanked" into formal financial systems. However, one group continually remains outside the system -- the poorest of the poor. Even some microfinance programs and deliberately inclusive financial policies remain unaffordable for segments of the population. Across the Global South, a number of initiatives have emerged with the notion that, although access to financial services has expanded in recent years, the remaining need demands innovative actions. We take a look at examples in Lagos, Bogotá, Cairo, and Bangalore.
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Grameen Crédit Agricole Microfinance Loans $1.2m to Kenyan Juhudi Kilimo, Uganda Microcredit Foundation (UMF), Uganda’s Encot

Source: MicroCapital

The Grameen Crédit Agricole Microfinance Foundation (GCAMF), a Luxembourg-based provider of financial services to microfinance institutions (MFIs) and other social businesses, recently informed MicroCapital that it has issued the following three loans: (1) EUR 482,000 (USD 555,000) over a two-year period to to Juhudi Kilimo, a for-profit provider of microloans and microinsurance in Kenya; (2) EUR 293,000 (USD 339,000) over a three-year period to Uganda Microcredit Foundation (UMF), a microfinance institution offering financial services to “economically active” Ugandans; and (3) EUR 257,000 (USD 297,000) over a three-year period to Encont, a provider of microloans to rural enterprises in Uganda [1].
Friday, January 16, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Accion Microfinance Bank Attains National MFB Status in Nigeria, Gives Out N32bn Loans

Source: Thisday Live

Accion Microfinance Bank Limited has upgraded to the category of a national microfinance bank (MFB). By this development, the bank said, it has surpassed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) requirements for a national MFB.
Thursday, January 15, 2015 — No Region Specified

OPINION: Responsible Investors Needed in Weak Microfinance Markets

Source: Forbes

Four years have passed since the launch of the Principles for Investors in Inclusive Finance, a compact signed by 40 global investors in the Netherlands. The introduction to these principles states:
Thursday, January 15, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Zambian MFIs Complain of Negative Impact of Bank of Zambia Interest Rates Limits

Source: Zambia Daily Mail

The decision by Bank of Zambia (BoZ) to limit interest rates that licenced non-banking financial institutions can charge customers had a negative effect on micro-finance institutions (MFIs) performance last year.
Wednesday, January 14, 2015 — Latin America

Absolute Portfolio Management Invests $8.5m in Microfinance Institutions in Cambodia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Peru

Source: MicroCapital

Absolute Portfolio Management (APM), an arm of Austria-based asset management group C-Quadrat, recently informed MicroCapital that it disbursed credits totaling the approximate equivalent of USD 8.5 million from its two Vision Microfinance funds, the Dual Return Fund-Vision Microfinance and the Dual Return Fund-Vision Microfinance Local Currency, to unspecified microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Cambodia, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Peru.
Tuesday, January 13, 2015 — South Asia

PRESS RELEASE: Asian Development Bank Loans $200m to Yes Bank of India to Fund Women’s Self-Help Groups, Small Farmers

Source: MicroCapital

The Asian Development Bank (ADB), a multilateral development finance institution based in the Philippines, has recently approved a loan of up to USD 200 million to Yes Bank Limited, an Indian commercial bank based in Mumbai. The loan will be on-lent to “2.5 million rural, low income women”[1] who are members of self-help groups and “up to 37,000 small-scale farmers”[1] working in rural areas of the country. The loan agreement also includes a provision for USD 1 million to be used for technical assistance for capacity building, including financial literacy training and product development.
Monday, January 12, 2015 — South Asia

Ujjivan Financial Services Clinches Single Largest Funding Deal in India's Microfinance Sector

Source: The Times of India

UK's Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC), private equity investors CX Partners, Newquest and a unit of Bajaj Group are leading a Rs 600-crore investment in Ujjivan Financial Services, clinching the single largest funding deal in India's microfinance sector, sources directly familiar with the matter said.
Thursday, January 8, 2015 — South Asia

What If We Gave Microcredit to Tech Talent in Developing Countries?

Source: Deseret News

Outsourcing things like call center work and data entry to developing countries has been a trend for a long time, but those are mostly low-skill, low-paying jobs.
Friday, December 19, 2014 — South Asia

Triotech Raises $3 Million From Singapore VC Firm Bluehill

Source: The Economic Times

Mobile payment services company Triotech Solutions has raised $3 million (nearly Rs 19 crore) from Singaporebased venture-capital firm Bluehill in its first round of funding.
Tuesday, December 16, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Survey: In Nigeria, 2.6 Million Adults Have Microfinance Bank Accounts

Source: allAfrica

A survey carried out by Enhancing Financial Innovation & Access (EFInA) Access to Financial Services in Nigeria in 2014 revealed that 2.6 million Nigerian adults representing 2.8 percent, currently have a microfinance bank account.
Tuesday, December 16, 2014 — No Region Specified

Underserved Markets Ripe for Insurance Innovation, Swiss Re Americas CEO Says

Source: Insurance Journal

Underserved populations and market niches are ripe with potential for insurance innovators who are willing to take on the challenge of creating opportunities in areas that may seem unprofitable at first glance, says the chief executive of the Americas unit for one of the world’s largest reinsurance companies. And the ability to reach those markets digitally is key.
Friday, December 12, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Econet jumps back into insurance. What’s their play here?

Source: Tech Zim

It’s no longer called EcoLife, but Econet is back in the insurance game.
Thursday, December 11, 2014 — South Asia

Micro Insurance: A Tool for Financial Inclusion

Source: Financial Chronicle

Financial inclusion is now one of the most talked about agendas towards holistic development of the country. With the thrust towards financial inclusion by the Narendra Modi government to achieve all round growth of society, micro insurance is poised to play an important role in it.
Thursday, December 4, 2014 — Latin America

PRESS RELEASE: Roundtable on Aging and Financial Inclusion in Latin America

Source: 3BL Media

Over 40 leaders from across Latin America, including the banking, microfinance, academic, and aging advocacy sectors, joined together in Bogota, Colombia for a roundtable on the topic of Aging and Financial Inclusion. This meeting focused specifically on aging demographics in Latin America and the increasing need for access to quality financial services—including pensions, savings, insurance, loans, and payments.
Wednesday, December 3, 2014 — Asia Pacific

PRESS RELEASE: Grameen China and Launch Crowdfunding Microfinance Project

Source: PR Newswire, Inc. ("" or the "Company") (NASDAQ: JD), China's largest online direct sales company, and Grameen China, the China-based entity of Grameen Trust ("GT"), a non-profit and non-government organization committed to the cause of poverty alleviation, today announced that they have reached an agreement on a strategic partnership in China.
Tuesday, December 2, 2014 — Asia Pacific

PRESS RELEASE: Bima Receives $5 Million Investment to Bring Microinsurance to Asia Pacific, Caribbean

Source: Business Wire

Bima, the leading global microinsurance provider, announced a 5 million USD investment from Digicel Group, the leading total communications and entertainment provider in the Caribbean, Central America and Asia Pacific regions. This investment and the resulting partnership will help Bima to deliver access to affordable insurance on a scale never seen before in those regions.
Tuesday, December 2, 2014 — South Asia

Banks in India Charging 22% to 26% on Microloans to Poor Borrowers

Source: The Economic Times

When it comes to lending to the poor, it is not just the micro finance institutions that charge high interest rates, but even bulgebracket banks such as Axis Bank to YES Bank charge as much as 22% to 26% a year.
Monday, December 1, 2014 — South Asia

India’s New “Payment Banks” Expected to Spur Innovation

Source: Live Mint

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Thursday released the final guidelines for licensing of payments and small banks. These banks are intended to cover the unbanked and underbanked areas and increase banking penetration in the country, stated the circular. Let’s take a look at the changes that these banks are likely to bring in financial services.
Monday, December 1, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Savings Groups: An Inclusive Emerging Economy, With Africa in the Lead

Source: The New York Times

At a time when news about Africa has been dominated by Ebola, it’s worth observing that a highly encouraging change has been quietly spreading across the continent. Over the past five years, the number of Africans — mainly women — who have joined village-based savings and loan associations has soared to more than nine million. These groups are now operating in 40 countries in Africa. Globally, it’s estimated that 10.5 million people are members of formally trained savings groups in about 65 countries. (PDF) The big story about these groups, including their surprising success and emerging importance in development, comes from Africa.
Wednesday, November 26, 2014 — South Asia

Banks Get Better Access To Tap Micro Segment

Source: The Jakarta Post

The newly launched branchless banking regulation will enable banks to expand their financial services to disadvantaged and low-income segments at affordable costs, a senior official of the Financial Services Authority (OJK) has said.
Wednesday, November 26, 2014 — North Africa and Near East

Roadmap: Microfinance Industry Eyes 10m Customers By 2018

Source: The Express Tribune

Perhaps this is the reason why Pakistan Microfinance Network (PMN) Chairman Nadeem Hussain believes that an impressive growth of 20-25% per annum for the past many years has still not made the country’s microfinance industry ‘relevant’ in the fight against poverty.
Wednesday, November 26, 2014 — No Region Specified

Microloans Help Latinas Become Entrepreneurs In Los Angeles

Source: Fox News Latino

As if it were a sacred ritual, every week Gloria Sánchez meets to talk business with four other Hispanic women who are on their way to entrepreneurship thanks to the system of microloans.
Wednesday, November 26, 2014 — North Africa and Near East

Finance: Egypt's Small Borrowers Have Big Potential

Source: The Africa Report

A new law permitting non-bank for-profit lending institutions may unleash a revolution in microfinance by allowing more actors and innovators to get involved.
Tuesday, November 25, 2014 — North Africa and Near East

UAE Fund To Provide $200 Million In Loans To Microfinance Projects In Egypt

Source: Ahram Online

A United Arab Emirates state investment fund announced on Monday it would provide $200 million in loans for microfinance projects in Egypt, a move it said would create more than 120,000 jobs by 2020.
Monday, November 24, 2014 — South Asia

Micro-insurance On the Up Among Insurers and Public

Source: The Jakarta Post

While insurance penetration in general remains low, micro-insurance has seen significant growth as more banks partner with insurance firms to offer micro-insurance products to low-income earners.
Thursday, November 20, 2014 — South Asia

Indian MFIs’ gross loan portfolio rose 47% in Q2 FY15

Source: VC Circle

The loan portfolio in south comprise a third of total.
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 — No Region Specified

How Rogue Microfinance Lenders Overburden Poor South Africans

Source: AFKInsider

Microfinance, or lending small sums to low-income borrowers or entrepreneurs, was supposed to be a source of development and income growth for the poor in Africa. Has it worked?
Monday, November 10, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

ACCION Microfinance Bank receives N50 million fund from Central Bank of Nigeria

Source: The Guardian - Nigeria

ACCION Microfinance Bank, Nigeria’s leading microfinance bank, has received N50 million from the Central Bank of Nigeria microfinance intervention - the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fund (MSMEDF).
Wednesday, November 5, 2014 — No Region Specified

Germany's GIZ looks to break Islamic microfinance shortfall

Source: Reuters

A series of German-funded studies and pilot projects aims to bridge the gap between Islamic finance and microcredit, to the benefit of communities in developing countries which remain on the fringes of the financial industry.
Wednesday, November 5, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Tanzania: CRDB, European Bank Sign Landmark Sh43 Billion Deal to Support Small Businesses

Source: All Africa

CRDB Bank and European Investment Bank (EIB) have signed a landmark 20 million Euros (about Sh 43 billion) agreement to support small scale businesses.
Tuesday, October 28, 2014 — Latin America

Could reforms unlock Mexico's "huge" microfinance potential?

Source: BNamericas

Mexico's financial reforms could help the country's microfinance industry fulfill its "huge potential" for growth, rating agency S&P said in a report.
Thursday, October 23, 2014 — No Region Specified

OPINION: Twenty years of making microfinance, or whatever you want to call it, work

Source: Humanosphere

Today in Seattle, an organization called Global Partnerships celebrates two decades of helping people rise up out of poverty through a variety of initiatives all aimed at empowering the poor – by helping smallholder farmers, improving health, encouraging the use of “green” technologies and through microfinance.
Wednesday, October 22, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

PRESS RELEASE: Innovative Collaboration Aims to Bring Greater Transparency to Sub-Saharan Microfinance

Source: MasterCard Foundation

Aiming to bring greater transparency to microfinance across Sub-Saharan Africa, Catholic Relief Services (CRS), The MasterCard Foundation and Moody’s Analytics have launched an innovative collaboration to use Moody’s Analytics’ social performance assessments (SPA) to help microfinance institutions better measure and manage their long-term social impact.
Monday, October 20, 2014 — South Asia

OPINION: Microfinance in India: To hell and back

Source: Live Mint

In a nation where half the population isn’t served by formal banking system, the microfinance industry acquired a halo in the early part of last decade. And then, the Andhra Pradesh crisis happened.
Wednesday, October 8, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Safaricom, Commercial Bank of Africa launch campaign to deepen financial inclusion

Source: All Africa

Commercial Bank of Africa and Safaricom have launched a campaign to deepen financial inclusion and access to financial services, targeting M-PESA customers who have yet to start using mobile savings and micro - loan solution M-Shwari.
Wednesday, October 8, 2014 — Asia Pacific

PRESS RELEASE: Freedom from Hunger, Microcredit Summit Campaign launch project to improve maternal health in the Philippines

Source: Microcredit Summit

CARD MRI, Freedom from Hunger and the Microcredit Summit Campaign are launching a joint project called “Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies” to improve health knowledge and promote behavior change for more than 600,000 women by December 2015.
Tuesday, October 7, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Table-banking, a booming loan facility among Kenyan women

Source: Shanghai Daily

Initially when she needed a loan, Joan Mwashi would approach a group she belonged to under a microfinance institution.
Monday, October 6, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Bank of Ghana deadline unsettles microfinance companies

Source: Ghana Web

Some microfinance companies are doubtful of meeting the Bank of Ghana’s set deadline of June 2016 to shore-up their paid capital as per the revised regulations.
Wednesday, October 1, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

MFI credit bureau on course in Ghana

Source: Ghana Web

Work on a credit referencing system for the microfinance sector is scheduled to be completed by middle of next year, the Ghana Association of Microfinance Companies (GAMC) has said.
Tuesday, September 30, 2014 — North Africa and Near East

Microfinance Struggling to find its feet in Middle East

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Microfinance has blossomed in recent years, helping fill a funding need for businesses too tiny and risky for traditional banks. Curiously perhaps, while microfinance has been a big hit across parts of Asia and South America, its start in the Middle East and North Africa hasn’t been as auspicious.
Tuesday, September 30, 2014 — No Region Specified

Crowdfunding Becomes Global Phenomenon

Source: Forbes

Crowdfunding itself is going viral around the globe. It seems that everywhere you look, crowdfunding is popping up in a big way. This is top of mind for me as I jump on a plane to Moscow to deliver a keynote address at CrowdMap ’14.
Monday, September 29, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Ghana microfinance companies back licence-freeze

Source: Ghana Web

The Ghana Association of Microfinance Companies (GAMC) has backed moves by the central bank to put a limit on the number of operating permits that can be issued to microfinance companies.
Thursday, September 25, 2014 — South Asia

Janalakshmi to lead investor rush into India’s microfinance sector

Source: Business Standard

After Janalakshmi's record-breaking deal, Indian MFI sector likely to raise Rs 2,000 crore in FY15
Wednesday, September 24, 2014 — Latin America

PRESS RELEASE: Accion Acquires 10 Percent Stake in Peruvian Microfinance Institution Credinka

Source: Accion

Boston, MA and Lima, Peru, September 24, 2014 – Accion, a leader in microfinance, today announced its purchase of a 10 percent stake in Peruvian microfinance institution Credinka from majority stake holder Diviso Grupo Financiero.
Monday, September 22, 2014 — Asia Pacific

Indonesia's Financial Services Authority plans cap on microcredit interest rates, banks on alert

Source: The Jakarta Post

Indonesia's Financial Services Authority plans to set a cap on microcredit rates this year, a move that would put domestic lenders on alert as micro-lending has been seen as the most profitable credit segment.
Wednesday, September 17, 2014 — South Asia

Foreign investors chasing bigger gains by investing in Indian microfinance institutions

Source: Economic Times

Instead of raising their holdings in companies such as HDFC Bank and IDFC, the infrastructure lender which is turning into a bank, investors are chasing India's profitable microfinance institutions.
Thursday, September 11, 2014 — South Asia

Next generation of microfinance: Leveraging Indonesian experience

Source: The Jakarta Post

The history of microfinance institutions in Indonesia dates back more than 100 years.
Tuesday, September 9, 2014 — Latin America

Mexico summit pledges to serve microfinance clients better

Source: The Daily Star

The 17th Microcredit Summit held in Merida, Mexico, last week discussed ways to better serve the next generation of clients and promote client-centred microfinance.
Thursday, September 4, 2014 — North Africa and Near East

Microfinance in Jordan isn’t helping to empower women

Source: The Guardian

Foreign donors need to reconsider how their money is being used, as profits are taking precedence over sustainability
Tuesday, September 2, 2014 — No Region Specified

Has microfinance lost its moral compass?


The industry that provides financial services for people on low-incomes and without access to traditional banking services is morally reprehensible according to new research from The University of Manchester.
Tuesday, September 2, 2014 — No Region Specified

4 tips to implementing effective and efficient microfinance programs

Source: Devex

Despite being in place for more than 20 years, microfinance has yet to achieve its full potential, some experts suggest.
Wednesday, August 27, 2014 — No Region Specified

Can crowdfunding help finance the 'missing middle?'

Source: Devex

What does a social business do when they don’t have a rich uncle to help them go from microenterprise to a small- or medium-sized enterprises? The answer may be crowdfunding.
Wednesday, August 27, 2014 — South Asia

India's MFIs shift focus to urban areas

Source: Business Standard

Microfinance institutions (MFIs), which evolved as precursors of the rural thrift credit market in India, are now shifting to urban areas, with big slums in cities turning out to be cost-effective markets over small villages in far-flung locations.
Wednesday, August 27, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Rwanda: Microfinance Sector Soldiers On Despite Burden of Bad Loans

Source: All Africa

Sector experts say there is an urgent need to address challenges facing MFIs, especially by empowering the sector to enhance its capacity and performance.
Wednesday, August 27, 2014 — No Region Specified

Y Combinator Nonprofit Zidisha Changes Microfinance Equation

Source: Wall Street Journal

The nonprofit says it has figured out a way of getting a 90% repayment rate on business loans to the types of people no financial institution would trust–young people in poor African countries without as much as a permanent address.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Microfinance as a panacea to Nigeria’s unemployment challenge

Source: Business Day

As credit plays vital role in start-up and expansion of businesses, microfinance has been treated as an important tool for economic development.
Monday, August 25, 2014 — South Asia

In India, 50% of microfinance institutions could convert to banks, says regulatory body CEO

Source: The Hindu Business Line

About half of the Microfinance Institutions Network’s 49 members could follow in the footsteps of Kolkata-based Bandhan and convert themselves into banks in the next couple of years, according to a top official.
Thursday, August 21, 2014 — South Asia

Indian MFIs lap up Narendra Modi's financial inclusion drive, plan major expansion

Source: Economic Times

MUMBAI: Enthused by the Centre's plan to open 7.5 crore bank accounts over the next few years, MFIs and other such financial institutions that are working in rural areas have charted out massive expansion plans.
Wednesday, August 20, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Stop charging high interest rates, Bank of Ghana tells MFIs

Source: Ghana Web

Microfinance companies have been urged not to charge high, unsustainable interest rates by the Head of Other Financial Institutions Supervision Department of the Bank of Ghana (BoG), Mr Raymond Amanfu.
Tuesday, August 19, 2014 — South Asia

Beyond microcredit in Nepal

Source: Republica

For Nepal's microfinance sector, the time has come to look beyond microcredit and find ways and means to turn individual entrepreneurs into small, medium and maybe big entrepreneurs over time.
Thursday, August 14, 2014 — South Asia

Largest transaction in Indian microfinance since 2010

Source: Microfinance Focus

Janalakshmi, a microfinance institution headquartered in Bangalore, announced that it had closed its Series D primary equity raise of INR 3.25 billion.
Thursday, August 14, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

OPINION: Microloans for consumption spell ruin

Source: Financial Mail

AFRICAN Bank may have been the first to fall, but this is just one part of a tragic story that concerns all microlenders who provide cash loans to fund consumption, which affects SA much more broadly and deeply than the collapse of a single business.
Wednesday, August 13, 2014 — Latin America

Genius in Microfinance - Reflections on Pancho Otero

Source: Huffington Post

In a recent retrospective, Rich Rosenberg called Pancho Otero, the founding leader of Bolivia's Prodem and BancoSol, a genius. Elisabeth Rhyne tell the story of who Otero was and what he accomplished.
Wednesday, August 13, 2014 — South Asia

Indian micro-lenders to open 30 million bank accounts by Aug 2015

Source: Live Mint

Microfinance companies have committed to opening at least 30 million bank accounts within a year through tie-ups with banks as part of the government’s ambitious financial inclusion plan likely to be announced on Independence Day.
Tuesday, August 12, 2014 — South Asia

Indian MFIs demand more incentives for working as business correspondents

Source: Business Standard

According to survey by microfinance institution network (MFIN), published in February this year, nine out of 14 MFIs closed their operation as BCs in the recent past.
Friday, August 8, 2014 — South Asia

Micro-insurance products in India may see sea-change

Source: Business Standard

Better remuneration to distributors and policies with bigger ticket size may boost sale
Wednesday, August 6, 2014 — No Region Specified

3 Startups Offer New 'Microloan' Options for Entrepreneurs With Big Ambitions

Source: Entrepreneur

In the United States, a whopping 543,000 new businesses are launched each month. Sadly, half of all start-ups aren’t able to keep their doors open for more than five years. The failure of many small businesses is due, in large part, to lack of funding.
Wednesday, August 6, 2014 — No Region Specified

Social Enterprises Raise Money Through Direct Public Offerings

Source: Forbes

Looks like there’s a growing interest among social enterprises in a capital-raising method called Direct Public Offering (DPO).
Wednesday, August 6, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

U.S. wants Nigeria to take economic leadership in Africa

Source: The Guardian Nigeria

The United States government has expressed the expectation of Nigeria to lead the African continent into economic advancement.
Friday, August 1, 2014 — South Asia

PRESS RELEASE: New Report on Integrated Health and Microfinance in India Shows the Way Forward

Source: Digital Journal

On July 29, 2014, Freedom from Hunger, the Microcredit Summit Campaign, and the Indian Institute of Public Health, Gandhinagar released a new report titled "Integrated Health and Microfinance in India, Volume II: The Way Forward." The report was released in advance of the South Asia Conference on Policies and Practices to Improve Nutrition Security in New Delhi, India.
Thursday, July 31, 2014 — South Asia

Incofin floats ProPulse Fund to back microfinance cos, targets institutions

Source: VCCircle

Incofin has backed microfinance firms such as Annapurna, Fusion and Grameen Koota in India.
Tuesday, July 29, 2014 — No Region Specified

International Labour Office, World Bank to Enhance Access to Insurance in Africa and Asia

Source: This Day Live

The International Labour Office (ILO) and the World Bank Group (WBG) have signed a memorandum of understanding that aims to provide access to improved insurance products to hundreds of thousands of smallholder farmers, small businesses and individuals in Asia and Africa.
Tuesday, July 22, 2014 — South Asia

Norms on small banks fail to impress micro lenders

Source: Business Standard

The Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) draft guidelines for licensing of small banks has failed to impress microfinance companies.
Tuesday, July 22, 2014 — No Region Specified and Grameen-Jameel launch initiative to stimulate individual lending for microfinance

Source: CPI Financial

Kiva and Grameen-Jameel Microfinance Ltd. have partnered to launch “Change is in Your Hands” campaign.
Tuesday, July 22, 2014 — South Asia

India's youngest bank Bandhan to empower women, rural folk

Source: Business Standard

Innovative microfinance company Bandhan will operate as a bank from October next year and focus on empowering women and rural people, says its chairman and managing director Chandra Shekhar Ghosh.
Friday, July 18, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Rwanda: Why Farmers Are Loyal to Micro-Finance Institutions

Source: AllAfrica

Rwandans have hailed the role of micro-finance institutions just as Kigali is hosting a global financial inclusion summit starting today.
Tuesday, July 15, 2014 — South Asia

IBM signes deal worth Rs 550 crore with microfinance firm Janalakshmi Financial Services

Source: Economic Times India

NEW DELHI: International Business Machines (IBM) has signed a deal worth Rs 550 crore with microfinance firmJanalakshmi Financial Services, according to people familiar with the discussions. IBM's consulting division, along with its Institute of Business Value, is leading the engagement, a person familiar with the transaction said.
Friday, July 11, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Zimbabwe's high interest rates, multiple borrowings and growing debts

Source: The Africa Report

Zimbabwe's microfinance institutions (MFIs) doled out $170 million worth of loans to clients in the first quarter of the year with the bulk of the funds going towards domestic consumption.
Wednesday, July 9, 2014 — North Africa and Near East

Pakistani businesswoman Sadaffe Abid makes it her mission to empower women

Source: The National

Sadaffe Abid is one of Pakistan’s most successful businesswomen. She was the chief executive of the Kashf Foundation, one of the largest microfinance institutions in Pakistan, growing it from a pilot project in two rooms, to serve 300,000 female clients with micro-loans. Ms Abid also co-founded the Buksh Foundation, a Pakistani start-up that enhances financial access to micro entrepreneurs. After 13 years in micro-financing, Ms Abid now splits her time between Dubai and Pakistan, conducting leadership training focused on developing high-potential female professionals and entrepreneurs and emerging talent.
Monday, July 7, 2014 — No Region Specified

New private equity fund targets microfinance institutions for women

Source: Devex

It’s been a while in the making, but this week Women’s World Banking finally closed its first private equity fund to invest in microfinance enterprises that support women.
Monday, June 30, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Nigeria’s Microfinance Banks Ready To Go Cashless

Source: The Nigerian Observer

Abuja - The National Association of Micro Finance Banks (NAMFB), has expressed readiness of its members to key into Federal Government’s cashless policy.
Thursday, June 26, 2014 — South Asia

India’s microfinance sector set to rebound, says rating agency

Source: Moneylife

Crisil says, loan portfolios of microfinance companies to grow at a compounded annual rate of 35%, to touch Rs450 billion by March 2016
Wednesday, June 25, 2014 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: Citi, OPIC and ACBA Credit Agricole Bank Support the Growth of the Microfinance Sector in Armenia

Source: 3BL Media

New York, NY, June 24, 2014 /3BL Media/ – Citi and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (“OPIC”) today announced a $10 million lending facility, using their existing framework partnership, to support the growth of ACBA Credit Agricole Bank’s agribusiness microfinance portfolio in the Republic of Armenia.
Friday, June 20, 2014 — No Region Specified

Woori to buy Cambodian microfinance institution

Source: Korea Herald

Woori Bank has decided to acquire Cambodia’s microfinance institution Malis Finance for 5 billion won ($4.9 million) to accelerate its global expansion.
Wednesday, June 18, 2014 — No Region Specified

Bank of Ghana backs down on microfinance freeze

Source: Ghana Web

The Bank of Ghana says it has abandoned its initial plans to suspend the issuance of new operating licences to microfinance companies.
Wednesday, June 18, 2014 — No Region Specified

Why the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation is Investing in This Indian Lender

Source: Inside Philanthropy

This spring, the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation invested $500,000 in IntelleGrow, an Indian company that provides customized debt finance to small and growing businesses in India to support small- and medium-enterprise (SME) startups.
Tuesday, June 17, 2014 — No Region Specified

Over 70% of micro enterprises in Nigeria lack insurance protection, group raises alarm

Source: Nigerian Tribune

A civil society organisation, Transparent Protection Limited (TPL), on Monday, in Abuja, raised the alarm that over 70 percent of micro enterprises in the country did not have any form of insurance.
Tuesday, June 17, 2014 — No Region Specified

Grameen America Scales Microlending Model Across the U.S. with Launch of Microfinance Training Institute in Queens

Source: Digital Journal

Grameen America, a nonprofit microfinance organization offering microloans, training and support to help women in poverty build small businesses, today announced the launch of the first U.S. Training Institute for microfinance with the support of longstanding partner Capital One.
Monday, June 16, 2014 — No Region Specified

Citi celebrates small successes with microentrepreneurship awards

Source: The Daily Star

Six microentrepreneurs, two lenders awarded
Thursday, June 12, 2014 — No Region Specified

MFIs tapping capital market not a good idea: Yunus

Source: Business Standard

The Nobel laureate recommended granting MFIs special micro-credit banking licences to accept deposits
Tuesday, June 10, 2014 — No Region Specified

The experimenters strike back in microcredit research

Source: The Economist

“GIVE a man a fish”, said Bono, an Irish singer turned philanthropist, “he’ll eat for a day. Give a woman microcredit, she, her husband, her children and her extended family will eat for a lifetime."
Tuesday, June 10, 2014 — No Region Specified

The Smartphone Does It Again: Building Credit Scores For Microentrepreneurs

Source: Forbes

In 2010, when Shivani Siroya started developing an idea for a new microfinance model, predatory lending practices were changing the way people saw microfinance.
Monday, May 19, 2014 — No Region Specified

Chamber speaker champions Yunus investing model to ease social problems

Source: Palm Beach Daily News

Muhammad Yunus has devoted himself to aiding the impoverished. The Bangladeshi economist, known as the father of microcredit and microfinance, continues to search for remedies to the economic woes of Third World nations. The microfinance and microcredit concepts that he pioneered in the 1970s have since moved 20 million families in his native country out of poverty and earned him a Nobel Prize in 2006.
Monday, May 5, 2014 — South Asia

Indian microfinance bank Bandhan plans to open 600 branches

Source: The Hindu

Microfinance outfit Bandhan Financial Services Ltd., which got a banking licence from the Reserve Bank of India on April 9, is planning to open around 600 branches, its Chairman and Managing Director Chandra Sekhar Ghosh said.
Friday, May 2, 2014 — Asia Pacific

Philippines Using Postal Banks to Advance Financial Inclusion

Source: Philippine Information Agency

The Philippine Postal Savings Bank (Postbank) inaugurated Tuesday this week two branches of its Microfinance Banking Office (MBO) or Bangko sa Nayon in Albay alongside the government efforts to pursue inclusive growth particularly on the countryside.
Friday, May 2, 2014 — South Asia

Reserve Bank of India May Allow MFIs to Function as Business Correspondents of Banks

Source: The Free Press Journal

However, the move has faced serious opposition from various departments in the central bank.
Friday, May 2, 2014 — Latin America

Microfinancing Mexico Via Responsible Tourism Activities

Source: Travel Weekly

Fundacion En Via aims to empower women in Mexican villages with interest-free loans and business coaching.
Friday, May 2, 2014 — South Asia

India’s SKS Microfinance Posts First Full Year of Profit Since Andhra Pradesh Crisis

Source: The Hindu Business Line

SKS Microfinance Ltd has posted its first full year of profit after its business took a beating due to the microfinance crisis in Andhra Pradesh.
Thursday, May 1, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

How Zidisha Sidestepped Banks and Took Microfinancing Peer-to-Peer

Source: Tech Republic

Microfinancing platform Zidisha is changing the way microlending works. By cutting out the middle man, they have drastically reduced interest rates for borrowers in the developing world.
Tuesday, April 29, 2014 — Europe & Eurasia

Jamaica Micro Financing Association Urges Microfinancers to Lend to SMEs

Source: Jamaica Observer

Chairman the Jamaica Micro Financing Association (JaMFA) Hurshel Cyrus has challenged his colleagues to increase funding to the micro, small and medium-sized (MSME) sector.
Tuesday, April 29, 2014 — South Asia

Opinion: How Aadhaar, India Post Can Transform India's Finance


In an episode, Raghav Bahl discussed the idea of setting up a new payments bank which could be a joint venture between Aadhar and India Post.
Tuesday, April 29, 2014 — South Asia

Lok Capital Sells its Stake and Leaves RuralShores Business Services

Source: The Economic Times

mpact investment firm Lok Capital has exited its portfolio company RuralShores Business Services by selling its stake in the rural business process outsourcing (BPO) company to an unnamed strategic investor.
Wednesday, April 23, 2014 — No Region Specified

Press Release: Citi Issues 2013 Global Citizenship Report

Source: Press Release

Citi today released its 14th Global Citizenship Report, an annual overview addressing the company’s social, environmental and governance achievements and challenges. The 2013 Citi Global Citizenship Report underscores Citi’s goal of enabling progress for clients and communities around the world.
Tuesday, April 22, 2014 — Asia Pacific

Microfinance Faces Uncertainty in Bangladesh

Source: The Diplomat

The Bangladesh government should reevaluate its pursuit to regulate and nationalize the operations of the Grameen Bank.
Monday, April 21, 2014 — No Region Specified

“Correlation is not causation”: Roodman takes issue with World Bank study

Source: David Roodman

The issue is standard. Correlation is not causation. The Economist makes a strikingly confident statement about how one thing affects another. The problem is that in families and villages, everything affects everything. Taking more microloans can make people wealthier or poorer. Being wealthier or poorer can make people take more microloans. The arrows go in circles. Statistics can measure correlations. How do we make the leap to causation?
Friday, April 18, 2014 — No Region Specified

Rehabilitation and attack: microcredit helps the poor after all

Source: The Economist

FOR years the reputation of microfinance—which gives tiny loans to the poorest—rose and fell in tandem with relations between Grameen Bank and the Bangladeshi government. In 2006 the bank and its head, Muhammad Yunus, won the Nobel peace prize for reducing poverty and Mr Yunus toyed with setting up a political party, supposedly with the government’s blessing. Since then several studies have found limited or no benefits from microfinance, and in 2011 (for different reasons) a new government forced Mr Yunus to resign from the bank he had founded.
Monday, April 14, 2014 — No Region Specified

In India, Bandhan’s banking licence signals competition for rural microfinance

Source: Business Standard

According to MFIs operating in rural areas, private banks have been charging interest rates of 24-26 per cent on a reducing balance.
Monday, April 14, 2014 — No Region Specified

New-concept flood insurance could help Bangladesh's poor

Source: Irin News

A new insurance scheme in which pre-determined flood thresholds trigger speedy compensation offers hope for poor people in flood-prone Bangladesh, experts say.
Friday, April 11, 2014 — No Region Specified

Value lending for MFIs to reduce risk

Source: The Financial Express

Tara Thiagarajan, chairman & MD of non-banking finance company-micro finance institution (NBFC-MFI) Madura Microfinance, is trying out a unique experiment.
Wednesday, April 9, 2014 — No Region Specified

OPINION: Microfinance institutions cannot end mass poverty in Uganda

Source: The Observer

Microfinance institutions in Uganda have over time increased especially after the liberalisation of the economy in the 1990s. Since independence, the government has initiated credit funding, anticipating a significant reduction in household poverty. However, recent studies indicate that poverty is more of a socio-cultural problem that manifests itself economically to its victims.
Wednesday, April 9, 2014 — No Region Specified

Tanzania: Microinsurance Must Be Promoted Aggressively

Source: All Africa

TANZANIA is currently working on the best approach to increase the micro insurance coverage so that low income earners can easily access it as well as other financial services.
Tuesday, April 8, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

OPINION: Only New Products Will Keep MFIs Growing in Rwanda

Source: allAfrica

Through innovation, it is possible for the sector to financially reach the unbanked population and drive home the EDPRS II objectives, especially in the rural areas.
Monday, April 7, 2014 — No Region Specified

India’s Bandhan aims to replicate its microfinance model as a full-fledged commercial bank

Source: The Hindu Business Line

Having started commercial micro-finance operations in 2005, Bandhan Financial Services Pvt Ltd is now set to become a full fledged commercial bank, headquartered in Kolkata. In an interview to Business Line, Chairman and Managing Director Chandra Shekhar Ghosh explains why Bandhan bank will bring a common man’s perspective into banking.
Monday, April 7, 2014 — No Region Specified

Commercial banks in India increasingly targeting low-income borrowers

Source: Deccan Herald

At a time when microfinance institutions (MFIs) are getting into the banking business, commercial banks too have developed a liking for lending directly to the poor -- an area until now dominated by traditional MFIs and informal lenders.
Monday, April 7, 2014 — No Region Specified

Satin Creditcare raises $4.7M from Norwegian impact investor NMI Fund

Source: VCCircle

North India-based microfinance institution (MFI) Satin Creditcare Network Limited has raised Rs 28.44 crore ($4.7 million) in a fresh round of funding from Norwegian impact investor NMI Fund III KS (NMI), as per a company statement.
Monday, April 7, 2014 — No Region Specified

Former Avon CEO Andrea Jung takes top spot at microfinance company Grameen America

Source: US News

The former head of Avon is now leading Grameen America, a group that provides small loans to poor women entrepreneurs in the U.S. Andrea Jung was CEO of the beauty products company from 1999 through April 2012 and served as chairman through the end of that year. Considered one of the most powerful women in business, she came under fire for failing to stem Avon's sales declines and left amid an overseas bribery investigation.
Friday, April 4, 2014 — No Region Specified

C S Ghosh: Tied to the bottom of the pyramid

Source: Business Standard

Chandra Shekhar Ghosh has come a long way - from Tripura to Bangladesh to West Bengal to now the national scene. The microfinance organisation Bandhan, which he founded in 2001 and helped grow, has won the right to become a full-fledged commercial bank that can and will have its branches from Srinagar to Thiruvananthapuram in the not too distant future.
Friday, April 4, 2014 — No Region Specified

Japanese microfinance fund seeks to assist small Peruvian farmers

Source: Global Post

A Japanese small-lot fund operator said Thursday it will launch a new fund with a credit cooperative in Peru to assist Peruvian small farmers, who lack access to financial services, to meet their daily farming needs.
Thursday, April 3, 2014 — South Asia

India Announces First Bank Licences in a Decade

Source: Global Post

India on Wednesday announced it was issuing two new bank licenses for the first time in a decade as it accelerates a push to bring more Indians into the formal banking system.
Thursday, April 3, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Zimbabwe’s Econet Launches Mobile Money Loan Service

Source: IT Web Africa

Zimbabwean users of the mobile money platform, EcoCash, are now able to access urgent loans of up to $500 using their cellphones.
Wednesday, April 2, 2014 — No Region Specified

Claims processing time critical to microinsurance success in Nigeria, stakeholders say

Source: Business Day

For effective take-off and maximisation of microinsurance opportunity in Nigeria following the release of operational guidelines by the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), operators must work on claims processing time for the project to succeed.
Monday, March 31, 2014 — No Region Specified

Leapfrog invests $29 million in IFMR Capital Finance

Source: Economic Times

US-based Leapfrog Investment has bought a minority stake in financial services provider IFMR Capital Finance for $29 million (Rs 174 crore). IFMR helps microfinance firms, small businesses, affordable housing companies and commercial vehicle financiers raise money on the debt markets.
Friday, March 28, 2014 — No Region Specified

Grameen Foundation announces funding boost for microfinance activities in Latin America

Source: Xperedon

US charitable foundation Grameen Foundation has announced new $500,000 match funding backing to aid its Last Mile Initiative, that’s helping lift communities from rural poverty, including farmers in Colombia and Guatemala...
Thursday, March 27, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Global MFI Investors Shift Focus from Asia to Africa

Source: Business Standard

With the MFIs realigning their fund allocations, South Asia, the traditional microfinance hub, is facing challenge from Africa for the first time
Wednesday, March 26, 2014 — No Region Specified

Opportunity International & The MasterCard Foundation Plan To Help 7M Out of Poverty With $22.7M Partnership

Source: Forbes

Opportunity International is a non-profit microfinance organization established in 1971. Over the last 42 years OI has provided $6 billion in microfinance loans and has reached over 5 million clients in 22 countries. In 2009, The MasterCard MA -1.08% Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation partnered with OI and co-funded a $16 million project to expand access to saving accounts and agricultural loans in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Wednesday, March 26, 2014 — No Region Specified

Annapurna Microfinance raises $5M in Series B funding

Source: VCCircle

Odisha-based Annapurna Microfinance Pvt Ltd (AMPL) has raised Rs 30 crore (around $5 million) in a Series B round of funding led by Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries (BIO), with participation from the existing investor Incofin Investment Management's Rural Impulse Fund II.
Wednesday, March 26, 2014 — No Region Specified

Central Bank of Nigeria gives room for microfinance bank mergers and acquisitions

Source: Business Day

There is an expectation of stronger microfinance banks (MFBs) in the country if the micro institutions that could not meet with their recapitalisation requirements, successfully engage and conclude with mergers and acquisition as they are directed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Tuesday, March 25, 2014 — No Region Specified

Microfinance 2.0: Different Methodology Could Reshape Industry

Source: The Guardian

A recent paper published by Harvard Business School and EY advocates for taking a more scientific approach to evaluating the impacts of microfinance programs.
Tuesday, March 25, 2014 — North Africa and Near East

Thomson Reuters release Islamic Social Finance Report

Source: CPI Financial

Thomson Reuters has released the Islamic Social Finance Report 2014 in collaboration with the Islamic Research and Training Institute (IRTI), a member of the Islamic Development Bank Group.
Tuesday, March 25, 2014 — South Asia

OPINION: India’s Mor Report on Financial Inclusion Doesn’t Focus Enough on Expanding Access to Credit

Source: Business Standard

The Committee on Comprehensive Financial Services for Small Businesses and Low-Income Households (the Nachiket Mor Committee on financial inclusion) has delivered a detailed report in a very short time.
Tuesday, March 25, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Why Insurers are Looking to Kenya’s Low-Income Earners for New Business

Source: Standard Digital Business

Low-income earners have traditionally been underserved when it comes to being provided with avenues to manage the risks they face every day.
Monday, March 24, 2014 — No Region Specified

Saving Nigeria’s micro-finance banking sector

Source: The Sun

The recent approval of the liquidation of 83 micro-finance banks (MFBs) by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is bad news from the banking sector. It is worrisome that as many as 83 of these institutions are going under, barely four years after 224 of them were declared insolvent in 2010, with attendant negative implications for depositors’ funds.
Thursday, March 20, 2014 — South Asia

Aavishkar Hopes to Close $75 M Frontier Fund, Take Impact Investing Model Beyond India

Source: Business Standard

Set to take its impact investing model to Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Pakistan
Wednesday, March 19, 2014 — No Region Specified

Indian banks develop a liking for microlending

Source: Live Mint

India’s microlending industry, dominated by traditional microfinance institutions (MFIs), is witnessing a re-emergence of interest from commercial banks, which are targeting low-income borrowers.
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 — Asia Pacific

Chinese NGO Aims to Tackle Poverty in Burma Through Microloans

Source: Democreatic Voice of Burma

A Chinese NGO is set to implement micro-finance programs across Burma in a bid to tackle rural poverty.
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Accion Microfinance Bank Share capital Reaches N1.205bn in Nigeria

Source: Business Day Online Nigeria

The micro finance bank’s robust financial base reflects on over N21.7billion disbursed in loans to more than 110,000 customers since inception.
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 — South Asia

Indian Microfinance Body Seeks RBI Nod for Self-regulatory Status

Source: The Times of India

Last year, the RBI had released guidelines on self-regulation by MFIs in accordance with the recommendations of the Malegam panel set up by the apex bank earlier to look into regulatory aspects of micro-lending following the Andhra Pradesh microfinance crisis of 2010.
Monday, March 17, 2014 — No Region Specified

Addressing financial exclusion in Pakistan

Source: Business Recorder

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has adopted a multi-pronged and long-term strategy to address financial exclusion through structured policy and regulatory actions besides market-development interventions.
Friday, March 14, 2014 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: Accion Supports Sale of Mibanco to Financiera Edyficar

Source: Press Release

Accion, a leader in microfinance and financial inclusion, today announced its support for the sale of Mibanco to Financiera Edyficar, which is owned by Grupo Credicorp, following the regulatory approval of the sale obtained this week.
Friday, March 14, 2014 — South Asia

Women entrepreneurs struggle for funding in India

Source: Live Mint

A majority of women entrepreneurs in India cannot access institutional finance for many reasons, including the fact that fewer of them have title rights on property that can be used as collateral.
Thursday, March 13, 2014 — South Asia

India Has Millions of Female Entrepreneurs and They Need Easier Access to Money

Source: The Wall Street Journal India

While there may not be many women occupying the executive offices of India, the country is home to literally millions of female entrepreneurs, in charge of their own tiny businesses, according to estimates by the International Finance Corp.
Wednesday, March 12, 2014 — No Region Specified

FinScope reveals significant increase in financial services inclusion in South Africa

Source: EPROP

FinMark Trust annual FinScope South Africa 2013 survey results reveals a significant increase in financial inclusion compared to last year from 28.9 million people in 2012, to 30.7 million in 2013.
Wednesday, March 12, 2014 — No Region Specified

OPINION: Islamic Microfinance can eradicate poverty in Muslim world

Source: Pakistan Observer

Half of global poverty resides in Muslim world while the Muslim population is 24% of the total global population, if the dangerously increasing poverty in the Muslim community is not controlled soon then it will be alarming. These concerns were addressed by Muhammad Zubair Mughal, Chief Executive Officer, AlHuda Centre of Islamic Banking and Economics while speaking at Islamic Microfinance Symposium held at Tunis and organized by Tunis Association of Islamic Economics with association of Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and German Donor Agency GIZ.
Tuesday, March 11, 2014 — South Asia

Microfinance Institutions Network Seeks Early Implementation of Mor Panel Report in India

Source: The Financial Express

"Our customers are demanding number of banking services from MFIs. They want services beyond loan offerings, including insurance, invesment opportunities, inter-bank trading services, where banks find it difficult to provide services due to various reasons," said Alok Prasad, chief executive officer (CEO), MFIN.
Monday, March 10, 2014 — No Region Specified

This Social Enterprise Runs A Global Crowd-funding Platform; Eyes $3-5 Million In Series B Funding

Source: Business Insider

Welcome to Milaap Social Ventures, a social enterprise operating from Bangalore and Singapore, which has developed an online crowd-funding platform to help the unbanked and the underprivileged masses in India. Simply put, Milaap (it means 'connecting together' in Hindi) offers an RBI-approved micro-lending platform that allows the organisation to receive 'loans' from all over the world.
Monday, March 10, 2014 — No Region Specified

MFIs entering new phase of stability, higher profits, says Care Ratings

Source: moneycontrol

Care Ratings today said micro finance sector is entering a phase of stable regulatory environment, higher availability of credit and increased profitability. The agency believes that MFIs are slowly coming out of the damage inflicted by the Andhra Pradesh crisis of 2010.
Monday, March 10, 2014 — No Region Specified

Women in Kenya stay united to reap benefits from micro-loans

Source: Coastweek

Women in Kenya are reaping huge from micro-lending institutions because of their ability to form groups and stay united. The women, majority who are in groups commonly known as chamas, are the biggest beneficiaries of micro-loans in the East African nation.
Thursday, March 6, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Central Bank of Nigeria Approves Liquidation of 83 Microfinance Banks – NDIC

Source: Mobile Punch Nigeria

The Managing Director, Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation, Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim, on Tuesday said that the Central Bank of Nigeria had approved the liquidation of 83 licensed microfinance banks.
Wednesday, March 5, 2014 — No Region Specified

Microlender's contest to boost Philly-region small business


Lend for Philly is a contest designed for college students. But the ultimate winner, say its organizers, will be small businesses.
Wednesday, March 5, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Matching capital with ‘space’ in unlocking Nigeria's microinsurance potential

Source: Business Day

Nigeria prepares to unlock its microinsurance potential given the country’s huge population of 170 million people and a demographic structure leaning towards the mass poor.
Tuesday, March 4, 2014 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: Accion Venture Lab Invests in eMoneyPool


March 4, 2014 – Today Accion announced an investment in digital savings company eMoneyPool (EMP) through its Venture Lab, a $10 million initiative dedicated to providing seed capital and management support to financial inclusion start-ups.
Friday, February 28, 2014 — No Region Specified

Kiva Partners with Vittana to Bolster its Student Loans Program


Kiva is one of the microfinance pioneers, helping entrepreneurs and small businesses secure loans from backers who give as little as $25. The platform, which has been around since 2005, has collected over $500 million in loans from its million-strong community.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014 — No Region Specified

Myanmar caps microfinance loans at $500, sparking MFI concerns about small business growth

Source: International Business Times

A new directive in Myanmar caps microfinance (MFI) loans at $500, which has the sector worried that small business growth could be stifled even as it expands its role within the Southeast Asian economy.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014 — No Region Specified

Central Bank of Nigeria refutes report of imminent shutdown of 600 microfinance banks

Source: WorldStage Group

The Central Bank of Nigeria CBN on Tuesday refuted a recent report that 600 microfinance banks (MFBs) were facing imminent shutdown. According to a statement by the apex bank, its Director, Other Financial Institutions Supervision Department (OFISD), Mr. Olufemi Fabamwo was quoted as saying that the story was totally untrue and misleading.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014 — No Region Specified

Airtel Money generates 30m transactions worth $1b monthly in Africa

Source: Mobile-Financial

With its activities cutting across 15 countries in Africa, the Airtel Money has been described as a significant contributor to the mobile financial sector in Africa as it generates a monthly average of 30M transactions valued at $1 billion from an active base of 5 million customers.
Tuesday, February 18, 2014 — Asia Pacific

Fears Of China's Shadow Banking Implosion Are Overblown

Source: Forbes

When China Commercial Credit, Inc. planned its IPO on NASDAQ last August, it had to cut the deal size twice because of weak investor appetite. The company ended up raising $8.9 million, only half of its original target.
Monday, February 17, 2014 — No Region Specified

Chinese microcredit firm moves into online P2P lending

Source: South China Morning Post

China Commercial Credit, the only mainland microcredit firm listed in the United States, will become the first such company to venture into peer-to-peer (P2P) lending as part of moves to expand beyond its base in Jiangsu province.
Monday, February 17, 2014 — No Region Specified

Accion to partner with Lagos on poverty alleviation

Source: All Africa

Accion Microfinance Bank (AMfB) said it is collaborating with the Lagos State government on a poverty eradication scheme. According to a statement, members of staff of the Lagos State Ministry of Commerce and Industry, led by the Director of Commerce Mr. Hakeem Adeniji, indicated this when they paid a courtesy visit to the head office of Accion recently.
Friday, February 14, 2014 — No Region Specified

OPINION: Can microfinance be self-regulated?

Source: The Hindu Business Line

The Reserve Bank’s recent announcement, recognising industry associations as self regulatory organisations (SRO) is being seen as a positive development for the microfinance industry (MFIs). But have MFI associations acquitted themselves well enough to deserve this regulatory mantle?
Thursday, February 13, 2014 — South Asia

Impact Investments Seek to Solve Social or Environmental Challenges while Generating Financial Profit

Source: Business Standard

Elevar Equity, an impact investor, is looking to raise its third fund with a target corpus of $75 million by end-2014.
Thursday, February 13, 2014 — No Region Specified

Absolving the 'Original Sin' of Microfinance

Source: The Guardian

Micro-lenders have traditionally been vulnerable to unstable local currencies, but new groups are helping them hedge
Wednesday, February 12, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Mobile cash delights tithe-eager pastors in Zimbabwe

Source: New Zimbabwe

PENTECOSTAL churches in Zimbabwe have moved to take advantage of mobile phone penetration rates now said to be about 103.5 percent and the introduction of mobile money platforms to ease their tithe worries.
Tuesday, February 11, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Why This Social Entrepreneur Is Paying African Women To Go To Free HIV Clinics

Source: Forbes

Nigerian women get a small payment everytime they’ve received a treatment in a clinic, proved by their geotagged doctors’ notes.
Tuesday, February 11, 2014 — South Asia

Reserve Bank of India Eases Lending Norms for Microfinance Institutions

Source: Live Mint

Move gives more leeway to medium-sized micro lenders to price their loans based on their cost borrowings
Monday, February 10, 2014 — No Region Specified

Somaliland: Silatech and Kaaba Microfinance Partner to Support Youth Enterprise

Source: Somaliland Sun

Silatech has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Kaaba Microfinance Institution (K-MFI), based in Somaliland, to promote youth enterprise and employment solutions. The agreement paves the way for the two organizations to jointly develop a Youth Enterprise Fund, which will provide dedicated funds and technical assistance to microfinance institutions throughout Somaliland.
Friday, February 7, 2014 — No Region Specified

Don't charge to enlarge: the effect of interest rate changes on microfinance access

Source: The Economist

A STORY in the finance section this week looks at what has happened to microfinance interest rates. To summarise briefly: we argue that as microfinance for the very poorest borrowers has expanded, microfinance institutions (MFIs) have had to raise their rates. As MFIs target poorer, less reliable customers, they need to charge higher rates to cover increased defaults and steeper funding costs.
Friday, February 7, 2014 — No Region Specified

Microinsurance could soon be sold by local grocery stores, gas stations in India

Source: Business Standard

Micro insurance products could soon be sold by local grocery stores, public call offices (PCOs), fuel outlets and ration shops in rural areas. However, insurance sector officials also believe this would hamper the need-based sale objective.
Wednesday, February 5, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Insolvency among microfinance banks could hamper Nigeria’s financial inclusion strategy

Source: Business Day

The Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) financial inclusion strategy targets a reduction of adult population financially excluded from 46 percent to 20 percent by the year 2020. This objective cannot be achieved completely without active involvement of microfinance banks (MFBs) operating in the country.
Wednesday, February 5, 2014 — South Asia

India’s SKS Microfinance recovering from Andhra Pradesh crisis

Source: Live Mint

SKS Microfinance Ltd, India’s only listed microlender, plans to raise Rs.400 crore in the next fiscal year with a maximum equity dilution of 20%.
Wednesday, February 5, 2014 — No Region Specified

Nonprofit launches the first global P2P lending platform

Source: The Sacramento Bee

Zidisha has launched its global direct microlending platform at the legendary tech startup incubator Y Combinator. Dubbed an "eBay for microlending", Zidisha is the first online P2P lending platform to link individual lenders and borrowers directly across international borders.
Wednesday, February 5, 2014 — No Region Specified

Global microfinance market expected to grow

Source: Digital Journal

Global Microfinance market to grow at a CAGR of 16.61% percent over the period 2012-2016. One of the key factors contributing to this market growth is the increased focus on the untapped markets. The Global Microfinance market has also been witnessing the formation of credit bureau for microfinance institutions. However, the issue of sustainability with respect to outreach could pose a challenge to the growth of this market.
Monday, February 3, 2014 — No Region Specified

Banking by Boat Spells New Client Growth for Indonesia’s Bank Rakyat

Source: Bloomberg

The absence of cash machines on many of Indonesia’s Spice Islands, where cloves and nutmeg once made sultans and European explorers wealthy, means banking is often done on boats that can carry automated teller machines.
Friday, January 31, 2014 — No Region Specified

Poor service: Tiny loans are getting more expensive

Source: The Economist

INTEREST on the minuscule loans made by microfinance outfits has always been high, but over the past few years it has become even higher. A recent paper, using data on over 1,500 microfinance institutions (MFIs) from around the world, shows that for the smallest loans, typically less than $150, the average rate climbed steadily from 30% in 2004 to 35% in 2011.*
Thursday, January 30, 2014 — Asia Pacific

Microinsurance coverage rises in the Philippines

Source: Business World Online

Over 19 million Filipinos are covered by microinsurance, more than six times the number recorded five years ago, the Department of Finance yesterday reported.
Thursday, January 30, 2014 — No Region Specified

Microfinance, macro risk

Source: Social Enterprise Buzz

MFX supports lending to entrepreneurs in low-income countries by offering currency swaps and forward contracts to international micro, small, and medium enterprise lenders to offset the risk they take when lending in the local currency of their borrowers.
Wednesday, January 29, 2014 — No Region Specified

Online microfinance platform RangDe invites equity investments for social benefit

Source: The Economic Times

A not-for-profit company, infused with the commitment and passion of 'jholawala' NGOs and adorned by the rigour and trappings of a true-blue business entity, is inviting equity investments from donors-investors with the promise of returning their principal anytime they want after two years.
Tuesday, January 28, 2014 — South Asia

Tiny Loans Are Big Business Once Again in India

Source: India Real Time - The Wall Street Journal

Lending to India’s poor is a good business once again.
Monday, January 27, 2014 — No Region Specified

African Guarantee Fund, Diamond Bank In $25m Microfinance Deal

Source: Ventures

African Guarantee Fund (AGF) has entered into an agreement with Diamond Bank to support the lender’s microcredit to small businesses in the region to the tune of $25 Million.
Monday, January 27, 2014 — No Region Specified

10,000 toilets to be built annually with microfinance in rural India

Source: Times of India

An NGO, Gramalaya, and a microfinance firm called Guardian have been implementing the sanitation project by providing financial loans to villagers to build toilets. They have also secured the support of government authorities to initiate the project.
Thursday, January 23, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Safaricom launches mobile micro-insurance service

Source: Human IPO

Kenyan operator Safaricom, Britam and Changamka Health have launched a micro-insurance health cover service which enables Kenyans to make contributions via M-Pesa, looking to increase the level of medical insurance cover in the country.
Tuesday, January 21, 2014 — South Asia

Microfinance as a tool for empowering conflict-affected communities

Source: Daily FT

At a recently-held seminar organised by the Pathfinder Foundation in Colombo, a paper and three presentations were publicised under the theme ‘microfinance as a tool for empowering conflict-affected communities’.
Monday, January 20, 2014 — No Region Specified

Insurers struggle to get micro-insurance agents

Source: Business Standard

Micro-insurance or micro agent was a channel in the insurance industry that was developed for deeper penetration of insurance into India. However, with smaller ticket size coupled with low commissions, this channel has seen low participation from distributors.
Thursday, January 16, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Ghana to limit microfinance licenses

Source: Spy Ghana

Bank of Ghana (BoG) seeks to put a ceiling on the rising number of microfinance companies in the country.
Monday, January 13, 2014 — No Region Specified

International funding for financial inclusion climbs to $29 billion in 2012 - survey

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation

Global spending on financial inclusion increased by an estimated 12 percent in 2012, totaling $29 billion, according to a survey by a World Bank financial inclusion think tank.
Monday, January 13, 2014 — No Region Specified

From Corner Store to Microfinance

Source: The Wall Street Journal

With a master's degree in social work and a Ph.D. in marriage and family therapy, Antoinette Temporiti spent 30 years counseling individuals and families. She specialized in working with young adult victims of sexual abuse and loved her career. But a trip to Africa in 2004, when she was 54 years old, set her on a new path.
Friday, January 10, 2014 — No Region Specified

Expanding Financial Access and Education

Source: Council on Foreign Relations

For several decades, the exciting promise of microfinance has been to provide the world’s poorest with access to financial services. But along the way, microfinance has too often become conflated with micro-credit. Now, however, many MFIs have reincorporated as banks with the ability to accept savings, and the full promise of microfinance is beginning to be realized.
Thursday, January 9, 2014 — Asia Pacific

P2P lending service Renrendai handed $130 million to get a head start in China’s microfinance sector

Source: Tech In Asia

Renrendai reported it facilitated RMB 1 billion ($165.2 million) in loans as of August 2013, with a 276 percent year-on-year increase in the first half of last year.
Tuesday, January 7, 2014 — No Region Specified

Press Release: Deutsche Bank Reaches $100 Million Commitment Target for its Client-Centric Microfinance Fund

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Deutsche Bank announced today it has reached the USD 100 million commitment target for Global Commercial Microfinance Consortium II ("Consortium II"), a first-ever fund to support the growth of microfinance institutions ("MFIs") that pursue a high level of client care, transparency of operations and pricing, and product innovation.
Thursday, January 2, 2014 — South Asia

Opinion : ‘FDI in micro finance will help Muslims’ in India

Source: The Hindu Business Line

Studies show that hundreds of Women Self Help Groups and co-operative societies created at Muslim-populated areas were denied recognition as the members were only Muslims.
Tuesday, December 31, 2013 — Asia Pacific

Small loans a big help for typhoon survivors in the Philippines

Source: CNN

The typhoon affected more than 13 million people, including 5 million children, according to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Even before the storm, nearly 44% of Filipinos lived on less than $2 day and there are now fewer resources than ever to help those in need.
Friday, December 27, 2013 — No Region Specified

Enterprise Resource Planning: Use Small Business Loans for Enterprise Software

Source: Triple Pundit

Discover how enterprise resource planning, or ERP, can help you grow your small business. ERP software helps you integrate your company’s small business software for a quicker, more flexible business process. Use small business loans or lines of credit to cover ERP expenses.
Thursday, December 19, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Ghana: Banks Struggle to Mobilize Savings, as MFIs Take Deep Bite

Source: Syminvest

The reserves of commercial banks in the country have been on consistent decline since the first quarter of the year following a sharp increase in the withdrawal of deposits and saving by their customers.
Thursday, December 19, 2013 — No Region Specified

Incofin Investment Management endorses need for agricultural finance by launching new $200 million agRIF fund

Source: Microfinance Gateway

Incofin Investment Management (IM) is seeking to raise around USD 200 million for its new agRIF fund which will focus on the unmet global demand for financial services that target smallholder farmers.
Wednesday, December 18, 2013 — No Region Specified

Microfinance’s macro potential

Source: Economia

Microfinance is, at its heart, an effort to provide financial services to people who are not served – or are under-served – by the formal banking system. With appropriate, accessible, and fairly priced financial services, people can build their savings, cover the costs of unexpected emergencies, and invest in their families’ health, housing, and education.
Monday, December 16, 2013 — No Region Specified

In the Pacific, banks go branchless to reach the unbanked

Source: Islands Business

Branchless banking, mobile banking, mobile “wallets”, innovations in financial services are seeing thousands of poor and low-income people use their mobile phones to enter the financial system for the first time; to open accounts, get paid, save money and begin to move out of poverty.
Monday, December 16, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

In Nigeria, Accion disburses N22 billion in loans

Source: All Africa

Accion Microfinance Bank Limited has announced that the total amount of loans disbursed to customers since 2007 when it commenced operations currently stood at N21.7 billion.
Monday, December 16, 2013 — No Region Specified

Microlender Kiva gets $3M grant from Google; Aims to tackle microfinance 2.0

Source: Forbes

Late last week Google’s philanthropic arm announced it had chosen to give online microlender Kiva a Global Impact Award, which comes with a grant of $3 million.
Tuesday, December 10, 2013 — No Region Specified

Can microenterprises grow through finance?

Source: World Bank Blogs

For some time, microfinance has been a hot topic within the development community. Many researchers and practitioners see it as a way for people to smooth their consumption over time and thus avoid the effects of bad periods.
Tuesday, December 10, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

LeapFrog Investments divests Ghanaian insurance firm Express Life to Prudential

Source: Venture Capital Post

Specialist investor LeapFrog Investments has divested the majority stake it holds in Express Life to Prudential Plc. Express Life is an insurance firm based in Ghana founded by Obed Danquah.
Tuesday, December 10, 2013 — South Asia

Bangladesh’s top MFIs widen areas of operation in the social sector

Source: The Financial Express

Top microfinance institutions (MFIs), besides their prime focus on microcredit, have widened their areas of services in various social sectors like education, health, agriculture and disaster management
Monday, December 9, 2013 — No Region Specified

In a first, MFI customers to be given credit scores

Source: The Hindu Business Line

For the first time in India, a credit bureau is offering scores to help understand the credit profile of microfinance customers.
Monday, December 9, 2013 — No Region Specified

Big banks see rich opportunities in world's poorest

Source: Reuters

When the Afghan government used mobile phones instead of cash to pay some of its policemen, the officers thought they'd just had a 30 percent pay rise. In truth, they had just been paid the full amount, with nothing skimmed off by middlemen, for the first time.
Friday, December 6, 2013 — South Asia

Accion International urges India’s Reserve Bank to allow financial access to the physically disadvantaged

Source: The Economic Times

"People with disabilities should get financial access, organisation should not be discriminated against. The issues has to do with physical conditions and discrimination of specific conditions." - Accion International Managing Director
Friday, December 6, 2013 — South Asia

Microfinance has failed in India: Jairam Ramesh

Source: Hindustan Times

"Microfinance 1.0 has failed. It was not the miracle it was touted to be," said Union rural development minister Jairam Ramesh at the HT Leadership Summit 2013 on Friday.
Thursday, December 5, 2013 — No Region Specified

Why many in SKS Microfinance Ltd love to hate its founder

Source: Live Mint

Akula believes that microfinance is a core solution to global poverty and yet it could be highly profitable, a balance all microfinance entities are struggling to achieve.
Wednesday, December 4, 2013 — South Asia

How a money-tracking tool is helping businesses grow in India

Source: PBS Newshour

While growing up in northern India, Shivani Siroya says she encountered entrepreneurs on a regular basis. Now, she's helping them track their finances in order to boost their businesses.
Wednesday, December 4, 2013 — No Region Specified

Microfinance empowering women in un-banked villages

Source: The Hindu Business Line

Sa-Dhan, an umbrella of microfinance groups, hopes pending Bill will bring down interest rates.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013 — No Region Specified

Microloans Finance a Path to U.S. Citizenship

Source: American Banker

In the past 18 months, a Californian bank has helped more than 300 legal permanent residents attain citizenship by extending them a $1,000 loan.
Monday, December 2, 2013 — No Region Specified

Citi Microfinance sponsors women's World Banking Conference in Jordan

Source: Press Release

Under the patronage of Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah, The Women's World Banking (WWB) MENA Conference, titled 'Building Women-Focused Finance: The Global-Local Experience', was held lately in Amman.
Tuesday, November 26, 2013 — No Region Specified

Leveraging Financial Inclusion to Promote Economic Development in Egypt

Source: Global Arab Network

Egyptian policymakers are facing a significant challenge: how to address acute economic challenges while managing ongoing political and social transitions.
Friday, November 22, 2013 — No Region Specified

Finding Macro Solutions for Microfinance

Source: Institutional Investor

Small loans to give backcountry villagers a modest start toward entrepreneurship — the bright idea that brought Muhammad Yunus the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006, 30 years after he founded Grameen Bank in Bangladesh — is by now a fading ideal.
Tuesday, November 19, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Microcredit has been a disaster for the poorest in South Africa

Source: The Guardian

The finance model was supposed to help the country's disenfranchised, but has just pushed them further into debt
Monday, November 18, 2013 — No Region Specified

Kenyan businesses offer global insight

Source: The Star

A number of business models originating in the country have offered global lessons on financial inclusion, ranging from mobile money, banking to insurance.The World Bank, in a new report titled ‘Global Financial Development Report 2014: Financial Inclusion’, cites various examples of success of various business models in the country that have helped deepen financial inclusion.
Friday, November 15, 2013 — No Region Specified

Citi, OPIC and Bank Of Georgia Support Growth of Microfinance Sector in Georgia with $10 Million Term Funding

Source: Press Release

New York – Citi, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), and the Bank of Georgia announced the closing of a USD $10 million term loan to fund the growth of Bank of Georgia’s Microfinance portfolio to promote the financial inclusion of micro-entrepreneurs and small businesses in the Republic of Georgia.
Monday, November 11, 2013 — No Region Specified

Why Micro-Lending Needs A Vision Lift

Source: Forbes

For most people, the term ‘micro-lending’ connotes lending micro amounts of money to low-income people to help them build a micro-business. When entrepreneurs achieve these modest goals, everyone heaves a sigh of relief. Is this a case of being satisfied with modest goals, i.e. aim low and settle for little?
Thursday, November 7, 2013 — No Region Specified

New Micro Lending Program to Pump Cash into Detroit

Source: Fox Business

Amid the Motor City’s ongoing bankruptcy eligibility trial, the launch of a new lending program is likely welcomed news for Detroit small businesses.
Tuesday, November 5, 2013 — No Region Specified

Premal Shah: Loans That Change Lives

Source: Forbes

An interview with former PayPal product manager Premal Shah, who today heads Kiva, a global microfinance organization.
Friday, November 1, 2013 — South Asia

SKS Microfinance poised to make a clean break from the past

Source: The Economic Times

If Vikram Akula, the disgraced founder of SKS Microfinance, is attempting a back-door entry into the company, then something in it is attractive again.
Thursday, October 31, 2013 — No Region Specified

Micro-finance: the fuel or fall of entrepreneurship in emerging markets?

Source: Ventureburn

The advent of micro-finance has ignited hopes that micro-entrepreneurs would now have one less obstacle in their way.
Tuesday, October 29, 2013 — No Region Specified

Citi’s CEO talks of bank’s microfinance initiatives

Source: MarketWatch

Citigroup has long had a major position in emerging markets including in South America, Asia and Africa, and at an event in London CEO Mike Corbat discussed the bank’s efforts in microfinance.
Monday, October 28, 2013 — Asia Pacific

The Bangladesh poor selling organs to pay debts

Source: BBC News

Millions of rural Bangladeshis, grow up facing a life of hardship. In an attempt to alleviate poverty, countless numbers take on debt with microcredit lenders, only to find themselves in a difficult situation when they are unable to repay the loan.
Friday, October 25, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Developing the Microfinance Movement for Smallholder Farmers

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation

Although the agriculture sector is continually developing new technologies and strategies to help farmers grow more food, smallholder farm families lack the capital to invest in improved seed, fertilizer, and training.
Wednesday, October 23, 2013 — No Region Specified

11 verdicts on microfinance

Source: The Guardian

Can smarter regulation restore faith in microfinance or does it need to be completely overhauled? Our live chat panelists offer their thoughts on development's controversial sector.
Wednesday, October 23, 2013 — Asia Pacific

Alibaba issues China’s first microloan securitization

Source: The Asahi Shimbun

Orient Securities and Alibaba have issued the nation’s first securitized product backed by microloans.
Tuesday, October 22, 2013 — No Region Specified

Microfinance Apex Bank Proposed in Ghana

Source: Spy Ghana

Speedy establishment of a Microfinance Apex Bank has been proposed to bolster the microfinance sector, critical for poverty reduction through financial empowerment of low-income people.
Friday, October 18, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Nigeria's Bank of Industry Seeks to Empower Women with Financial Inclusion Strategy

Source: The Guardian (Nigeria)

For Nigeria to realise its economic goals, a paradigm shift in the nation’s financial inclusion strategy may have become imperative. This was the view of the Managing Director, Bank of Industry (BoI), Ms. Evelyn Oputu during at the microfinance conference organized by LAPO Microfinance Bank Limited in Lagos, yesterday.
Thursday, October 17, 2013 — No Region Specified

India's Microfinance Industry Close to Being 100% Insured Sector

Source: Business Standard

Barely two years ago, a crisis-ridden microfinance sector was struggling to integrate into the formal finance sector. In 2013, the sector is close to being 100 percent insured.
Wednesday, October 16, 2013 — No Region Specified

Child & Youth (Micro)Finance

Source: Huffington Post

The Child and Youth Finance global movement was launched in 2012 as a way to empower, include and educate children and youth all over the world.
Wednesday, October 16, 2013 — No Region Specified

Micro-Lending Empowers Entrepreneurs Around The World

Source: Forbes

Founded in 2005 by Matt Flannery, Jessica Jackley, and Premal Shah, Kiva has grown from lending $500,000 in its first year to lending over $1.5 million per week in 2012.
Monday, October 14, 2013 — Latin America

First Microfinance Institutions in Latin America Certified for Strong Client Protection Practices

Source: Smart Campaign

The Smart Campaign, a global initiative to incorporate strong client protection practices across the microfinance industry, announced the first three microfinance institutions in Latin America to become Client Protection Certified.
Monday, October 14, 2013 — Latin America

Small loans, big smiles in Mexico’s Oaxaca

Source: Seattle Times

A microfinance nonprofit offers tours to meet Mexican women in their small businesses — and your tour dollars go to new loans.
Monday, October 14, 2013 — No Region Specified

Microfinance key to achieve MDGs–Nobel awardee

Source: Business Mirror

JUST like microcredit, Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus, founder of Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, said on Friday the banking system needs to be redesigned so it can provide everybody access to financial services.
Friday, October 11, 2013 — No Region Specified

Policy interventions go wrong

Source: Business Standard

It is a classic case of a government policy going horribly wrong. It was intended to protect consumers' right, but it ended up hurting them the most. When the Andhra Pradesh government sought to restrict microfinance institutions' (MFI) activities in December 2010, it was with good intentions.
Thursday, October 10, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Nigeria: Microfinance Banks Need More Financial Empowerment

Source: All Africa

The Managing Director, Fortis Micofinance Bank Plc, Mr. Kunle Oketikun has called for more financial empowerment for Nigerians.
Tuesday, October 8, 2013 — Asia Pacific

World Bank president to open 2013 Microcredit Summit

Source: Sun Star Manila

World Bank president Jim Yong Kim will open the 2013 Microcredit Summit: Partnerships against Poverty on October 9 with a recorded statement urging the nearly 800 delegates from 69 countries to commit themselves to the advancement of microfinance to end extreme poverty.
Wednesday, October 2, 2013 — No Region Specified

The Sharks of Microfinance and the Future of Impact Investing

Source: Huffington Post

Both impact investing and microfinance are market-based solutions designed to address economic gaps within society. However, the notion of profiting from the poor is still a contentious debate at the cornerstone of these modern financial innovations, and impact investing is no exception with its primary target being emerging markets.
Tuesday, October 1, 2013 — South Asia

Indian micro-lenders look beyond Andhra Pradesh for survival

Source: Business Standard

Micro-lenders claim that new rules have turned their businesses unviable and encouraged borrowers to not repay money.
Monday, September 30, 2013 — No Region Specified

Micro lenders eye growth paths in Myanmar

Source: Myanmar Times

World Vision is attempting to become the first NGO to obtain a commercial license for its Microfinance Institution (MFI) arm in Myanmar, as the industry increasingly professionalizes, more commercial players enter and rules governing the sector are established.
Friday, September 27, 2013 — No Region Specified

Not Your Mother's Microfinance

Source: Huffington Post

Forward-thinking small business owners across the developing world are turning to the online space as an alternative source of small business loans.
Wednesday, September 25, 2013 — No Region Specified

SKS Microfinance Limited to go for image makeover

Source: The Times of India

HYDERABAD: Battered by the AP MFI crisis, SKS Microfinance Limited, India's sole listed microfinance company said it had roped in one of the leading global marketing strategists Jack Trout to revamp its image.
Wednesday, September 25, 2013 — No Region Specified

Sustainability Certification Dramatically Improves Smallholder Farms’ Access to Credit, New Study Finds

Source: Rainforest Alliance

Smallholder farmers suffer from a lack of credit access, but sustainability certification can help change that, according to a new study published by the Rainforest Alliance and funded by the Citi Foundation.
Monday, September 23, 2013 — No Region Specified

Microloans Typically Used to Alleviate Poverty Abroad Surging in Silicon Valley

Source: The Republic

When Silicon Valley small businesses needed an influx of cash, and fast, they didn't find help at a bank. They turned instead to a type of financing more commonly associated with buying a sewing machine for a Guatemalan tailor or a tractor for an African farmer. Microlending, a decades old form of financing for the world's poorest, is now booming in Silicon Valley.
Monday, September 23, 2013 — No Region Specified

Grameen Bank to be Controlled Directly

Source: The Daily Star

The government is finally bringing the Grameen Bank under direct control of the central bank, to give the authorities more powers over the microcredit organisation. The decision is in line with the proposals of the government-sponsored Grameen Bank Commission, which recommended bringing the bank under the regulatory control of either the Bangladesh Bank or the Microcredit Regulatory Authority to better monitor its activities.
Tuesday, September 17, 2013 — South Asia

Vikram Akula tries a second coming at SKS Microfinance

Source: Hindustan Times

Vikram Akula, the poster boy of Indian microfinance who ran into trouble in the company he founded after it was listed, may be eyeing a return to its top post, with a key shareholder backing him.
Friday, September 6, 2013 — No Region Specified

Microinsurance: Can the Cinderella of Financial Inclusion Join the Global Ball?

Source: CFI Blog

The global financial inclusion agenda continues to place insurance at the back of the queue when it comes to funding and broader financial inclusion strategies.
Friday, August 30, 2013 — South Asia

Matt Damon Tries to Get Clean Water and Toilets for India’s Poor

Source: The New York Times

Matt Damon finds it a challenge to get people to care about water. It’s why he was in India from Aug. 23 to 26 on a four-day tour. Not to promote his latest film Elysium, a sci-fi dystopia with a socialist underpinning, but to help the rural and urban poor in India get access to clean water and sanitation by investing in tube wells, hand pumps and toilets with proper drainage facilities.
Thursday, August 29, 2013 — South Asia

Seminar on Islamic microfinance: SBP stresses upon Islamic finance industry to develop Islamic microfinance

Source: Daily Times

State Bank of Pakistan has stressed upon the Islamic finance industry should take steps to make individual as well as collaborative efforts to develop Islamic microfinance in the country.
Wednesday, August 28, 2013 — No Region Specified

Rethinking microfinance's role in fight against poverty

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation

Much has been said about microfinance. Heralded once as the ultimate tool for alleviating poverty worldwide, it was badly hit by accusations of illegal and immoral practices in India’s Andhra Pradesh in 2010-2011 and, since then, has lost some of its shine.
Thursday, August 15, 2013 — South Asia

Vinod Khosla-backed Unitus Seed Fund to invest up to Rs 1 cr in Caravan Craft

Source: The Economic Times

Unitus Seed Fund, backed by marquee investor Vinod Khosla has made its third investment of the year, funding Bangalore-based Caravan Craft Retail, as capital flow increases for social ventures in areas beyond micro-finance.
Tuesday, August 13, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Rwanda: NGO, Micro-Finance Partner to Promote Savings for Education

Source: allAfrica

GLOBAL COMMUNITIES, an international non-governmental organisation, in partnership with Duterimbere IMF, a local Micro-finance institution, has launched a campaign aimed at encouraging residents, especially parents, to save part of their income to educate their children.
Monday, August 12, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Rural Impulse Fund II and Agora Microfinance N.V. take equity stakes in AMK Cambodia

Source: Press Release

Antwerp/London, 08 August 2013 – Incofin IM’s Rural Impulse Fund II (RIF II) and Agora Microfinance N.V. (AMNV), a microfinance holding company, have both acquired significant minority stakes in the microfinance institution (MFI) AMK Cambodia. This well-established MFI is the country’s market leader in terms of both outreach and its application of social performance research.
Wednesday, August 7, 2013 — South Asia

Bangladesh denies plan to take over Grameen

Source: AFP/Fox News

Bangladesh denied on Tuesday that it plans to take control of pioneering microlender Grameen Bank which has lifted millions of people out of poverty. The statement by a government spokesman came ahead of the release of a report by a commission expected to recommend that the government increase its stake in the Nobel-Prize winning bank to 51 percent from 25 percent.
Tuesday, July 30, 2013 — South Asia

Vikram Akula eyes a comeback to SKS Microfinance

Source: Hindustan Times

Vikram Akula, the one-time poster boy of microfinance in India and founder-chairman of SKS Microfinance, is trying to make a comeback to the very company he founded in 1998 but had lost control two years ago.
Monday, July 29, 2013 — No Region Specified

New legislation to regulate micro finance companies

Source: The Sunday Times

Legislation to regulate and supervise microfinance institutions, including finance companies and banks accepting deposits from the public, will be introduced in Parliament.
Tuesday, July 23, 2013 — South Asia

Indonesia’s Microfinance Industry Faces Overwhelming Demand

Source: The Jakarta Globe

A tattooed man briefly interrupted Wastiri as he ducked into her roadside stall, taking a seat alongside the slow-moving traffic that crawled down the narrow Tanjung Priok street. She flashed him a smile as he greeted her, beaming wide and toothless from her perch atop a worn wooden bench.
Tuesday, July 23, 2013 — South Asia

Microfinance sector being gender biased?

Source: Business Recorder

Women represent 59 percent of the total microfinance borrowers in Pakistan, says a World Bank report titled "Are Pakistani women being served by the Microfinance Sector". This share is seemingly an impressive proportion for a male dominated society like Pakistan. Now take a step back and look beyond the numbers. Around 50-70 percent of the micro-loans drawn by women are passed on to male members of their family.
Monday, July 22, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

The Good Nurses of Busia County

Source: The Huffington Post

When Aditi and I arrived in Busia, dust-splayed and weather-beaten on the shared backseat of a boda boda, we did not look like your average tourists.
Thursday, July 11, 2013 — South Asia

Crowdsourced microlending platform Milaap raises $1.1M from Jungle Ventures, Skype co-founder & others


Singapore- and Bangalore-based online microlending platform Milaap Social Ventures has raised $1.1 million (around Rs 6.6 crore) from Singapore-based Jungle Ventures and others for development of the platform and scale up its operations with more marketing and engineering, according to a company statement.
Thursday, June 27, 2013 — Latin America

Studies on Mexican microlender shed light on profit, poverty

Source: Reuters

Mexico's microfinancing bank Compartamos, accused by activists of exploiting poor borrowers with exorbitant interest rates, has generally helped people but could cut the interest it charges without hurting its bottom line, a pair of studies has found.
Wednesday, June 26, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Microfinance Banks invest N222bn in Nigerian economy – Association

Source: Premium Times

The National Association of Microfinance Banks (NAMB) on Saturday in Abuja said its members have invested more than N222 billion into Nigeria’s economy.
Wednesday, May 8, 2013 — No Region Specified

A Microlender Backs Startups to Bring More Than Loans to the Poor

Source: Bloomberg Businessweek

Microlending has lost a lot of its shine in the seven years since Muhammad Yunus won the Nobel Peace Prize for delivering small loans to help poor women start businesses.
Friday, May 3, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Banishing poverty through banking

Source: The Guardian

Access to financial services could pull millions of people out of poverty, so where does microfinance fit in?
Friday, April 19, 2013 — South Asia

Applications Open for Indian “Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2013”

Source: Press Release

The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, a Switzerland-based nonprofit, and the Jubilant Bhartia Foundation, an Indian nonprofit, have announced that they are now accepting applications for the 2013 Indian “Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award.”
Wednesday, April 17, 2013 — North Africa and Near East

Beyond Profit: A Talk With Muhammad Yunus

Source: The New York Times

Today, in a ceremony at the United States Capitol, Congressional leaders will present the founder of the Grameen Bank, Muhammad Yunus, with the Congressional Gold Medal in recognition of his “efforts to combat global poverty.”
Wednesday, April 17, 2013 — Asia Pacific

Micro loans reverse poverty cycle

Source: The Australian

With an average loan of about $150, more than two million families in India, Indonesia, The Philippines, China and Ghana are leaving poverty behind thanks to Opportunity International Australia.
Monday, March 18, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

LAPO Boss: Microfinance Industry Needs Intellectual Leadership

Source: The Guardian

LIFT Above Poverty Organisation (LAPO) operated as a pro-poor non-government organisation (NGO) more than two decades before it was licensed a microfinance institution in 2010. The same year it was recognised by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as a micro lender, it paid out N21.9 billion loans.
Tuesday, March 5, 2013 — South Asia

Microcredit loans fall for first time in 13 years

Source: The Globe and Mail

The number of people around the world who have access to microcredit financing has fallen for the first time in 13 years, reflecting turmoil in the sector and the fallout from the global financial crisis.
Tuesday, January 8, 2013 — Asia Pacific

Chinese microcredit firms lend 600 bln yuan

Source: People's Daily Online

BEIJING, Jan. 8 (Xinhua) -- Chinese microcredit companies reported 600 billion yuan (96.31 billion U.S. dollars) in outstanding loans by the end of last year, up 52 percent year on year, an association head said Tuesday.
Wednesday, January 2, 2013 — Latin America

Paying with 'kisses' as Brazil’s social currencies spread

Source: BBC

Shopkeeper Heraldo Rodrigues da Silva, 55, owns a small store in Sao Benedito, one of the poorest neighbourhoods in Vitoria, the capital of the Brazilian state of Espirito Santo.
Thursday, December 27, 2012 — South Asia

AP microfinance crisis helped Bandhan grow by over 50%

Source: The Hindu Business Line

At a time when many microfinance companies are still reeling under pressure following the crisis in Andhra Pradesh about two years ago, Kolkata-based Bandhan Financial Services is planning to expand. The company plans to apply for a banking licence as and when the Reserve Bank of India comes out with the final guidelines on the subject.
Monday, December 10, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Adult population access to MFBs swells by 4.6m

Source: Business Day

The number of adult population that have a microfinance bank account rose to 4.6 million or 5.2 percent in 2012 as against 3.2 million or 3.8 percent in 2010, representing 1.2 million increase, according to Enhancing Financial Innovation & Access (EFInA)’s access to financial services in Nigeria 2012 survey report.
Friday, November 30, 2012 — No Region Specified

Impact Investing’s Next Hurdle: Better Networking

Source: Knowledge@Wharton

Tess Mateo is a matchmaker. Her job is to interest private investors in projects throughout the world that will improve the quality of life for people and protect the environment. It is not unusual for her to touch down on four continents in the same number of weeks.
Friday, November 30, 2012 — No Region Specified

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: MasterCard Foundation, CGAP Announce $11.4m Partnership for Branchless Banking, Client Research


The MasterCard Foundation, a Canada-based nongovernmental organization (NGO) supporting microfinance and education, and CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor), a US-based nonprofit policy and research center, recently announced a USD 11.4 million partnership to develop low-cost financial products to assist people living in poverty.
Thursday, November 29, 2012 — North Africa and Near East

Symbiotics’ impact bond issuance platform lends 10 million dollars to AccessBank in Azerbaijan

Source: Press Release

Azerbaijan’s leading microfinance bank, AccessBank, received 10 million dollars through MSME Bonds, Symbiotics’ impact bond issuance platform, on November 20, 2012.
Wednesday, November 28, 2012 — South Asia

Accion’s Frontier Investments Group and Saama Capital Invest $4 Million in Mortgage Company

Source: Sacramento Bee

Early-Stage Equity to Help Expand Shubham Housing's Mission to Serve Urban Poor
Tuesday, November 27, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

M-Shwari platform set to shake up small loans market

Source: Business Daily Africa

Safaricom subscribers can now operate mobile-based savings accounts, earn interest on their deposits and borrow small loans in a move set to raise competition against banks, saccos and shylocks.
Monday, November 19, 2012 — South Asia

‘We are now treading cautiously on lending’

Source: The Hindu Business Line

Dena Bank Chairperson and Managing Director Nupur Mitra, who is due to retire on December 31 this year, feels that customers at the bottom of the pyramid offer lot of opportunities for banks to expand business.
Wednesday, November 14, 2012 — South Asia

My new book will talk about SKS experience: Vikram Akula

Source: Business Standard

A candid account of what went wrong at SKS Microfinance Ltd during 2009-11 is in the offing. Founder and former chairman of SKS Microfinance, Vikram Akula, tells Santosh Tiwari in an interview he was working on his new book, which will focus on his SKS experience and lessons learnt.
Friday, November 9, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Accion Microfinance Bank Named Nigeria’s Best Microfinance Bank of the Year

Source: Press Release

The Lagos State Enterprise (LEAD) Awards has selected Accion Microfinance Bank Limited (MfB) as Nigeria’s “Best Microfinance Bank of the Year” for the second consecutive year. The selection, by an industry research group for the LEAD awards, was based on Accion MfB’s ‘excellent performance and deep understanding of microlending in the microfinance sector.’
Wednesday, October 31, 2012 — No Region Specified

Habitat for Humanity and the Citi Foundation Unveil Housing Microfinance Toolkit


Habitat for Humanity and the Citi Foundation announced the publication of a new toolkit designed to provide technical training and tools to encourage microfinance institutions to include or enhance housing microfinance products in their portfolios. The Housing Microfinance: Product Development Toolkit is intended to influence the $60 billion global microfinance sector, resulting in small, affordable loans that low-income families can use to improve their housing incrementally.
Monday, October 29, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

N220bn MFBs' fund to drive development, financial inclusion

Source: Punch Nigeria

The Federal Government is set to launch a N220bn fund to enable Nigerian businesses and citizens that lack access to traditional financial services access such services at a much lower cost. The Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Lamido Sanusi, said this at a press conference on the National Financial Inclusion Strategy in Abuja on Wednesday.
Wednesday, October 24, 2012 — South Asia

P Chidambaram urges banks to lend more to the poor

Source: Times of India

By saying banks need to lend more to the poor, Union finance minister P Chidambaram is on the right track. There is no denying that India continues to be a significantly under-banked country. Around 41% of the population is unbanked, with the figure touching as high as 61% in rural areas.
Wednesday, October 24, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Meet The Man Who’s Shaping Africa’s Future

Source: Ventures Africa

VENTURES AFRICA – Just like the great American civil right activist Martin Luther King Jnr. had a dream of an equal social existence, so did Ghanaian-born entrepreneur, Fred Swaniker, dream to build a Pan-African school that will position the new generation of African youth towards prosperity in future years. His mission was to give the African child a network of successful peers to tap for job opportunities, mentoring and career guidance.
Wednesday, October 17, 2012 — No Region Specified

Release of 2012 MIV Survey – growth stabilizes in spite of lower rates and investor redemptions

Source: Press Release

Washington D.C., October 16, 2012 – Today MicroRate released The State of Microfinance Investment 2012, which finds that microfinance investment has stabilized into a lower growth rate following the global financial crisis.
Tuesday, October 16, 2012 — North Africa and Near East

Egypt’s NBD allocates EGP 200 million to finance micro-enterprises

Source: CPI Financial

National Bank for Development (NBD) has allocated EGP 200 million towards providing funding for small and micro enterprises, and designed a comprehensive range of funding programmes that are Shari'ah-compliant.
Monday, October 15, 2012 — Latin America

Muhammad Yunus announces financing in Haiti

Source: Associated Press

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Nobel peace laureate Mohammad Yunus announced Saturday that his pro-business development group is financing several endeavors through a mix of loans and equity.
Wednesday, October 10, 2012 — Asia Pacific

Oxfam launches fund to make 'impact investments' in the developing world

Source: Third Sector

The overseas aid charity is linking up with the City of London Corporation and Symbiotics to help small and medium-sized enterprises, with the first investment in Mongolia
Wednesday, October 10, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Samsung, KWFT pact to boost mobile banking

Source: Capital FM

NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 10 – Samsung has partnered with local microfinance solutions provider, Kenya Women Finance Trust – Deposit Taking Microfinance (KWFT-DTM) to promote the uptake of mobile technology solutions among women.
Friday, October 5, 2012 — Europe & Eurasia

Kyrgyzstan's Leading Microfinance Institution, Bai Tushum, Becomes A Bank

Source: The Herald Online

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan, Oct. 5, 2012 — /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On September 26 microfinance company Bai Tushum and Partners received preliminary permission from the National Bank of the Kyrgyz Republic to operate as a bank.
Thursday, October 4, 2012 — Latin America

Accion Invests $3 Million in Mobile Services Provider Tiaxa

Source: Press Release

Accion announced today that its Frontier Investments Group has invested US$3 million in Zonamovil Inc. (“Tiaxa”), a Chilean provider of managed services for the wireless telecom market. For more than 10 years, Tiaxa has provided mobile network operators globally with billing and rating services for prepaid mobile phone users, as well as innovative financial and business intelligence services that increase operator revenues and improve user satisfaction and loyalty.
Wednesday, October 3, 2012 — South Asia

The dawn of e-microfinance

Source: Business Standard

It doesn’t look like Primiya Bai Rout, a vegetable cultivator in Salebhata village of Odisha, belongs in cyberspace. Yet, there she is, with a profile that nestles right next to Niharika Padia’s from New York. It is an unlikely pairing, but what has made it possible is a loan of Rs 400, given by Padia to Rout, so she can finance her vegetable business, thanks to Rangde — an online platform that enables people like Niharika to choose borrowers like Rout from a list of microloan seekers in the most remote corners of India.
Monday, October 1, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Habitat for Humanity Canada and The MasterCard Foundation partner to expand access to housing microfinance in Africa

Source: Canada Newswire

ACCRA, Ghana, Oct. 1, 2012 /CNW/ - Habitat for Humanity Canada, Habitat for Humanity International (collectively "Habitat") and The MasterCard Foundation today announced the launch of a $6.6 million, five-year partnership to expand microfinance services to maintain and improve homes for disadvantaged families in three African countries.
Thursday, September 20, 2012 — Europe & Eurasia

Microfinance Leaders Launch Global Appeal For Responsible Industry Practices

Source: MarketWatch Press Release

WASHINGTON and PARIS, Sept. 20, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Microfinance leaders today unveiled the "Global Appeal for Responsible Microfinance," a landmark document urging all microfinance stakeholders to take concerted action to ensure a strong and principled microfinance industry. The Appeal was announced at the Convergences 2015 World Forum in Paris.
Monday, September 17, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Rwanda: Microfinance Firm Boosts Agro-Mechanisation

Source: All Africa

A local microfinance institution, Duterimbere IMF Ltd, has launched new products that target the promotion of agricultural mechanisation among small scale farmers.
Monday, September 17, 2012 — Latin America

12,000 Nicaraguan Families to Benefit From Improved Housing Conditions

Source: Hispanically Speaking News

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) approved a loan of up to $5 million to Nicaragua’s Foundation for the Promotion of Local Development (Prodel), paving the way for the non-profit organization serving the base of the pyramid to expand financing for basic community infrastructure and incremental home improvement projects.
Friday, September 14, 2012 — South Asia

Allahabad MFI Sonata Finance raises $6.35M from Creation Investments, others

Source: VCCircle

Chicago-based Creation Investments made its first investment in India in 2010 by picking up stake in Eko India Financial Services.
Wednesday, September 12, 2012 — South Asia

Citi Foundation Grants $180k to Parinaam Foundation of India


Citi Foundation, the charitable arm of the US-based financial provider Citigroup, reportedly has given a grant of INR 10 million (USD 180,000) to Parinaam Foundation, an Indian nonprofit organization, to deliver Parinaam’s Diksha Financial Literacy Program to approximately 31,000 microfinance clients.
Tuesday, September 4, 2012 — South Asia

In Andhra Pradesh, moneylenders rush to fill vacuum created by MFIs

Source: The Hindu Business Line

The Andhra Pradesh crackdown on microfinance companies has driven an increasing number of poor borrowers in the State back into the arms of local moneylenders, a recent survey shows.
Wednesday, August 22, 2012 — South Asia

Start-ups like InVenture flourish with technology services for micro finance firms

Source: The Economic Times

BANGALORE: A new wave of start-up companies is building technology enabled services aimed at bridging the communication gap between borrowers and lenders in the embattled microfinance industry.
Tuesday, August 21, 2012 — Asia Pacific

Rural banks partner with telcos to boost microfinance

Source: The Manila Times