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
Monday, October 5, 2015 — Latin America

IDB Loans $10M to Paraguay’s Vision Banco to Fund Water, Sanitation Facilities for Low-Income Populations

Source: Press Release

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), a US-based multilateral finance institution that operates in Latin America and the Caribbean, recently approved a loan of USD 10 million to Vision Banco, a microfinance institution (MFI) in Paraguay. The loan will be disbursed from IDB’s Opportunities for the Majority Sector facility, which lends, invests equity, offers technical advice and provides partial guarantees and risk-sharing facilities to “companies, financial intermediaries … [and] non-profits that are willing to engage with the base of the socioeconomic pyramid”[4].
Thursday, October 1, 2015 — South Asia

Collectives Help Rural Women ‘Lean In’

Source: The Hindu

In the world of microfinance, women’s collectives have acquired a great deal of prominence globally and are known by various names such as Self Help Groups (SHGs), Joint Liability Groups (JLG), or Village Saving and Loan Associations (VSLA). There is a strongly held belief that the formation of these groups has transformed the lives of women, improving their financial status due to the direct links between the microcredit, obtained through the group, and the livelihood activities financed by this credit.
Thursday, October 1, 2015 — Asia Pacific

This Indonesian Microfinance Startup Wants to Put Loan Sharks Out of Business

Source: Tech in Asia

In Indonesia, 203 million people are classified as poor, living on less than US$4.50 per day. This group of consumers is not the section of the economic pyramid that conventional banks and insurance companies tend to prioritize, despite their making up the majority of the archipelago’s population. This is a problem Aidil Zulkifli, co-founder and CEO of UangTeman, hopes to solve.
Thursday, October 1, 2015 — South Asia

100 Small Steps: Will India’s Bank Licenses Bring Reform?

Source: CFA Institute

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has been steadily reforming India’s financial sector, in addition to achieving notable monetary policy successes. A few weeks back, the RBI granted licenses to 11 payments banks and followed that with licenses to 10 smallfinance banks.
Tuesday, September 29, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Cellphones broaden business opportunities for Tanzanian women


What would happen if Tanzanian women who never before owned or could afford a cellphone suddenly received one?
Monday, September 28, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Kiva Winding Down Kenyan Operations of Peer-to-Peer Microfinance Lending Platform Kiva Zip

Source: MicroCapital

Kiva, a US-based microfinance intermediary, recently announced that it is winding down its peer-to-peer microfinance lending platform Kiva Zip in Kenya. Since its inception in 2012, Kiva Zip has enabled users to lend directly to microentrepreneurs in Kenya and the US. Loans in Kenya are distributed through M-Pesa, a mobile money transfer service. Most of Kiva’s loans differ from those through Kiva Zip in that they are intermediated by microfinance institutions. As of 2015, Kiva Zip had received deposits from approximately 8,000 direct lenders and disbursed the equivalent of USD 1.8 million in local currency to approximately 6,500 borrowers in Kenya. As of the same date, Kiva Zip reported a repayment rate of 91 percent [1].
Friday, September 25, 2015 — No Region Specified

Three Finalists for the 6th European Microfinance Award Announced

Source: Press Release

On Tuesday 22nd September, the Selection Committee for the 6th European Microfinance Award on Microfinance in Post-disaster, Post-conflict Areas & Fragile States, composed of members of the European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP) and Inclusive Finance Network Luxembourg (,) selected the three finalists who will go on to compete for the €100,000 prize. These three organisations are Crédit Rural de Guinée from Guinea, The First Microfinance Institution from Syria and Taytay Sa Kauswagan Inc. from the Philippines. The winner will be announced by the President of the High Jury Her Royal Highness The Grand Duchess of Luxembourg on November 19th, at a ceremony hosted at the European Investment Bank in Luxembourg, during the annual European Microfinance Week.
Friday, September 25, 2015 — Asia Pacific

Microfinance, Health Care Institutions Partner to Improve Maternal Health for 800,000 Women in the Philippines

Source: Press Release

CARD Mutually Reinforcing Institutions (CARD MRI), the Microcredit Summit Campaign, and Freedom from Hunger announced that under the “Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies” program, some 800,000 women have received maternal health education in the past 5 months and 3600 women have received healthcare in the past 12 months. The project aims to improve maternal health alongside their microfinance services in the Philippines, accelerating achievement of UN Millennium Development Goal 5.
Thursday, September 24, 2015 — South Asia

Small Finance Banks Will Shift Focus of Microlending Away From Dedicated MFIs, Says Domestic Rating Agency in India

Source: The Economic Times

Small Finance Banks (SFBs) will shift the focus of the microlending business away from the dedicated micro finance institutions (MFIs), domestic rating agency India Ratings said today.
Thursday, September 24, 2015 — South Asia

Microfinance and Payday Loans: How Paytm's Payment Bank Will Be 'Different'

Source: NDTV Gadgets

"There's so much scope for digital payments, and there are enough unbanked even in the city, that you can tap into with only a little effort," says Nitin Misra, who heads Paytm's payment product pipeline. "We can offer a lot to the unbanked and the underbanked, and for the small percentage of the population that is actually fully banked, we offer safety and convenience."
Tuesday, September 22, 2015 — South Asia

Microfinance Companies in India May Need Rs 2,000-crore in Domestic Equity to Clear Licence Hurdles

Source: The Economic Times

Microfinance companies that have been awarded small finance licences may need to mobilise close to Rs 2,000-crore equity between them from local investors to dilute foreign ownership.
Friday, September 18, 2015 — No Region Specified

FI2020 Week to Convene Global Conversations on Financial Inclusion

Source: Press Release

The Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion (CFI) today announced the upcoming launch of Financial Inclusion 2020 (FI2020) Week, taking place from November 2-6, 2015.
Thursday, September 17, 2015 — South Asia

Small Farmers and Business Get Reason to Cheer as Reserve Bank of India Grants Licenses to 10 Small Banks

Source: The Economic Times

The Reserve Bank granted small bank licences to 10 applicants, most of which are engaged in microfinance, in a move seen as one of the most far-reaching initiatives on financial inclusion since bank nationalisation in the late 1960s.
Thursday, September 17, 2015 — No Region Specified

Viewpoint: Why We Still Need Microfinance

Source: Humanosphere

Earlier this summer I wrote a response to the constant attacks from microfinance haters that are trending this year. It was a nice surprise to see that a piece referencing Taylor Swift could be taken seriously!
Monday, September 14, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Sowing Self-Sufficiency in Africa With Anacostia-Based ‘Hello Tractor’

Source: The Washington Post

For years he had two feet planted firmly on the ground as a corporate investment banker. Now, with a little start-up money, Jehiel Oliver runs a small Anacostia-based company, with a plan to solve a big agriculture problem half a world away.
Thursday, September 10, 2015 — South Asia

Microfinance Industry Back on Growth Path

Source: The Economic Times

After going through a crisis period, the country's microfinance industry has returned to the growth phase, especially in the light of stable regulatory framework, says a report.
Tuesday, September 8, 2015 — South Asia

Indian MFIs Face Legal Hurdles in Plans to Track Borrowers’ Credit Histories Through National IDs

Source: Livemint

Microfinanciers’ plans to check Aadhaar numbers to ensure potential borrowers aren’t already loaded with loans may come undone after a recent interim ruling by the Supreme Court restricted the use of Aadhaar data to ration shops and cooking gas.
Friday, September 4, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

DKM Microfinance Saga in Ghana: Three Die in Nkoranza

Source: Ghana Web

Frustrated customers of financial companies with frozen accounts have vowed to make Nkoranza a living hell for government employees if monies lodged with the microfinance companies are not released to them.
Thursday, September 3, 2015 — No Region Specified

Mobile Lender InVenture Raises $10 Million

Source: The Wall Street Journal

InVenture Capital Corp., a provider of small loans by cellphones, has raised $10 million in Series A funding, Yuliya Chernova reports for Dow Jones VentureWire. The company has a mobile app that can be downloaded by users, who then can request a loan. Once the user has granted the app access to their device, the company’s algorithm evaluates the activity on their mobile money accounts, such as how much they deposit and withdraw, the timeliness of their utility bill payments, and thousands of other nuggets of information such as social media, demographic, and communications patterns, to make a loan decision in minutes. The company currently operates in Kenya and Tanzania. Data Collective led the Series A round, which includedLowercase Capital, Collaborative Fund, Female Founders Fund and individual investors.
Thursday, September 3, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Viewpoint: The Case for Islamic Microfinance in Africa

Source: Zawya

Professor Badr El Din A. Ibrahim, President of the Microfinance Unit at the Central Bank of Sudan, discusses why Shari'ah-compliant financing is key.
Monday, August 31, 2015 — No Region Specified

OPINION: Microfinance has a part to play in fighting terrorism

Source: Rupert Scofield

"I absolutely believe that business, done in a responsible way, is a credible alternative to delivering up your kids to being radicalized," says FINCA president Rupert Scofield.
Monday, August 31, 2015 — South Asia

India's microfinance institutions see gross loan growth of 69% in the previous quarter

Source: Your Story

Microfinance institutions saw a healthy 69% growth in their gross loan portfolio in the April June quarter compared to that in the same period of last year.
Friday, August 28, 2015 — South Asia

Tough Challenges Await India's Chandrashekhar Ghosh's Bandhan in Its Commercial Bank Avtaar

Source: Firstpost

On Sunday, Kolkata-based microfinance institution (MFI), Bandhan Financial Services formally converted itself into a full service commercial bank, thus becoming the latest private sector bank in the country. Bandhan is one of the two entities, which were given full-service banking licences by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in April, 2014, from a list of 25 aspirants that included big business houses. The other is IDFC.
Thursday, August 27, 2015 — South Asia

50th Microfinance Institution Launched in Cambodia

Source: Khmer Times

The Royal Microfinance institution launched its operations in Cambodia on Thursday, bringing the total number of micro-lenders in the kingdom to 50.
Thursday, August 27, 2015 — No Region Specified

Viewpoint: How We Talk About Microfinance: Alex Counts Replies to Dean Karlan

Source: Center for Financial Inclusion

On Sunday, August 23, as I was enjoying some of the final days of summer visiting friends in New Hampshire, I noticed that I had been tagged in a tweet by Dean Karlan, the founder and president of Innovations for Poverty Action. He provided a link to an article about FINCA that included extensive quotes from its CEO, Rupert Scofield. He asked Rupert if he really believed microfinance could reduce terrorism, and asked me what I thought (“whatcha think?” was the precise formulation of his question). Hetweeted again on Monday, asking whether I was “still going to stand by [my] claim that no microcredit leaders make grandiose and overselling impact claims?”
Wednesday, August 26, 2015 — South Asia

What payments banks, Bandhan can do for financial inclusion in India

Source: Daily O

There have two big developments in financial inclusion in the country in the past few days, whose significance stands out despite the din arising from the recent global stock market crash.
Thursday, August 20, 2015 — No Region Specified

A smile boosts the chances of getting a microloan, say Stanford psychologists

Source: Stanford

Stanford psychologists found that applicants for microloans are more likely to win approval if the photograph they send along with the application evokes a positive emotional response.
Wednesday, August 19, 2015 — South Asia

India's MFI credit bureaus comb client data to smooth microloans

Source: Live Mint

Three years after India’s first credit bureau for microfinance institutions (MFIs) opened shop, teething troubles continue to prevent lenders and borrowers from making full use of it.
Tuesday, August 18, 2015 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: Smart Campaign Now Serves More Than 20 Million Low-income Clients

Source: PR Newswire

Momentum for Smart Campaign Certification Accelerates; Six Million ‘Protected’ Clients Added in Last Six Months.
Monday, August 17, 2015 — South Asia

Can Microfinance Help Boost Sanitation Coverage?

Source: The Guardian

The time when microfinance was seen as the miracle cure to lift people out of poverty is long gone. The funding crisis in India in 2010 and evidence of mixed impacts from microfinance have contributed to a greater understanding of both its strengths and weaknesses. While microfinance is usually associated with income generation, rather than taps and toilets, growing evidence shows that it could be a solution for funding sanitation facilities in developing countries.
Thursday, August 13, 2015 — South Asia

PRESS RELEASE: India’s Financial Inclusion Leader IFMR Holdings Raises $25m from Accion, LeapFrog and Lok

Source: Accion

IFMR Holdings, a leading financial inclusion platform in India, has announced that they have raised US $25 million in equity from Accion, a financial inclusion pioneer, LeapFrog Investments, a specialist investor in emerging-market financial services, and Lok Capital, an Indian impact investment firm.
Thursday, August 13, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

M-Pesa and the Rise of the Global Mobile Money Market

Source: Forbes

Most people probably don’t think of Kenya as an innovation and technology hub, but in 2007 it became the launching pad for M-Pesa, a transformativemobile phone-based platform for money transfer and financial services. Since then, M-Pesa has undergone explosive growth: in 2013, a staggering 43 percent of Kenya’s GDP flowed through M-Pesa, with over 237 million person-to-person transactions. M-Pesa is nearly ubiquitous in the daily lives of Kenyans due to a range of services that include money deposit and withdrawal, remittance delivery, bill payment, and microcredit provision.
Wednesday, August 12, 2015 — Latin America

Why Microfinance Loans Have Such High Rates

Source: The Wall Street Journal

In recent years, microfinance—distributing small loans to the poor -- has been at the center of an intense debate about the ethics of charging low-income customers high interest rates and then making a profit from them.
Tuesday, August 11, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Fintech firm takes biometric microfinance tool to Uganda

Source: Planet Biometrics

Awamo, a fintech firm firm formerly known as BCB Biometric Credit Bureau, has revealed that it is taking a biometric microfinance solution it has developed to Uganda thanks to $550,000 it has raised in Series-A funding.
Tuesday, August 4, 2015 — South Asia

Breaking the Myths of Microfinance

Source: The Hindu Business Line

A poor woman approaches a microfinance lender along with a couple of her neighbours and friends.
Friday, July 31, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Posta Uganda to Launch Financial Services

Source: New Vision

Posta Uganda will launch financial services to use its country wide postal networks to promote financial inclusion especially the unbanked rural communities.
Wednesday, July 29, 2015 — South Asia

Tencent’s WeBank Finds Sweet Spot in Microloans in China

Source: EJ Insight

Seven months after its launch, Tencent-backed (00700.HK) WeBank is showing off some of its first financial accomplishments that hint at the direction it may take as it carves out a place in China’s banking sector.
Wednesday, July 29, 2015 — South Asia

Islamic banking consistently expanding in Pakistan

Source: Daily Times

Last week, the State Bank of Pakistan granted its first license to a micro-finance bank and brought it into the Islamic mode.
Wednesday, July 29, 2015 — South Asia

Mutual Funds in India Invest $157M in Secured Debentures of Microfinance Institutions

Source: Press Release

Several mutual funds based in India, including Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India (ICICI) Prudential Mutual Fund, Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) Mutual Fund, Kotak Mutual Fund, Reliance Mutual Fund and State Bank of India (SBI) Mutual Fund, recently invested in secured debentures issued by several Indian microfinance institutions (MFIs). The issuers include Equitas Microfinance (Equitas); Janalakshmi Financial Services (JFS); SKS Microfinance (SKS) and Ujjivan Financial Services (Ujjivan). Although the individual transaction amounts are not available, the investments by the mutual funds total approximately INR 10 billion (USD 157 million). The debentures bear coupon rates of 11.5 up to 13 percent, approximately 3 to 4 percent above than highly rated securities issued by other Indian companies. The securities are backed by receivables and fixed assets owned by the MFIs.
Monday, July 27, 2015 — South Asia

Grameen Koota Reaches Milestone With 1 Million Microfinance Customers

Source: Business Wire

Bangalore-based NBFC –MFI, Grameen Koota Financial Services Pvt Ltd (Grameen Koota) has reached a new milestone of 1 million microfinance customers, in a testimony to its strong client-centric approach aimed at providing holistic financial and social services.
Wednesday, July 22, 2015 — No Region Specified

Kiva Co-founder on the Future of Microfinance

Source: Inc.

Jessica Jackley has had her hands full since stepping away from Kiva, the peer-to-peer microlender she co-founded in 2005. Between investing in startups through the Collaborative Fund; launching ProFounder, a crowdfunding site for entrepreneurs and small businesses; and consulting with companies to improve their social impact, the popular TED talker has also managed to give birth to three children. And she has a new book, Clay Water Brick: Finding Inspiration From Entrepreneurs Who Do the Most with the Least.
Wednesday, July 15, 2015 — No Region Specified

Zidisha Helps Connect Lenders With Entrepreneurs in Developing Countries

Source: Forbes

Zidisha is a non-profit startup that acts as an online microlending community connecting lenders with entrepreneurs no matter the distance or disparity. As of right now, Zidisha allows individuals worldwide to lend to tech-savvy entrepreneurs in the slums of Africa and Asia where even a few dollars can go a long way. Over 20,000 people are using Zidisha today. Recently, I spoke with Zidisha founder and CEO Julia Kurnia to learn more about the company.
Tuesday, July 14, 2015 — South Asia

How Companies Should Respond As Social Business Goes Global

Source: EJ Insight

Social business has been known as a systemically defined business practice for tackling poverty and is blossoming in every corner of the globe including China, the world’s second largest economy.
Monday, June 29, 2015 — Latin America

A Light in the Darkness

Source: The Economist

Some mountainous parts of Mexico are so remote that the electricity grid fails to reach them, let alone the banking system. A five-year-old social enterprise, Iluméxico, hopes to change that. It provides more than 20,000 people with loans to buy low-cost solar panels and batteries, enabling them to switch lights on, watch television and charge mobile phones, sometimes for the first time.
Friday, June 26, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Press Release: FINCA Surpasses $1 Million in Loans to Microenterprise and Small Businesses in Nigeria in First Six Months

Source: PR Newswire

FINCA's newest subsidiary, FINCA Microfinance Bank Ltd. in Nigeria, surpassed USD 1 million in small loans to microenterprise and small business owners within its first six months of operation, it was announced today by President & CEO Rupert Scofield during his remarks at the Spring meeting of the Financial Inclusion Equity Council (FIEC), hosted this year by FINCA at its headquarters building in Washington, DC.
Wednesday, June 24, 2015 — No Region Specified

Is There Finally Some Movement on the Pressing Challenge of Microinsurance?

Source: Inside Philanthropy

More market players are stepping into the microinsurance arena - if this trend continues, the role of philanthropy in this space may become less and less critical.
Monday, June 22, 2015 — No Region Specified

In America's Payday Loan Capital, Innovative Microcredit Helps Break The Debt Cycle

Source: Huffington Post

Mississippi has more payday lenders per capita than anywhere else in America, but an innovative partnership is helping to give the state's residents access to responsible small-dollar loans.
Thursday, June 18, 2015 — South Asia

TPC the First Microfinance Institution in Cambodia Certified for Commitment to Client Protection

Source: The Smart Campaign

Thaneakea Phum Cambodia (TPC) has been formally recognized as “Client Protection Certified” by the Smart Campaign for meeting strong standards of client care. TPC is the first microfinance institution in Cambodia to be awarded this prestigious certification and one of the 10 MFIs pursuing such recognition supported by funding from the French Development Agency (AFD) under the "Client Protection Initiative" project Implemented by Cambodia Microfinance Association (CMA).
Thursday, June 18, 2015 — South Asia

Bandhan Bank Is Born: Chandra Shekhar Ghosh's Incredible Journey From a Sweet Shop to Owning a Bank

Source: Firstpost

In most Indian languages, the word Bandhan means bond or togetherness. His bond with the credit-deprived poor in Eastern India’s villages and a Rs 2 lakh loan were the initial capital for Chandra Shekhar Ghosh, the son of a small sweet-shop owner from Bengal, to begin a microfinance institution, Bandhan Financial Services Ltd, and grow it to a private bank in less than 15 years.
Thursday, June 18, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

SACCOs Seek Speedy Regulation in Uganda

Source: New Vision

Savings and Credit Co-operatives (SACCOs) leaders have asked government to fast track regulation for microfinance institutions in the country in order to attract more people to use their services and protect clients.
Wednesday, June 17, 2015 — Asia Pacific

U.S. startup combines Bitcoin with Islamic microfinance in Indonesia

Source: Gulf Times

Founded in San Francisco and recently moved to Jakarta, a financial startup called Blossom aims at nothing less than shaking up the microfinance sector in Indonesia.
Monday, June 15, 2015 — Asia Pacific

How one man wants to lend cash to 500m Chinese and lead a microfinancing revolution

Source: South China Morning Post

Zane Wang Zhengyu, founder and chief executive of lending company China Rapid Finance (CRF), wants to redraw the mainland's credit landscape. Wang hopes to create the mainland version of the San Francisco-based Lending Club, which offers borrowers funds at rates lower than those charged by credit cards. Ideally, the model could help meet the financing needs of 500 million potential mainland customers, many of them borrowing for the first time.
Thursday, June 11, 2015 — South Asia

After five-year hiatus, mutual funds turn to investing in India's microfinance companies

Source: Economic Times

Mutual funds have started investing in debt issuances of microfinance companies after a five-year hiatus.
Thursday, June 11, 2015 — Asia Pacific

Indonesia to Unleash Loan Funds as Micro-lending Rates Cut

Source: Bloomberg

Indonesia wants to unleash 30 trillion rupiah ($2.3 billion) of new loans for small businesses and halve some bank micro lending rates to help revive an economy running at its slowest pace in five years.
Wednesday, June 10, 2015 — South Asia

What India’s Microloan Meltdown Taught One Entrepreneur

Source: Wall Street Journal

Vikram Akula speaks about what went wrong in 2010 and what’s next.
Friday, May 29, 2015 — South Asia

India's microfinance loans are growing at a scorching pace, but it's a warning signal

Source: First Post

The institutions that give tiny loans to the poor somehow seem to be rediscovering their long-lost obsession for rocket-speed loan growth — the same mistake that once shattered the entire industry.
Thursday, May 28, 2015 — South Asia

PRESS RELEASE: Accion Announces MetLife Foundation Grant to Support Financial Inclusion in Myanmar

Source: PR Newswire

Financial inclusion pioneer Accion announced today that the MetLife Foundation has awarded Accion a $250,000 grant over two years to support its new MFI, Dawn Microfinance, in Myanmar.
Thursday, May 28, 2015 — Asia Pacific

Indonesia Turns to Technology to Build its Banking Sector

Source: Wall Street Journal

Indonesia is hoping to get more of its 250 million citizens using formal financial services, and it’s looking to some of the creative tech startups that are already one step ahead for some assistance.
Tuesday, May 26, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Kenya's Jamii Bora Bank sheds microfinance tag

Source: Standard Digital

Jamii Bora Bank has announced that it is now targeting Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), in a major change of strategy that has seen it shed the microfinance tag.
Thursday, May 21, 2015 — No Region Specified

Bitcoin Microfinance Can ‘Reach Anyone with a Cell Phone Who Wants a Friggin’ Loan’

Source: Coin Telegraph

How bitcoin — or other cryptocurrencies — along with microfinance and mobile technology could form a new platform that would make it easier to dole out loans and charity.
Wednesday, May 20, 2015 — South Asia

PRESS RELEASE: Lafarge launches 'Housing Microfinance Academy' in India

Source: La Farge

Lafarge, a leader in building materials, launched the Indian chapter of 'Housing Microfinance Academy' in Mumbai earlier this week.
Wednesday, May 13, 2015 — South Asia

Buddhist Monk in Thailand Relies on Karma for Lending Success

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Buddhist monks aren’t really known for dipping into the material world of finance. Phra Subin Paneeto, though, says he felt he didn’t have much choice when he saw his neighbors near Thailand’s border with Cambodia were struggling to make ends meet.
Tuesday, May 12, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Nigeria: Cement Firm Partners With Microfinance Bank to Build 5,000 New Homes

Source: allAfrica

A NEW deal has been sealed between a cement firm, Messrs United Cement Company of Nigeria (UNICEM) and microfinance bank for the building of 5,000 new housing units in the country.
Friday, May 8, 2015 — No Region Specified

Another Use for Mobile in Microfinance: Getting Honest Feedback On Sensitive Topics

Source: The Huffington Post

When our team first started doing this work four years ago, I used to get asked all the time, "So are you giving out mobile phones?" We use mobile technology to reach invisible populations like factory workers, farmers and, most recently, microfinance borrowers. In the last four years, mobile penetration has continued to skyrocket. India has three times as many mobile phones as the United States, and 78 percent mobile penetration. So the answer is no, we do not need to give out mobile phones.
Friday, May 8, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Former CEO Brings New App, a ‘Branchless Bank’ to Kenya

Source: The Wall Street Journal

The former chief executive and co-founder of nonprofit lending platform, Matt Flannery, on Wednesday revealed his latest initiative Branch International Inc., which he calls “a mobile-based microfinance institution for the world.”
Wednesday, May 6, 2015 — No Region Specified

Press Release: Greta Bull Appointed New CEO of CGAP and World Bank Group Director

Source: CGAP

The Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), today announced the appointment of Greta Bull as its new CEO. As CGAP’s CEO, Ms. Bull is also a Director at the World Bank Group.
Tuesday, May 5, 2015 — No Region Specified

Press Release: Microfinance Leaders Offer Model Law Resource for Financial Consumer Protection

Source: Center for Financial Inclusion

The Microfinance CEO Working Group has published Client Protection Principles: Model Law and Commentary for Financial Consumer Protection. This Model Law provides a framework of suggested legislation for financial consumer protection in the microfinance and broader financial inclusion industry.
Monday, May 4, 2015 — South Asia

Viewpoint: India’s MFI Rules Need More Thought, or Else They Can Go Wrong

Source: Livemint

The microfinance industry has witnessed many changes since the 2010 crisis. Recently, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) eased some lending norms for microfinance institutions (MFIs), which will mean enhanced access to credit for customers. Also, the government has proposed that the Mudra Bank (Micro Units Development Refinance Agency Bank) will regulate MFIs. Alok Prasad, chief executive officer, Microfinance Institutions Network (MFIN), a self-regulatory organization for non-banking finance company (NBFC) MFIs, talks about regulatory challenges in the industry and how the future of microfinance may evolve. Edited excerpts:
Monday, May 4, 2015 — No Region Specified

Viewpoint: The Evolving Microfinance Revolution Has Yet to Run Its Full Course

Source: Devex

Forty years ago, before microfinance was called microcredit, before it even had a name, I made $50 loans to 800 Guatemalan farmers in the form of six bags of 12-24-12 fertilizer, which dramatically increased their yields on the plots of maize and beans they cultivated.
Thursday, April 30, 2015 — Asia Pacific

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation pushes microinsurance for disaster mitigation

Source: Rappler

The 21 member-economies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is pushing for microinsurance to mitigate the impact of natural disasters.
Wednesday, April 29, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Viewpoint: Nigeria: Microfinance Banks - Helping or Killing SMEs?

Source: allAfrica

To say that the Small, Medium Enterprises is the engine room for economic development is to state the least, especially, in the third world countries, where the degree of unemployment is high and where there are so many qualified applicants chasing few and sometimes not available white collar jobs.
Wednesday, April 29, 2015 — Asia Pacific

Blossom Offers Islamic Micro-Financing in Indonesia Using Bitcoin

Source: Tech in Asia

A startup that recently relocated from San Francisco to Jakarta aims to shake up micro-finance in Indonesia.Blossom‘s concept can be said to be breaking ground: it operates onBitcoin and targets the global Muslim community.
Tuesday, April 28, 2015 — South Asia

IFC Invests in Cambodia’s PRASAC Microfinance Institution Ltd. to Expand Lending for Micro and Smaller Businesses


IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has provided a loan of up to $10 million to PRASAC Microfinance Institution Ltd., Cambodia’s largest organization of its kind, to increase lending to micro, small and medium enterprises in the rural and agricultural sectors.
Tuesday, April 28, 2015 — South Asia

Indian Microlender Ujjivan Launches Hand-Held Field Tech Devices to Expedite Loan Process

Source: VCCircle

Bangalore-based Ujjivan Financial Services Pvt Ltd, one of the top-tier microfinance institutions in the country, has rolled out hand-held field technology devices as it seeks to take the loan approval process online and expedite disbursals.
Tuesday, April 28, 2015 — South Asia

Press Release: Accion, FMO and Triodos Investment Management Form Consortium to Strengthen Financial Inclusion in Myanmar

Source: Accion

Financial inclusion pioneer Accion, the Dutch development bank FMO, and Triodos Investment Management today announced their plans to invest in and expand Dawn Microfinance, one of the earliest microfinance institutions (MFIs) established in the Republic of Myanmar. The $6.85 million investment is intended to establish the newly incorporated MFI as a premier institution that can serve as a model for the country’s nascent microfinance industry and influence the development of the sector.
Wednesday, April 22, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Challenges of Emerging Risks Underwriting in Insurance in Nigeria

Source: This Day Live

Recent social and environmental developments in Nigeria have underscored the need for Nigerian insurers not only to consolidate on local risks they are familiar with but to pay more attention to emerging risks.
Monday, April 20, 2015 — South Asia

Report: India's Microfinance Sector Poised to Grow Robustly in Next Five Years

Source: VCCircle

The microfinance sector, which is seen as a vehicle of financial inclusion, has seen a boom over the past year as government has laid more emphasis on financial inclusion. The sector is expected to grow robustly in the next few years as large players consolidate their position in their market.
Friday, April 17, 2015 — South Asia

Indian Microfinance Company Equitas Finance Plans IPO, Looks to Raise Up to Rs 1,500 Crore

Source: The Economic Times

Chennai-based microfinance company Equitas Finance is said to be planning an initial public offering (IPO) that could mean substantial returns for exiting private equity and venture capital funds. The company that's 98% owned by a dozen private equity and venture capital funds is looking at raising around Rs 1,200-1,500 crore by selling a stake of up to 25%, said three people involved with the plan.
Friday, April 17, 2015 — No Region Specified

Bamboo Finance Announces the First Close of Financial Inclusion Fund II

Source: Insurance News Net

Bamboo Finance, a private equity firm specializing in investing in business models that benefit low-income communities in growth markets, today announced the first close of $31 million in its second financial inclusion focused fund with investments from Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America (TIAA-CREF) and AXA-IM.
Tuesday, April 14, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

National Commission to Issue Electronic Identity Cards to Six Million Nigerian MFI Members to Boost Financial Inclusion

Source: Leadership

The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) is collaborating with the Association of Non-bank Micro Finance Institutions of Nigeria (ANMFIN) to register its six million members into the national identity management system and issue them electronic identity card for effective financial inclusion.
Monday, April 13, 2015 — South Asia

Coming of Age: Institutional Investors See Investment Merit in India’s Non-Banking Finance Companies and MFIs

Source: Business Line

Institutional investors in the debt market are gradually gaining confidence about looking beyond traditional government and highly-rated corporate debt to bonds and other debt instruments issued by non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) and microfinance institutions (MFIs). NBFCs and MFIs are also helping create this new market, either by issuing debentures or pooling their debt assets.
Friday, April 10, 2015 — South Asia

Viewpoint: Mudra Bank Is Just What India’s Microfinance Sector Needed

Source: Business Line

Mudra Bank can provide some cohesion and impetus to this fragmented space, besides the right kind of regulation.
Thursday, April 9, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Study: Only 2.8 Percent of Nigerian Adults Have Microfinance Accounts

Source: National Mirror

Despite the huge numbers of Microfinance Banks, MFBs, operating in the country and regulatory authorities’ efforts to use them as channels for financial inclusion, investigations have confirmed that only 2.6 million of the adult population had MFB accounts.
Wednesday, April 8, 2015 — South Asia

Prime Minister Modi Launches MUDRA Bank, Expected to Benefit 5.77 crore Microfinance Institutions in India

Source: IBNLive

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday launched MUDRA Bank under Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana. This will provide credit of up to Rs 10 lakh to small entrepreneurs and act as a regulator for 'Micro-Finance Institutions' (MFIs).
Tuesday, April 7, 2015 — South Asia

Reserve Bank of India to Hike Limits for Priority Sector Lending, Allow Inter-Bank Bond Investments

Source: VCCircle

Indian banking regulator has proposed to hike the eligibility criteria to classify a loan as priority sector lending (PSL) which is expected to particularly boost microfinance institutions (MFIs) in the country.
Friday, April 3, 2015 — South Asia

Indian Prime Minister Modi Asks Reserve Bank to Prepare 20-Year Financial Inclusion Roadmap

Source: Business Line

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday asked the Reserve Bank of India to prepare a 20-year roadmap for deepening financial inclusion in the country.
Thursday, April 2, 2015 — No Region Specified

MCE Social Capital Reaches $100 Million in Loan Guarantees for Social Good

Source: MCE Social Capital

Launched in 2006, the nonprofit impact investing firm has used its innovative loan guarantee model to generate economic opportunities for nearly two million people living in poverty.
Wednesday, April 1, 2015 — No Region Specified

Interview: Transforming Banking for the Poor: A Q&A With Jonathan Morduch

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Microfinance was once heralded as a key weapon in the fight against global poverty. Yet some 2.5 billion impoverished people across the world still don’t have access to basic financial services, according to the latest World Bank data.
Wednesday, April 1, 2015 — South Asia

Press Release: Caspian Impact Investments Raises $20 Million in Financing From OPIC

Source: Overseas Private Investment Corporation

Caspian Impact Investments (CII) today announced that it closed a debt financing commitment of $20 million from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government’s development finance institution.
Tuesday, March 31, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Rwanda: Airtel to Give Clients Soft Loans

Source: allAfrica

A micro-money lending platform whereby subscribers will be able to borrow up to Rwf50,000 payable in two weeks has been launched by telecom services provider, Airtel Rwanda and Atlantis Limited, a micro-finance institution.
Tuesday, March 31, 2015 — No Region Specified

Does Microfinance Still Hold Promise for Reaching the Poor?

Source: The World Bank

Nearly two decades ago, when the concept of microfinance as a poverty reduction tool was in its infancy, there was hope that microcredit would transform economic and social structures. With its focus on reaching the previously unbanked, microcredit was expected to bring about change at the household level, a market in developing countries that traditional financial institutions had failed to reach.
Monday, March 30, 2015 — South Asia

In Myanmar, Microfinance Stagnates Due to Tough Rules

Source: The Myanmar Times

The domestic microfinance industry is being held back by a number of constraints on funding, preventing more small-scale loans from being disbursed, according to industry insiders.
Friday, March 27, 2015 — South Asia

Indian Microfinance Institutions Want RBI, Not Mudra Bank, as Regulator

Source: The Economic Times

Microfinance institutions (MFIs) are worried about the government's decision to set up the Micro Units Development and Refinance Agency, or Mudra Bank, to regulate them as there could be a conflict of interest. They want the Reserve Bank of India ( RBI) to continue as their regulator.
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 — 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.
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.
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 — 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.
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.
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 — 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.
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.
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 — 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.
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.
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 — 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 — 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

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.
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.
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 — 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.
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 — 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.
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

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

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

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

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.
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.
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 — 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.
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.
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.