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
Tuesday, August 25, 2015 — No Region Specified

How the Global Stock Market Selloff Will Affect Crowdfunding

Source: Entrepreneur

While this “of the people, for the people, by the people” approach to raising money may see itself as divorced from anything happening on Wall Street, that’s hardly the case.
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, July 30, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Central Bank of Nigeria Sets Aside N252 Billion For Women-owned Businesses

Source: Leadership

According to the CBN , the facility is dedicated to small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs), and is meant to deepen and increase access to credit and reduce the high cost of funds for women-owned businesses across the country.
Friday, June 19, 2015 — South Asia

Women in business: Can P2P lending bridge gender gap in access to capital in India?

Source: Economic Times

For a country like India where there is a distinct buzz around startups and entrepreneurship, the number of women entrepreneurs and women in business still continue to be far and few.
Wednesday, June 17, 2015 — South Asia

Aavishkaar raises $75 million for foreign investments

Source: Economic Times

Aavishkaar, India's biggest social entrepreneurship focused venture capital fund, will be investing about Rs 500 crore ($75 million) in start-ups from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Indonesia.
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 3, 2015 — Asia Pacific

Can China’s Financial System Become More Inclusive?

Source: The Diplomat

Beijing is trying to make finance accessible to those traditionally denied it, with mixed results.
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, 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 — 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.
Tuesday, March 3, 2015 — South Asia

World Bank to boost India's MSME sector through $500 million loan

Source: The Times of India

The World Bank on Monday approved a $500 million loan for the MSME Growth Innovation and Inclusive Finance Project to improve access to finance for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) working in the manufacturing and services sector at an early stage.
Thursday, January 15, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Helios Investment Partners raises US $1 billion African investment fund

Source: Disrupt Africa

Pan-African private investment firm Helios Investment Partners has raised over US$1 billion for a third Africa-focused fund, with the firm claiming the fund is the largest in existence dedicated to African private equity.
Wednesday, November 19, 2014 — South Asia

PRESS RELEASE: Upaya, Artha Initiative to Co-Invest, Expand Management Resources for Small Businesses in India

Source: Upaya

Upaya Social Ventures and the Artha Initiative are proud to announce that they have formalized a collaboration through which they will work together to develop a pipeline of and co-invest in India’s Small and Growing Business (SGB) sector.
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.
Wednesday, October 15, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

PRESS RELEASE: Accion Venture Lab Invests in Kenyan Start-up Umati Capital

Source: Accion

Accion today announced an investment in Umati Capital, a Kenya-based lending company that provides invoice discounting and other forms of working capital financing to small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) in East Africa.
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, May 5, 2014 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: Accion to back new web-based lender focused on funding veteran-owned small businesses

Source: Digital Journal

WASHINGTON, May 2, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- StreetShares, Inc., a new web-based lending platform, announced this morning the close of a $1.2 million seed round led by Accion Venture Lab, a seed-stage investment initiative sponsored by microfinance pioneer Accion. The round also included Washington D.C.-area community bankers, military veteran investors, Harvard Business School angels and Capital One alumni.
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.
Friday, April 25, 2014 — No Region Specified

African Development Bank’s SME Program: Enhancing Inclusive Growth and Job Creation in Africa

Source: AfDB

The Board of Governors of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) through its private sector window has approved a US $9 million line of credit (LOC) equivalent in Mozambique metica (MZN) to Moza Banco.
Monday, April 21, 2014 — No Region Specified

Why investors are pouring millions into crowdfunding

Source: Forbes

There is no shortage of evidence testifying to the value of crowdfunding for those seeking to finance a new product idea, company, or even personal need. Just this month, Kickstarter-born Oculus VR was snatched up by Facebook for $2 billion. Smartwatch-maker Pebble sold more than 400,000 of its crowdfunded smartwatches last year. And in March, Kickstarter surpassed $1 billion in pledges made.
Monday, April 14, 2014 — No Region Specified

OPINION: The Oculus-Facebook Buyout: The Best Ad For Equity Crowdfunding Ever

Source: Crowdfund Insider

I have written about the misconception by some members of the general public that equity crowdfunding and rewards-based crowdfunding are the same thing. Many people are misinformed and do not understand that Title III of the JOBS Act has nothing to do with rewards-based crowdfunding. If you don’t believe me, read some of the comments to the SEC where comment writers were unnecessarily worried that equity crowdfunding would kill Kickstarter and its ilk.
Thursday, April 3, 2014 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: Calvert Foundation and Bank of America Partner to Invest in Women

Source: PR Web

Bank of America's $10 million investment will support the economic and social advancement of women in developing countries.
Tuesday, April 1, 2014 — No Region Specified

Crowdfunding for the Common Good - How Does it Drive Social Change?

Source: Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy

Crowdfunding platforms raised an estimated $5.1 billion worldwide in 2013, nearly twice the total for 2012. Although most of this booming investment is in private ventures, mission-driven crowdfunding platforms are also emerging on the leading edge of technology, philanthropy, and social entrepreneurship.
Monday, March 31, 2014 — No Region Specified

How Philanthropists And Investors Can Work Together To Create Social Change

Source: Forbes

Scaling up innovation is rarely as simple as investing in a company. The best social innovations aren’t companies – rather they are social movements, coalitions co-created by businesses, social sector organisations and governments working together. But how do you fund and scale up a movement?
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.
Monday, March 31, 2014 — No Region Specified

Nine ways to make sure you make a difference with impact investing

Source: The Guardian

Impact investors want more than a financial return, they want their money to do something good in the world at the same time. This means balancing financial risks and rewards with the complex measures of social and environmental impact.
Friday, March 28, 2014 — No Region Specified

African Crowdfunding platforms looking to emulate Kickstarter Success

Source: Smile & Mobile

Crowdfunding is hot right now, everybody knows that. You have all heard about Indiegogo and Kickstarter, the crowdfunding platforms that have played an integral part in the launching of a number of different ventures in America. Just yesterday, Facebook acquired Oculus Rift for $2B. Two years ago that same Oculus rift raised money to quickly develop their virtual reality gaming headset on Kickstarter, and now their owners are $2B richer. Hooray for crowdfunding!. A formal definition of crowdfunding would be, the process of raising money for an initiative through a large pool of backers. These backers are usually sourced through the internet.
Thursday, March 27, 2014 — No Region Specified

Stock Exchanges for Social Enterprises? Here's Where You Can Find Them

Source: Forbes

As the spotlight on investors seeking social investments continues to brighten, the rise of social stock exchanges—places where people can buy shares in social businesses with missions that align with theirs—shouldn’t be all that surprising.
Friday, March 21, 2014 — No Region Specified

Equity Crowdfunding: 3 Facts Entrepreneurs Should Know

Source: Business News Daily

Equity crowdfunding has become a hot topic on the startup scene in recent years. The Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act, which was signed into law in 2012, brought significant changes to certain Securities and ExchangeCommission regulations and made it easier than ever for an emerging business to raise private capital.
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 — No Region Specified

Is Equity Crowdfunding The Key To More International Startup Hubs?

Source: Forbes

Is crowdfunding the secret to creating more Silicon Valley-like tech hubs around the world? Crowdfunder CEO Chance Barnett argues yes.
Monday, March 17, 2014 — No Region Specified

Discussing the JOBS Act's Impact on Capital Flow in the U.S. Market


Much of the focus on how the JOBS Act may be able to transform the flow of capital in the United States has been on new pathways being opened. Equity crowdfunding, crowdfinanced debt, locavesting, the new opportunities for accessing capital outside of the traditional banking system has sparked the imagination of many.
Monday, March 17, 2014 — No Region Specified

OPINION: Give Impact Investing Time and Space to Develop

Source: Harvard Business Review

Impact investing has captured the world’s imagination. Just six years after the Rockefeller Foundation coined the term, the sector is booming. An estimated 250 funds are actively raising capital in a market that the Global Impact Investing Network estimates at $25 billion. Giving Pledge members described impact investing as the “hottest topic” at their May 2012 meeting, and Prime Minister David Cameron extolled the potential of the sector at the most recent G8 summit.
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.
Wednesday, March 12, 2014 — No Region Specified

Impact Investing: Building on Strong Foundations in the U.S.

Source: Huffington Post Impact

Impact investing in the U.S. has a rich history and established communities of practice -- spanning community finance, socially responsible investment, micro-finance, housing finance, environmental finance, small business finance in underserved "emerging domestic markets," sustainable development and, more recently, social finance, which explicitly ties investment returns to social outcomes using tools like "pay for success."
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.
Friday, February 28, 2014 — South Asia

Ankur Capital bets on real India, invests in three early-stage rural ventures

Source: Economic Times

NEW DELHI: Impact investment fund, Ankur Capital, has invested in three early-stage ventures that focus on rural markets.
Friday, February 28, 2014 — No Region Specified

Success in Impact Investing Through Policy Symbiosis

Source: Huffington Post Impact

Some may be surprised to hear it, but impact investing would barely exist -- certainly not at its current, modest scale -- but for the support and partnership of government. Government is ubiquitous in all economies, to be sure. But in the types of underserved markets in which impact investors operate, the role of public policy is profound.
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 — No Region Specified

The rise of Africans Investing in Africa (AIA)

Source: Venture Capital for Africa

Foreign firms are not the only ones heavily investing in Africa’s numerous opportunities, shows the “Africa attractiveness survey 2013, getting down to business” published by Ernst & Young (E&Y). Increasingly, Africans, who were previously Missing In Action (MIA), are becoming Africans investing in Africa (AIA). Investments range from individuals in Africa, the diaspora, the private sector, governments, multilaterals and even social enterprises.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014 — No Region Specified

Community Foundations: What It Takes to Become Dynamic Hubs of Local Capital

Source: 3BL Media

What is preventing these anchor institutions from realizing their potential? What exactly is that potential, and how can community foundations shift to an impact investment strategy that really makes a difference to community success and resilience?
Tuesday, February 25, 2014 — No Region Specified

One-Stop Site Paints A Clearer Picture For Impact Investors

Source: Forbes

Sure, the impact investing and social enterprise world is thriving. But it’s also disjointed and often confusing, with a variety of groups, startups, investors, schools, conferences, and even basic terminology.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014 — No Region Specified

Operation HOPE and the New York Stock Exchange Partner to Empower Youth Entrepreneurs

Source: The Sacramento Bee

HOPE Business In A Box Crowdsourcing Website To Spur Funding for Youth Businesses, Advertising leader BBDO, NYC will help drive "Taking Every Kid Public," a media campaign to encourage public and private investment in youth business ideas; Gallup onboard.
Monday, February 17, 2014 — No Region Specified

Impact investing key to unlocking Kenya’s growth potential

Source: Standard Digital

Starting a business, conventionally, is largely driven by the need to make profits, and the higher the margins the better for the proprietor. Downcast often occurs when companies report slump in profit, as this is considered not good enough to create investor confidence and attract more shareholders.
Thursday, February 13, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

7 Businesses Win African Impact Innovation Fund

Source: Ventures Africa

7 businesses have been announced as the winners of the Africa Impact Economy Innovations Fund (IEIF), an endowment supported by the Rockefeller Foundation and the Tony Elumelu Foundation to provide grant capital for entrepreneurs with projects that create jobs.
Friday, February 7, 2014 — No Region Specified

Is equity crowdfunding the next channel capital source?

Source: Search ITChannel

Kirill Bensonoff, founder of, is investigating a nontraditional source of capital as his IT services company gears up for expansion: crowdfunding.
Thursday, February 6, 2014 — No Region Specified

Micro lending startup ApexPeak to raise massive $200-million fund

Source: Venture Burn

ApexPeak is a micro lender that aims to loan money faster and easier than traditional banks would allow.
Wednesday, February 5, 2014 — No Region Specified

A Crowdfunding Site For High-Impact Solar Projects

Source: Clean Technica

Lack of access to financing can keep many otherwise worthy solar energy projects from being built in poor and underserved areas, but a solar crowdfunding site is helping to connect individual investors with solar energy businesses and working to bring affordable solar energy to communities around the world.
Monday, February 3, 2014 — No Region Specified

Where Does Crowdfunding Go From Here? Experts Explain

Source: Forbes

Crowdfunding is a genuine phenomenon. If you include—as many people do—the newly created market for “private issuers publicly raising” or PIPRs using the new SEC rules allowing general solicitation of accredited investors allowed under the 2012 JOBS Act signed by President Obama, 2014 could see over $10 billion of crowdfunded transactions. Crowdfunding is going mainstream.
Thursday, January 30, 2014 — No Region Specified

Innovative New Initiative from JPMorgan Chase to Catalyze Investment in Low- and Moderate-Income Communities

Source: Market Watch

$33 million to help CDFIs across the country build capacity.
Thursday, January 30, 2014 — No Region Specified

OPINION: Why I Think the Hype About Crowdfunding Is Too Good to Be True

Source: Entrepeneur

There are inherent risks with every new business venture, but for many, crowdfunding simply has more risk than reward.
Wednesday, January 29, 2014 — No Region Specified

OPINION: Will Equity Crowdfunding Laws Be the Death of Kickstarter?

Source: Reuters

There have recently been some angry grumblings from the blogosphere about the government wanting to stick its fingers in the crowdfunding pie. The concern across the internet seems to be that new regulations will destroy the rapidly-growing crowdfunding industry that brought us the Pebble Watch and the Veronica Mars movie.
Friday, January 24, 2014 — No Region Specified

Why crowdfunding for start-ups could turn out to be a huge mess

Source: CNBC

Rules under consideration by the Securities and Exchange Commission would allow start-ups to "crowdfund" their businesses, raising capital from people who have traditionally been barred from making such risky investments.
Friday, January 17, 2014 — No Region Specified

4 ways investing in startups will become easier for you

Source: Market Watch

Crowdfunding is emerging as a truly disruptive force in business. The JOBS Act, or Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, became law in 2012 and paved the way for companies to use crowdfunding to access capital. In September, 2013, Title II of the JOBS Act — which allows for general solicitation of accredited investors — was implemented. As of October, however, the Securities and Exchange Commission had merely proposed rules for Title III, which allows unaccredited investors to enter the market.
Wednesday, January 15, 2014 — No Region Specified

Equity Crowdfunding Rules in the U.S.: 15 Things Every Entrepreneur Needs to Know Now

Source: Equities Network

Equity crowdfunding promises to open up a new financing source for thousands of capital starved businesses around the country. Many entrepreneurs are wondering what this means for them and don’t have time to digest the complex 585 page rule proposal.
Wednesday, December 18, 2013 — No Region Specified

Unitus Seed Fund India Receives SEBI Approval for Impact Investing

Source: Your Story

Ravi Venkatesan joins as Venture Partner; Atul Bindal joins investment committee.
Tuesday, December 17, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Tanzania Reaches Out to People Without Accounts

Source: allAfrica

Tanzania wants to capture the 50% of the population who are unbanked by 2016 after the launch of the National Financial Inclusion Framework.
Tuesday, December 17, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Crowdfunding and Climate Innovation: The Next Steps are in Funding Impact Investing

Source: Crowdfund Insider

The future of Impact Investing and Crowdfunding was on display in Nairobi, Kenya last week.
Friday, December 13, 2013 — No Region Specified

How SME financial access in Africa compares to other developing economies

Source: How We Made It In Africa

Africa is the world’s second fastest growing region after Asia, and has seen increasing interest from foreign and African investors. However, access to finance is – in general – still a major limitation for many African small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
Thursday, December 12, 2013 — No Region Specified

Taking The 'Fun' Out Of Crowdfunding

Source: Forbes

Crowdfunding is a trendy and cool buzzword. “Crowd” sounds sociable and “funding” is, of course, always good. But equity crowdfunding as contemplated by rules proposed by the SEC in late October is not promising.
Tuesday, December 10, 2013 — South Asia

Small business financing companies can play much bigger role in financial inclusion in India

Source: Business Standard

For that, there is an immediate need for formation of an independent regulator to formulate framework for sustainable and better functioning of Small Business Financing Companies (SBFCs) that has been doing a wonderful work for promoting growth of small business in India, senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Yashwant Sinha said.
Thursday, December 5, 2013 — No Region Specified

Has The SEC Made Equity Crowdfunding Economically Unfeasible?

Source: Crowd Fund Insider

It seems that The SEC has created a quagmire of complicated rules and economic roadblocks.
Monday, December 2, 2013 — No Region Specified

Why is it so hard for female entrepreneurs to get VC funding - and could crowdfunding be the answer?

Source: Forbes

Unless you spend your days gladhanding at Silicon Valley networking events, getting angel seed funding or VC investment can be tough, especially if you happen to be a female entrepreneur, according to the stats.
Wednesday, November 27, 2013 — No Region Specified

Small Firms May Soon Turn To Crowdfunding To Sell Shares

Source: NPR

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is considering rules that, for the first time, would allow small companies to solicit investments over the Internet and sell shares to the general public.
Friday, November 15, 2013 — No Region Specified

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

Source: Press Release

New York – Citi, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), and the Bank of Georgia announced the closing of a USD $10 million term loan to fund the growth of Bank of Georgia’s Microfinance portfolio to promote the financial inclusion of micro-entrepreneurs and small businesses in the Republic of Georgia.
Wednesday, September 25, 2013 — No Region Specified

OPIC and Citi to Leverage up to $200 Million to Connect Micro and Small Enterprises with Corporate and Financial Institutions

Source: 3BL Media

The support will aid financial institutions and large corporations to include micro and small enterprises as business and supply chain clients.
Tuesday, August 6, 2013 — No Region Specified

Dubai hosts first World Entrepreneurship Forum in Middle East

Source: Middle East Online

Dubai SME, the agency of the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai mandated to develop the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the World Entrepreneurship Forum to host the UAE chapter of the Forum to promote entrepreneurial idea exchange and networking in the region.
Wednesday, December 19, 2012 — No Region Specified

USAID Mobilizes Record Amount of Private Capital to Support Small Businesses in Developing Countries

Source: USAID Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – USAID’s Development Credit Authority (DCA) worked with 45 financial institutions in 23 countries in 2012 to unlock up to $525 million in private capital for underserved entrepreneurs in developing countries. The financing, made available through 34 partial credit guarantees, is the most USAID has mobilized in a single year.
Monday, September 17, 2012 — Latin America

12,000 Nicaraguan Families to Benefit From Improved Housing Conditions

Source: Hispanically Speaking News

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