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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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Wednesday, August 06, 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, July 30, 2014 — Asia Pacific

Microcredits boost rural financing in China

Source: China Economic Net

Opinions on Development of Financial Services to Farmer, Rural Areas, and Agricultural Production by the General Office of the State Council has proposed "accelerated promotion of microcredits in rural areas".
Monday, July 28, 2014 — Latin America

PRESS RELEASE: President Peña Nieto of Mexico Expected to Attend 17th Microcredit Summit

Source: Digital Journal

The Microcredit Summit Campaign announced today that President Enrique Peña Nieto is expected to join the delegates of the 17th Microcredit Summit on September 3, 2014, in Merida, Mexico.
Thursday, July 24, 2014 — South Asia

Chinese microcredit firms lend around USD $10 billion in first half of 2014

Source: Global Post

BEIJING, July 23 (Xinhua) -- Microcredit companies in China issued 61.8 billion yuan (about 10 billion U.S. dollars) of new loans in the first half of 2014, industry figures showed on Wednesday.
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.
Wednesday, July 09, 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.
Tuesday, July 08, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Tanzania: Better Credit Facility in Pipeline

Source: AllAfrica

MEMBERS of the public may soon start accessing credits on competitive terms, thanks to the Credit Reference Bureau (CRB), that commercial banks have embraced amid optimism that the data base will help to extend financial services to more people, a new study has shown.
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
Wednesday, April 30, 2014 — No Region Specified

Microcredit Impact Revisited

Source: Huffington Post Impact

A few years ago, a storm was raging in the microcredit world. Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus, a pioneer of the idea behind giving small working capital loans to groups of mainly poor women based on social collateral, had promised that microcredit would end poverty and "put it in the museums." But in an influential 2010 study, a group of researchers who spearheaded the concept of randomized-controlled trials (RCTs) in development economics, found no evidence that microcredit was making poverty history.
Tuesday, April 29, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Kenya: Have an Unpaid Water Bill? Kiss Getting Loans Goodbye

Source: Standard Digital Business

If you fail to pay your water, electricity or telephone bills, you will find it very difficult to borrow money from any financial institution.
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.
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 09, 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.
Tuesday, April 08, 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.
Tuesday, April 08, 2014 — Latin America

Incofin Investment Management’s Rural Impulse Fund Acquires Equity Stake in FIELCO From Accion Gateway Fund

Source: MicroCapital

FIELCO expects to use Incofin IM’s expertise in international microfinance to “strengthen its governance, focus on social performance and overall structure”
Monday, April 07, 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 07, 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 07, 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 04, 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, 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 06, 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 05, 2014 — No Region Specified

Microlender's contest to boost Philly-region small business

Source: Philly.com

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 — No Region Specified

Kiva Partners with Vittana to Bolster its Student Loans Program

Source: crowdsourcing.org

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

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

Source: International Business Times

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

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

Source: WorldStage Group

The Central Bank of Nigeria CBN on Tuesday refuted a recent report that 600 microfinance banks (MFBs) were facing imminent shutdown. According to a statement by the apex bank, its Director, Other Financial Institutions Supervision Department (OFISD), Mr. Olufemi Fabamwo was quoted as saying that the story was totally untrue and misleading.
Tuesday, February 18, 2014 — Asia Pacific

Fears Of China's Shadow Banking Implosion Are Overblown

Source: Forbes

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

Chinese microcredit firm moves into online P2P lending

Source: South China Morning Post

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

Accion to partner with Lagos on poverty alleviation

Source: All Africa

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

OPINION: Can microfinance be self-regulated?

Source: The Hindu Business Line

The Reserve Bank’s recent announcement, recognising industry associations as self regulatory organisations (SRO) is being seen as a positive development for the microfinance industry (MFIs). But have MFI associations acquitted themselves well enough to deserve this regulatory mantle?
Thursday, February 13, 2014 — No Region Specified

Absolving the 'Original Sin' of Microfinance

Source: The Guardian

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

Mobile cash delights tithe-eager pastors in Zimbabwe

Source: New Zimbabwe

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

Reserve Bank of India Eases Lending Norms for Microfinance Institutions

Source: Live Mint

Move gives more leeway to medium-sized micro lenders to price their loans based on their cost borrowings
Friday, February 07, 2014 — No Region Specified

Microcredit Summit Campaign and Child and Youth Finance International Celebrate Global Money Week 2014

Source: Digital Journal

The Microcredit Summit Campaign celebrates Global Money Week 2014 together with Child and Youth Finance International. The Campaign invites its members to join in the celebration and raise maximum awareness for child and youth financial empowerment and inclusion.
Friday, February 07, 2014 — No Region Specified

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

Source: The Economist

A STORY in the finance section this week looks at what has happened to microfinance interest rates. To summarise briefly: we argue that as microfinance for the very poorest borrowers has expanded, microfinance institutions (MFIs) have had to raise their rates. As MFIs target poorer, less reliable customers, they need to charge higher rates to cover increased defaults and steeper funding costs.
Friday, January 31, 2014 — No Region Specified

Poor service: Tiny loans are getting more expensive

Source: The Economist

INTEREST on the minuscule loans made by microfinance outfits has always been high, but over the past few years it has become even higher. A recent paper, using data on over 1,500 microfinance institutions (MFIs) from around the world, shows that for the smallest loans, typically less than $150, the average rate climbed steadily from 30% in 2004 to 35% in 2011.*
Thursday, January 30, 2014 — No Region Specified

Microfinance, macro risk

Source: Social Enterprise Buzz

MFX supports lending to entrepreneurs in low-income countries by offering currency swaps and forward contracts to international micro, small, and medium enterprise lenders to offset the risk they take when lending in the local currency of their borrowers.
Monday, January 27, 2014 — No Region Specified

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

Source: Ventures

African Guarantee Fund (AGF) has entered into an agreement with Diamond Bank to support the lender’s microcredit to small businesses in the region to the tune of $25 Million.
Tuesday, January 21, 2014 — South Asia

Microfinance as a tool for empowering conflict-affected communities

Source: Daily FT

At a recently-held seminar organised by the Pathfinder Foundation in Colombo, a paper and three presentations were publicised under the theme ‘microfinance as a tool for empowering conflict-affected communities’.
Thursday, January 16, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Ghana to limit microfinance licenses

Source: Spy Ghana

Bank of Ghana (BoG) seeks to put a ceiling on the rising number of microfinance companies in the country.
Friday, January 10, 2014 — No Region Specified

Arab Gulf Program for Development calls for more microfinance institutions

Source: Arab News

The Arab Gulf Program for Development (AGFUND) called on Arab countries to set up more micro-financing institutions to help unemployed youth and poor people make a sustainable living.
Thursday, January 09, 2014 — Asia Pacific

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

Source: Tech In Asia

Renrendai reported it facilitated RMB 1 billion ($165.2 million) in loans as of August 2013, with a 276 percent year-on-year increase in the first half of last year.
Thursday, January 02, 2014 — South Asia

Opinion : The economics of microcredit

Source: The News International

The problem of adverse selection in a credit market is used to describe a situation where the lender involved in a transaction cannot observe the type or quality of goods or the production of the borrower.
Wednesday, December 18, 2013 — No Region Specified

Microfinance’s macro potential

Source: Economia

Microfinance is, at its heart, an effort to provide financial services to people who are not served – or are under-served – by the formal banking system. With appropriate, accessible, and fairly priced financial services, people can build their savings, cover the costs of unexpected emergencies, and invest in their families’ health, housing, and education.
Monday, December 16, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

In Nigeria, Accion disburses N22 billion in loans

Source: All Africa

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

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

Source: Forbes

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

Can microenterprises grow through finance?

Source: World Bank Blogs

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

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

Source: The Financial Express

Top microfinance institutions (MFIs), besides their prime focus on microcredit, have widened their areas of services in various social sectors like education, health, agriculture and disaster management
Monday, December 09, 2013 — No Region Specified

In a first, MFI customers to be given credit scores

Source: The Hindu Business Line

For the first time in India, a credit bureau is offering scores to help understand the credit profile of microfinance customers.
Friday, December 06, 2013 — South Asia

Microfinance has failed in India: Jairam Ramesh

Source: Hindustan Times

"Microfinance 1.0 has failed. It was not the miracle it was touted to be," said Union rural development minister Jairam Ramesh at the HT Leadership Summit 2013 on Friday.
Wednesday, December 04, 2013 — No Region Specified

Microfinance empowering women in un-banked villages

Source: The Hindu Business Line

Sa-Dhan, an umbrella of microfinance groups, hopes pending Bill will bring down interest rates.
Tuesday, December 03, 2013 — No Region Specified

Microloans Finance a Path to U.S. Citizenship

Source: American Banker

In the past 18 months, a Californian bank has helped more than 300 legal permanent residents attain citizenship by extending them a $1,000 loan.
Thursday, November 21, 2013 — No Region Specified

5 ways to fight resistance to sustainability

Source: GreenBiz

To avoid discouragement and burnout, we need to address this resistance proactively, yet patiently.
Tuesday, November 19, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Microcredit has been a disaster for the poorest in South Africa

Source: The Guardian

The finance model was supposed to help the country's disenfranchised, but has just pushed them further into debt
Tuesday, November 12, 2013 — No Region Specified

World Bank says expanded access to banking services comes with risks

Source: Chicago Tribune

In a new report, the World Bank warns that while some services, like low-fee accounts, clearly benefit the poor and small firms, others - such as microcredit, microinsurance, and debt relief - can do more harm than good.
Monday, November 11, 2013 — No Region Specified

Why Micro-Lending Needs A Vision Lift

Source: Forbes

For most people, the term ‘micro-lending’ connotes lending micro amounts of money to low-income people to help them build a micro-business. When entrepreneurs achieve these modest goals, everyone heaves a sigh of relief. Is this a case of being satisfied with modest goals, i.e. aim low and settle for little?
Thursday, November 07, 2013 — No Region Specified

New Micro Lending Program to Pump Cash into Detroit

Source: Fox Business

Amid the Motor City’s ongoing bankruptcy eligibility trial, the launch of a new lending program is likely welcomed news for Detroit small businesses.
Tuesday, November 05, 2013 — No Region Specified

Premal Shah: Loans That Change Lives

Source: Forbes

An interview with former PayPal product manager Premal Shah, who today heads Kiva, a global microfinance organization.
Friday, November 01, 2013 — South Asia

SKS Microfinance poised to make a clean break from the past

Source: The Economic Times

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

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

Source: Ventureburn

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

Microcredit for Americans

Source: The New York Times

Microlending in general has boomed, more than tripling the number of borrowers from 2008 to 2011, according to data collected by the Aspen Institute and Grameen America.
Tuesday, October 29, 2013 — Asia Pacific

Why the banker who helped millions of Bangladeshis out of poverty became his country’s enemy number one

Source: The Independent

Muhammad Yunus is fêted by world leaders, renowned internationally and a national hero at home. All of which makes it harder to explain why the government in his native Bangladesh is trying to destroy him.
Monday, October 28, 2013 — Asia Pacific

The Bangladesh poor selling organs to pay debts

Source: BBC News

Millions of rural Bangladeshis, grow up facing a life of hardship. In an attempt to alleviate poverty, countless numbers take on debt with microcredit lenders, only to find themselves in a difficult situation when they are unable to repay the loan.
Wednesday, October 23, 2013 — No Region Specified

11 verdicts on microfinance

Source: The Guardian

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

Alibaba issues China’s first microloan securitization

Source: The Asahi Shimbun

Orient Securities and Alibaba have issued the nation’s first securitized product backed by microloans.
Thursday, October 17, 2013 — No Region Specified

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

Source: Business Standard

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

Micro-Lending Empowers Entrepreneurs Around The World

Source: Forbes

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

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

Source: Smart Campaign

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

Small loans, big smiles in Mexico’s Oaxaca

Source: Seattle Times

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

Microfinance key to achieve MDGs–Nobel awardee

Source: Business Mirror

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

Habitat for Humanity launches housing micro-credit in Costa Rica

Source: Tico Times

Poor would-be homeowners will have the chance to remodel or build their own homes in a housing market that skews toward the rich.
Thursday, October 10, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Nigeria: Microfinance Banks Need More Financial Empowerment

Source: All Africa

The Managing Director, Fortis Micofinance Bank Plc, Mr. Kunle Oketikun has called for more financial empowerment for Nigerians.
Tuesday, October 08, 2013 — Asia Pacific

World Bank president to open 2013 Microcredit Summit

Source: Sun Star Manila

World Bank president Jim Yong Kim will open the 2013 Microcredit Summit: Partnerships against Poverty on October 9 with a recorded statement urging the nearly 800 delegates from 69 countries to commit themselves to the advancement of microfinance to end extreme poverty.
Monday, October 07, 2013 — No Region Specified

New blow for microlenders in South Africa

Source: Business Times

GRAMEEN bank founder Muhammad Yunus, widely considered the father of modern microcredit, issued a stern warning on Friday about how microlending could become “abusive” and be misused by lenders.
Tuesday, October 01, 2013 — South Asia

Indian micro-lenders look beyond Andhra Pradesh for survival

Source: Business Standard

Micro-lenders claim that new rules have turned their businesses unviable and encouraged borrowers to not repay money.
Friday, September 27, 2013 — No Region Specified

Not Your Mother's Microfinance

Source: Huffington Post

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

SKS Microfinance Limited to go for image makeover

Source: The Times of India

HYDERABAD: Battered by the AP MFI crisis, SKS Microfinance Limited, India's sole listed microfinance company said it had roped in one of the leading global marketing strategists Jack Trout to revamp its image.
Thursday, June 27, 2013 — Latin America

Studies on Mexican microlender shed light on profit, poverty

Source: Reuters

Mexico's microfinancing bank Compartamos, accused by activists of exploiting poor borrowers with exorbitant interest rates, has generally helped people but could cut the interest it charges without hurting its bottom line, a pair of studies has found.
Monday, April 22, 2013 — Europe & Eurasia

10 Things I Learned At Skoll World Forum 2013

Source: Forbes

The 10th annual Skoll World Forum, which brought together several hundred of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs to Oxford, wrapped up last week.
Thursday, January 24, 2013 — No Region Specified

News Release: New Client Protection Certification Program Sets the Bar for Microfinance

Source: News Release

As of today, the microfinance industry has new client protection standards and a Client Protection Certification Program aimed at retail financial institutions serving the world’s poor. The ambitious effort, created for and by the industry and managed by the Smart Campaign, represents an important milestone in the evolution of microfinance as a uniquely client-focused portion of the global financial sector. “There has been widespread demand for mechanisms that protect microfinance clients. This is the first program that verifies client protection publicly,” said Smart Campaign Managing Director Isabelle Barrès.
Thursday, December 06, 2012 — No Region Specified

Are you the next Mark Zuckerberg?

Source: Salon.com

New tests are helping loan officers assess entrepreneurs -- and weed out the bad investment risks from the good
Monday, November 19, 2012 — South Asia

‘We are now treading cautiously on lending’

Source: The Hindu Business Line

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

Micro Benefits to be Recognized at the G20 Summit for Improving the Livelihoods of China's Factory Workers

Source: Market Watch Press Release

SUZHOU, China, Oct 31, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- In collaboration with the G20 Mexico Summit, Ashoka Changemakers(R) has named Micro Benefits one of five finalists in a worldwide social impact competition - the G2012 Mexico Financial Inclusion Challenge: Innovative Solutions for Unlocking Access. More than half the world's population - some 2.7 billion adults - lack access to basic financial services such as affordable credit, savings and insurance products.
Monday, September 24, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

LendmeMula introduces ZimSwitch enabled MulaConnect card

Source: TechZim

One of the issues with the LendmeMula micro-credit service that we have covered here before, is that so far borrowers have had to wait for up to 24 hours before they could access the borrowed money in their bank accounts. The money had to be transferred by Lendme to their bank accounts. This made the process somewhat slow, and where a borrower did not have a bank ATM card, they had to pray they could access their money before the banks closed their doors.
Wednesday, September 05, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Oando seals pact with LAPO on access to cooking gas

Source: The Guardian Nigeria

Following its plan to switch millions of Nigerians from biomass to a clean and sustainable cooking gas, Oando Marketing Plc has entered into an agreement with Lift Above Poverty Organisation Microfinance Bank (LAPO) to provide soft loans for low-income households in Nigeria to purchase Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG).
Tuesday, September 04, 2012 — Latin America

Making housing more affordable in Mexico

Source: Marketplace.org

In many parts of the world, if families outgrow their homes they simply add on to them. They grow 'em, piece by piece, room by room, brick by brick, when they get some extra cash. But, turns out, that's not very efficient. It wastes money, supplies, and lots of time. Alex Goldmark reports from Mexico, on a new way to build affordable housing -- and I mean really affordable.
Monday, August 20, 2012 — South Asia

India’s microfinance industry gets some relief

Source: Devex

It’s a period in history that India’s microfinance industry would probably rather forget: In late 2010, more than 200 poor residents of the Andhra Pradesh state committed suicide allegedly due to excessive pressure from microcreditors for debt repayments. Backlash against microfinance institutions not just in the state but the whole of India followed.
Friday, May 25, 2012 — South Asia

Rural women in Gujarat get energy-efficient products

Source: Times of India

AHMEDABAD: International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, is helping Ahmedabad-based Self-Employed Women's Association (SEWA) provide energy-efficient cook stoves and solar lanters to its members. IFC will provide a partial credit guarantee for a $5 million loan that an Indian private sector bank is providing to SEWA-sponsored Grassroots Trading Network for Women.
Tuesday, May 22, 2012 — No Region Specified

India Government Introduces Bill to Regulate Microfinance

Source: Wall Street Journal

NEW DELHI – The Indian government Tuesday introduced a bill in Parliament that will give power to the country's central bank to regulate the microfinance sector, where companies lend to small borrowers. Introduced in the lower house of Parliament by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, the Microfinance Institutions (Development and Regulations) Bill will give powers to the Reserve Bank of India to set the maximum interest rate that can be charged by micro lenders. The RBI will also set performance standards for the institutions and ensure that they use "fair and reasonable methods" for the recovery of loans.
Monday, April 23, 2012 — South Asia

Govt to Probe Sister Concerns of Grameen Bank

Source: bdnews24.com

The government will form a commission to look into the activities of 54 organisations associated with Grameen Bank, the finance minister has said.
Monday, March 12, 2012 — North Africa and Near East

Kiva and Silatech Launch Online Entrepreneur Micro-loans

Source: ITP.net

Online micro-lending platform Kiva has announced a partnership with Qatar's Silatech to develop an online funding programme for young Arab entrepreneurs.
Thursday, March 08, 2012 — Latin America

Tiny Loans, Tremendous Returns: Tales from the Microlending Frontier

Source: DailyFinance

Sometimes, small gestures can make huge differences in people's lives and livelihoods. That's the premise -- and the power -- of microlending.
Friday, February 24, 2012 — South Asia

Micro-lender's Own Probe Links It to 200 Suicides

Source: The Seattle Times

First they were stripped of their utensils, furniture, mobile phones, televisions, ration cards and heirloom gold jewelry. Then, some of them drank pesticide. One woman threw herself in a pond. Another jumped into a well with her children.
Friday, February 17, 2012 — South Asia

Indian MFIs Have Deviated From Idea of Micro Credit: Muhammad Yunus

Source: The Economic Times

Microfinance institutions in India have deviated from the idea of micro credit, Professor Muhammad Yunus, chairman of Yunus Centre and pioneer of micro-credit, has said. "They (MFIs) moved away from the idea of micro credit. That has created all the problems," said Yunus, in a media brefing in Mumbai. "MFIs based in Andhra Pradesh have drifted from their mission.
Friday, January 14, 2011 — No Region Specified

NetSuite Donates Cloud Services to Social Enterprises

Source: Talkin' Cloud

NetSuite , the SaaS business management solution vendor, is a publicly traded and profitable corporation. But NetSuite has a softer side, too - specifically, NetSuite.org, the company's corporate citizenship program that gives away NetSuite subscriptions for free to social enterprises. That is, enterprises, both non-profit and otherwise, who use market forces to achieve a soci...
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