Our Staff Writers and Editors offer insights on the latest news, events, interviews and other happenings from the development through enterprise and base of the pyramid universes
Thursday, 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.
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.
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.
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?”
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Tuesday, April 28, 2015 — No Region Specified

Press Release: Microcredit Summit Campaign Joins World Bank's Financial Inclusion Efforts

Source: PRWeb

The Microcredit Summit Campaign joins the World Bank Group and their coalition of partners -- including MasterCard, Visa, Mandiri, the State Bank of India, Equity Bank, and Bandhan -- in making a commitment to accelerate universal financial access; financial access and inclusion are stepping stones to achieving the end of extreme poverty by 2030. The Campaign will work with its reporting institutions to help them expand their outreach by at least 53 million of the world's poorest families, bringing the overall total of the world's poorest families reached by microfinance to 175 million by 2020.
Friday, April 17, 2015 — South Asia

Village Women Run Safe Water Franchises in Arsenic-Hit India, Bangladesh

Source: Reuters

Rural housewives in countries such as India and Bangladesh, where ground water has high levels of arsenic, are being encouraged to set up businesses to sell safe water to save lives in their communities and earn some income.
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.
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?
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).
Friday, March 13, 2015 — No Region Specified

Lending to Poor Farmers: Seeding the Market

Source: The Economist

“Coffee is our gateway drug,” jokes Willy Foote, founder of Root Capital. “Then we move on to harder stuff, like cocoa, cashews, quinoa and sorghum.” That is how the firm got started in 1999, after Mr Foote quit his job as a Wall Street analyst, lending $73,000 to a coffee (and cardamom) co-operative in Guatemala. It has since expanded to 25 countries in Latin America and Africa, and in December set up shop in Indonesia, with a loan of $550,000 to an organic coffee co-operative.
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.
Thursday, March 12, 2015 — No Region Specified

Women: The Unbanked “CFOs”


There are 2.5 billion in the world without a bank account. That number is familiar and been reported widely. What’s lesser known is that a majority of those 2.5 billion unbanked people are women.
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.
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

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.
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
Wednesday, February 25, 2015 — South Asia

Yunus Sees Room for Microcredit in China

Source: Global Times

Microcredit has been met with immense enthusiasm in China in recent years, with both banks and business moguls pushing into the sector. Global Times (GT) reporters Gu Di and Liu Zhun talked to Muhammad Yunus (Yunus), a Bangladeshi social entrepreneur, economist, and microcredit icon. For founding Grameen Bank, a bank that makes small loans to the impoverished, he was awarded with the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006. Yunus shared his understanding with GT of why microcredit is flourishing in China and how China's "One Belt and One Road" project could influence the field.
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

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.
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.
Thursday, February 12, 2015 — South Asia

Viewpoint: Smaller Banks Better Suited for India’s Financial Inclusion Drive; Modi Should Have Waited

Source: Firstpost

There are too many takers for licences for small-sized banks. A total of 113 companies knocked the doors of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) with applications when the deadline expired at the close of business hours on 3 February. The list (see here) includes both the biggies and tiny names.
Monday, February 9, 2015 — Latin America

Study to Offer Microloans to Tijuana Sex Workers

Source: U-T San Diego

A study that looks at links between poverty and high-risk behavior among Tijuana sex workers will offer loans to a group of 60 women this year. The dollar amount is small— initially about $200 per participant — and the researchers hope that the women will use the money to launch small businesses and find an additional source of income.
Wednesday, January 28, 2015 — Latin America

Brazilian Development Bank Loans $100m to Banco do Nordeste do Brasil to Expand Microcredit

Source: MicroCapital

Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social (BNDES), the Brazilian government’s development bank, reportedly has announced that it will loan USD 100 million to Banco do Nordeste do Brasil (BNB), a public bank operating in Brazil’s Northeastern Region. The investment will be made from the microcredit program of BNDES, and BNB will commit an additional BRL 42.8 million (USD 16.6 million) to the effort. The proceeds will be used to fund individual entrepreneurs as well as micro- and small enterprises (MSEs). The interest rate of the wholesale loan will be set according to the country’s Long-term Interest Rate (known as TJLP in portuguese), which currently stands at 5.5 percent, plus 1.1 percent [1].
Tuesday, January 27, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan Promises to Revive the Country’s Microcredit Sector If He wins Re-Election

Source: allAfrica

President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday promised to revive the micro-credit sector of the economy if he wins the February 14, 2015 election.
Thursday, January 22, 2015 — No Region Specified

Microcredit Does Not Live Up to Promise of Transforming Lives of the Poor, Six Studies Show

Source: Innovations for Poverty Action

Microcredit—providing small loans to underserved entrepreneurs—has been both celebrated and vilified as a development tool. Six new studies from four continents bring rigorous evidence to this debate, finding that while microcredit has some benefits, it is not a viable poverty alleviation tool.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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).
Thursday, October 23, 2014 — No Region Specified

Why American Small Businesses Are Singing Microcredit's Praises

Source: Inc.

Grameen America has helped multiple neighborhoods in the U.S. thrive. Here's the story of one business owner in Queens, New York.
Thursday, October 23, 2014 — No Region Specified

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

Source: Humanosphere

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

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

Source: MasterCard Foundation

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

OPINION: Microfinance in India: To hell and back

Source: Live Mint

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

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

Source: All Africa

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

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

Source: Microcredit Summit

CARD MRI, Freedom from Hunger and the Microcredit Summit Campaign are launching a joint project called “Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies” to improve health knowledge and promote behavior change for more than 600,000 women by December 2015.
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.
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.
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.
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 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, 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 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.
Tuesday, July 8, 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 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.
Tuesday, April 8, 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”
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

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, 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

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.
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.
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.
Friday, February 28, 2014 — No Region Specified

Kiva Partners with Vittana to Bolster its Student Loans Program


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

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

Source: International Business Times

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

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

Source: WorldStage Group

The Central Bank of Nigeria CBN on Tuesday refuted a recent report that 600 microfinance banks (MFBs) were facing imminent shutdown. According to a statement by the apex bank, its Director, Other Financial Institutions Supervision Department (OFISD), Mr. Olufemi Fabamwo was quoted as saying that the story was totally untrue and misleading.
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 7, 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 7, 2014 — No Region Specified

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

Source: The Economist

A STORY in the finance section this week looks at what has happened to microfinance interest rates. To summarise briefly: we argue that as microfinance for the very poorest borrowers has expanded, microfinance institutions (MFIs) have had to raise their rates. As MFIs target poorer, less reliable customers, they need to charge higher rates to cover increased defaults and steeper funding costs.
Friday, 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 9, 2014 — Asia Pacific

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

Source: Tech In Asia

Renrendai reported it facilitated RMB 1 billion ($165.2 million) in loans as of August 2013, with a 276 percent year-on-year increase in the first half of last year.
Thursday, January 2, 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 9, 2013 — No Region Specified

In a first, MFI customers to be given credit scores

Source: The Hindu Business Line

For the first time in India, a credit bureau is offering scores to help understand the credit profile of microfinance customers.
Friday, December 6, 2013 — South Asia

Microfinance has failed in India: Jairam Ramesh

Source: Hindustan Times

"Microfinance 1.0 has failed. It was not the miracle it was touted to be," said Union rural development minister Jairam Ramesh at the HT Leadership Summit 2013 on Friday.
Wednesday, December 4, 2013 — No Region Specified

Microfinance empowering women in un-banked villages

Source: The Hindu Business Line

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

Microloans Finance a Path to U.S. Citizenship

Source: American Banker

In the past 18 months, a Californian bank has helped more than 300 legal permanent residents attain citizenship by extending them a $1,000 loan.
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 7, 2013 — No Region Specified

New Micro Lending Program to Pump Cash into Detroit

Source: Fox Business

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

Premal Shah: Loans That Change Lives

Source: Forbes

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

SKS Microfinance poised to make a clean break from the past

Source: The Economic Times

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

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

Source: Ventureburn

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

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 8, 2013 — Asia Pacific

World Bank president to open 2013 Microcredit Summit

Source: Sun Star Manila

World Bank president Jim Yong Kim will open the 2013 Microcredit Summit: Partnerships against Poverty on October 9 with a recorded statement urging the nearly 800 delegates from 69 countries to commit themselves to the advancement of microfinance to end extreme poverty.
Monday, October 7, 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 1, 2013 — South Asia

Indian micro-lenders look beyond Andhra Pradesh for survival

Source: Business Standard

Micro-lenders claim that new rules have turned their businesses unviable and encouraged borrowers to not repay money.
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 6, 2012 — No Region Specified

Are you the next Mark Zuckerberg?


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 5, 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 4, 2012 — Latin America

Making housing more affordable in Mexico


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


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


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 8, 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,, 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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