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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
Thursday, July 23, 2015 — Latin America

Peru Government Installs National Strategy for Financial Inclusion

Source: Peru this Week

As the Peruvian Finance Minister, Alonso Segura, declared last December, social inclusion is “the foundation of Peru’s growth.” To make this possible, they increased the budget for social inclusion programs for the current year by 20%.
Thursday, July 2, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Can Mobile Money Improve Your Health?

Source: IT News Africa

According to insights provided byMondato, the general rule of thumb is that when something appears too good to be true, it very likely is. Imagine that you were unfamiliar with the concept of insurance. A stranger at your door promises that if you pay 1000 shillings per month via your phone, if at some point you or someone in your family were to fall ill, the man’s company will pay up to 300 times that amount to cover the medical expenses. You would certainly be forgiven for being highly circumspect, at the very minimum.
Wednesday, June 24, 2015 — No Region Specified

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

Source: Inside Philanthropy

More market players are stepping into the microinsurance arena - if this trend continues, the role of philanthropy in this space may become less and less critical.
Friday, June 12, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

In Ethiopia, crop insurance takes root but changes needed - experts

Source: Reuters

For Ethiopian farmers dealing with the worsening impacts of climate change, small-scale crop insurance can be a lifesaver.
Friday, May 15, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

In Africa, the Future of Insurance Is Micro and Mobile

Source: The Africa Report

Telecoms companies are redefining Africa's insurance landscape, using their brand recognition and wide customer reach to offer micro-insurance products to the tens of millions of uninsured Africans.
Wednesday, May 6, 2015 — No Region Specified

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

Source: CGAP

The Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), today announced the appointment of Greta Bull as its new CEO. As CGAP’s CEO, Ms. Bull is also a Director at the World Bank Group.
Thursday, April 30, 2015 — Asia Pacific

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation pushes microinsurance for disaster mitigation

Source: Rappler

The 21 member-economies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is pushing for microinsurance to mitigate the impact of natural disasters.
Friday, April 24, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Mali's Farmers Count on National Fund to Expand Climate Insurance

Source: allAfrica

A lack of rain in the middle of last season caused Seydou Diarassouba's sorghum crop to fail.
Wednesday, April 22, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Challenges of Emerging Risks Underwriting in Insurance in Nigeria

Source: This Day Live

Recent social and environmental developments in Nigeria have underscored the need for Nigerian insurers not only to consolidate on local risks they are familiar with but to pay more attention to emerging risks.
Thursday, April 16, 2015 — Asia Pacific

Microinsurance Program Lets People Trade Their Garbage for Free Health Care in Indonesia

Source: Aquila Style

In what is an innovative first for the region, a company in Indonesia is now offering to recycle your trash for two free visits to the doctor. Now, how clever is that?
Tuesday, April 14, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Insurers Must Adapt to 'Informal' African Market

Source: EurActiv

Insurance companies are struggling to gain a foothold in Africa, where populations tend to favour community insurance schemes called tontines. These are often informal agreements between trusted friends and family members. EurActiv France reports.
Monday, April 13, 2015 — No Region Specified

Medtech Business Opportunities: There's Plenty of Room at the Bottom

Source: Plastics Today

There is a huge underserved market for medical technology—roughly two-thirds of the global population—that is largely ignored by the medtech industry. That market sits at the base of the pyramid (BoP), and it is composed primarily of populations in the emerging global markets. A report from global business consultancy PWC, "Quality healthcare for all: Starting from a strong base," considers this market to be a tremendous opportunity for companies to do good, both in business terms and for the human condition. "There may be no better place to look than the BoP healthcare market to seek new business," write PWC analysts. "Companies that do may find huge revenue potential combined with the opportunity to improve the lives of billions of people through access to better healthcare."
Tuesday, March 24, 2015 — Asia Pacific

28M Filipinos Covered by Micro-Insurance as of 2014

Source: Sun.Star

As of 2014, 28 million Filipinos have micro-insurance coverage, according to the Insurance Commission (IC). The agency sees a continued growth in this segment as more Filipinos turn to micro-insurance for protection and financial security, especially for calamities.
Thursday, March 5, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

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

Source: TechZim

EcoSure has registered over 1 million users, an uptake that translates to 150,000 new users every week. These are impressive numbers, so what’s the secret behind this?
Thursday, February 19, 2015 — Asia Pacific

Low-Income Filipinos Can Rely on Microinsurance When Disaster Strikes

Source: The Manila Times

The domestic insurance industry posted a stellar growth performance in the past year, registering an estimated 28 million Filipinos protected by microinsurance.
Thursday, February 12, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Agriculture Insurance Turning Around Farmers’ Lives in East Africa

Source: New Vision

Jackie Kiconco sits in her garden with her right hand supporting her chin. Her eyes are gazing across the maize garden that she had planted but because of late rainfall, the seeds failed to germinate.
Friday, January 23, 2015 — No Region Specified

Global Insurers, Brokers Establish Micro Insurance Consortium

Source: Insurance Journal

A group of global insurance companies and brokers took advantage of the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos to announce that they have established a micro insurance consortium and micro insurance venture incubator (MVI).
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

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

Source: MicroCapital

The Grameen Crédit Agricole Microfinance Foundation (GCAMF), a Luxembourg-based provider of financial services to microfinance institutions (MFIs) and other social businesses, recently informed MicroCapital that it has issued the following three loans: (1) EUR 482,000 (USD 555,000) over a two-year period to to Juhudi Kilimo, a for-profit provider of microloans and microinsurance in Kenya; (2) EUR 293,000 (USD 339,000) over a three-year period to Uganda Microcredit Foundation (UMF), a microfinance institution offering financial services to “economically active” Ugandans; and (3) EUR 257,000 (USD 297,000) over a three-year period to Encont, a provider of microloans to rural enterprises in Uganda [1].
Friday, December 12, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

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

Source: Tech Zim

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

Micro Insurance: A Tool for Financial Inclusion

Source: Financial Chronicle

Financial inclusion is now one of the most talked about agendas towards holistic development of the country. With the thrust towards financial inclusion by the Narendra Modi government to achieve all round growth of society, micro insurance is poised to play an important role in it.
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, November 24, 2014 — South Asia

Micro-insurance On the Up Among Insurers and Public

Source: The Jakarta Post

While insurance penetration in general remains low, micro-insurance has seen significant growth as more banks partner with insurance firms to offer micro-insurance products to low-income earners.
Friday, September 5, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Zimbabwe: Insurers Must Introduce New Products

Source: All Africa

Zimbabwe's Insurance and Pensions Commission (Ipec) has called on players in the insurance sector to be innovative to come up with new products that are suitable for the lower end of the market and grow income in the face of tight liquidity.
Friday, August 8, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Nigeria: Airtel unveils Airtel Insurance

Source: IT News Africa

Airtel Nigeria has collaborated with MicroEnsure and Cornerstone Insurance in order to launch its latest, free insurance product.
Friday, August 8, 2014 — South Asia

Micro-insurance products in India may see sea-change

Source: Business Standard

Better remuneration to distributors and policies with bigger ticket size may boost sale
Wednesday, July 9, 2014 — North Africa and Near East

Pakistani businesswoman Sadaffe Abid makes it her mission to empower women

Source: The National

Sadaffe Abid is one of Pakistan’s most successful businesswomen. She was the chief executive of the Kashf Foundation, one of the largest microfinance institutions in Pakistan, growing it from a pilot project in two rooms, to serve 300,000 female clients with micro-loans. Ms Abid also co-founded the Buksh Foundation, a Pakistani start-up that enhances financial access to micro entrepreneurs. After 13 years in micro-financing, Ms Abid now splits her time between Dubai and Pakistan, conducting leadership training focused on developing high-potential female professionals and entrepreneurs and emerging talent.
Monday, April 14, 2014 — No Region Specified

New-concept flood insurance could help Bangladesh's poor

Source: Irin News

A new insurance scheme in which pre-determined flood thresholds trigger speedy compensation offers hope for poor people in flood-prone Bangladesh, experts say.
Wednesday, April 9, 2014 — No Region Specified

Tanzania: Microinsurance Must Be Promoted Aggressively

Source: All Africa

TANZANIA is currently working on the best approach to increase the micro insurance coverage so that low income earners can easily access it as well as other financial services.
Tuesday, March 25, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

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

Source: Standard Digital Business

Low-income earners have traditionally been underserved when it comes to being provided with avenues to manage the risks they face every day.
Monday, March 10, 2014 — No Region Specified

Health insurers go for bottom of the pyramid

Source: Standard Digital

It is now possible for low-income earners to flash a smart card when seeking treatment from selected Government hospitals, faith-based health facilities or public health centres. This follows the entry of several underwriters into the low-income medical insurance business.
Wednesday, March 5, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

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

Source: Business Day

Nigeria prepares to unlock its microinsurance potential given the country’s huge population of 170 million people and a demographic structure leaning towards the mass poor.
Friday, February 7, 2014 — No Region Specified

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

Source: Business Standard

Micro insurance products could soon be sold by local grocery stores, public call offices (PCOs), fuel outlets and ration shops in rural areas. However, insurance sector officials also believe this would hamper the need-based sale objective.
Thursday, January 30, 2014 — Asia Pacific

Microinsurance coverage rises in the Philippines

Source: Business World Online

Over 19 million Filipinos are covered by microinsurance, more than six times the number recorded five years ago, the Department of Finance yesterday reported.
Wednesday, January 29, 2014 — No Region Specified

'Micro-insurance Impacts Significantly on Social Indices'

Source: This Day Live

The Micro-insurance Network, the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO’s) micro-insurance innovation facility, has said that micro-insurance has impacted positively on the standard of living of low income earners across the world.
Thursday, January 23, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Safaricom launches mobile micro-insurance service

Source: Human IPO

Kenyan operator Safaricom, Britam and Changamka Health have launched a micro-insurance health cover service which enables Kenyans to make contributions via M-Pesa, looking to increase the level of medical insurance cover in the country.
Monday, January 20, 2014 — No Region Specified

Insurers struggle to get micro-insurance agents

Source: Business Standard

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

More weather index insurance for African smallholder farmers

Source: African Capital Markets News

Weather insurance is a financial product aiming to help African farmers manage the volatility of drought and other weather crises. This week (14 Jan), IFC (www.ifc.org) signed 2 grant agreements with MicroEnsure Ltd to make more index-based weather insurance available to small-scale farmers in Rwanda and Zambia. Index-based insurance pays out on the basis of agreed weather data, such as rainfall as measured being lower than an agreed level, and is more efficient risk management tool than traditional indemnity-based agricultural insurance, which runs up high transaction costs and premiums.
Tuesday, December 10, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

LeapFrog Investments divests Ghanaian insurance firm Express Life to Prudential

Source: Venture Capital Post

Specialist investor LeapFrog Investments has divested the majority stake it holds in Express Life to Prudential Plc. Express Life is an insurance firm based in Ghana founded by Obed Danquah.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013 — Asia Pacific

Post-typhoon expansion of micro-insurance coverage for the poor sought in the Phillipines

Source: Inquirer News

The recent devastation caused by supertyphoon Yolanda in the Visayas underscored the importance of expanding coverage of micro-insurance to the marginalized communities in the country.
Wednesday, November 27, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Finally, Micro-insurance Takes off in Nigeria

Source: This Day Live

Nigeria has joined the nations that are determined to protect its poor and vulnerable by means of micro-insurance, writes Nnamdi Duru.
Wednesday, November 13, 2013 — No Region Specified

Accion’s Venture Lab Closes Two New Investments

Source: Accion

Impact-investing initiative announces close of investments in seed-stage companies that provide payments, health care and microinsurance products to clients at the base of the pyramid.
Tuesday, November 12, 2013 — No Region Specified

Microinsurance: Ripe for Disruption

Source: Insurance Networking News

The microinsurance market grew to more than 500 million risks in 2011, from 78 million risks in 2006, and could be as large as 360 million people in Latin America alone, according to a report from Celent.
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

Could micro-insurance help the poorest communities deal with climate change?

Source: The Guardian

Dramatic storms like Haiyan are becoming normal and affecting the poorest populations; micro-insurance promises to increase their resilience.
Wednesday, November 6, 2013 — No Region Specified

Microinsurance in Asia and Oceania Grows by 40%

Source: Microinsurance Network

According to new research released by the Munich Re Foundation and GIZ, the microinsurance sector in Asia and Oceania has reached 172 million lives and properties covered, representing a 40% annual growth rate between 2010 and 2012. India is leading the market at over 100 million, whilst Malaysia and Indonesia emerge as having the most vibrant microinsurance markets with a growth rate of 185% and over 100% respectively, over the same time period.
Wednesday, October 30, 2013 — No Region Specified

LIC ties up with NGOs for covering lower strata

Source: Business Standard

Aam Admi Bima Yojana provides insurance to earning members of rural landless families; LIC has covered 4.8 million beneficiaries so far. Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) has tied up with 31 non-governmental organisations (NGO) in Lucknow division for offering insurance cover to the bottom of the pyramid.
Monday, October 28, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Microinsurance in Africa grows by 200%, says report

Source: The Nation

More than 44 million Africans use microinsurance products as tools to manage the risks they are exposed to, a study on the Landscape of Microinsurance in Africa last year has shown.
Friday, October 25, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Bill set to open up Zimbabwe's micro insurance sector

Source: Zimbabwe Independent

The insurance sector is set to have more players following the introduction of the Micro Insurance Bill which will allow new and small-to-medium players who cannot meet high capitalization requirements to participate in the sector, a senior industry official said.
Friday, October 18, 2013 — No Region Specified

Indonesia's Financial Services Authority Launches Micro-insurance

Source: The Jakarta Post

The Financial Services Authority (OJK) hopes a newly launched blueprint will support the marketing and implementation of micro-insurance products across Indonesia by 2016. According to OJK commissioner overseeing non-banking financial industry Firdaus Djaelani, it is expected that the blueprint will help expand the micro-insurance segment in the domestic market.
Monday, September 30, 2013 — No Region Specified

Micro Insurance, Macro Problems

Source: The Hindu Business Line

In the light of decreasing motivation to introduce microinsurance products, it’s time to redefine the concept.
Monday, September 23, 2013 — No Region Specified

Nigeria: Insurance Sector Can Enhance Economic Growth - NAICOM

Source: Vanguard

The National Insurance Commission, NAICOM, has said that the country is much likely to attain a sustained economic growth and development if it can adapt its insurance industry with innovative ways that will bring on board the generality of the country's population. Commissioner for Insurance, Mr. Fola Daniel stated this at the sensitisation workshop for stakeholders on key initiatives of the Commission held in New Karu, Nasarawa State last week.
Friday, September 6, 2013 — No Region Specified

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

Source: CFI Blog

The global financial inclusion agenda continues to place insurance at the back of the queue when it comes to funding and broader financial inclusion strategies.
Monday, June 10, 2013 — No Region Specified

Micro Health Insurance: Chronicle of a Death Foretold?

Source: CGAP

Is there a future for micro health insurance? Is it destined to go by the wayside as governments take on an increasingly larger share of the burden of providing coverage to their populations? Should it?
Thursday, December 20, 2012 — No Region Specified

5 development innovations to watch in 2013

Source: Devex

Although this year had welcome news about poverty rates falling across the globe, almost two and a half billion people still get by on less than $2 a day. Innovative solutions for tackling global poverty are needed as much as ever. Here are five development innovations to watch in 2013:
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.
Wednesday, September 12, 2012 — Latin America

Haiti insurance firm receives $2 million in equity to expand services to the poor

Source: Montreal Gazette

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti - A non-profit set up by former U.S. Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush after the 2010 earthquake has given $1 million in equity to an insurance firm based in Haiti.
Wednesday, June 13, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

The Microinsurance Revolution

Source: The New York Times

Six years ago David Patient felt his immune system slipping. He had been H.I.V.-positive for a long time, but now he made two decisions: He started on antiretroviral medicines to protect himself, and he began trying to buy life insurance to provide for his partner.
Thursday, April 12, 2012 — Asia Pacific

Microinsurance in Rapid Expansion Says ILO, Munich Re Report

Source: Insurance Journal

According to the Microinsurance Innovation Facility of the International Labor Organizationand the Munich Re Foundation, “the number of microinsurance schemes worldwide has increased substantially over the past five years and now reaches an estimated 500 million worldwide.”
Monday, March 26, 2012 — Asia Pacific

Microfinance Experience in PHL Shows the Poor Can Be Insured

Source: BusinessMirror

The Philippine success in extending microfinance credit to the poor shows that this sector at and below the poverty threshold could also become worthy of insurance coverage, the Insurance Commission here said.
Wednesday, August 10, 2011 — North Africa and Near East

SMES In Egypt, Jordan to Benefit from $500 Million in U.S. Loans

Source: Devex News

The Overseas Private Investment Corp., an independent agency of the U.S. government, secured $500 million for a lending facility , of which half will be provided to Egypt and the rest to Jordan. OPIC will guarantee loans by local banks to SMEs, microfinance institutions and other approved borrowers. By filling in the gap in access to credit by SMEs in Jordan and Egypt, the initiative aims to spu...
Monday, January 17, 2011 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Majority of Microfinance Beneficiaries are Women

Source: Zawya

AMMAN - Vast majority of loans for micro projects in Jordan were extended to female entrepreneurs over the past few years, a recent study showed Sunday. According to the Arab Microfinance Regional Report, launched yesterday, women borrowers for micro projects represented over 70 per cent of total people who had access to micro credit facilities. Experts from lending institutions expected the trend of funding schemes run mainly by women to continue in the coming years. During...
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