Financial Inclusion During – and After – COVID-19: Three Takeaways From a (Very Different) European Microfinance Week 2020
The 2020 European Microfinance Week encapsulated much about the financial inclusion sector – the good, the bad and the simply confusing – as it navigated the historic challenges of the past year. Sam Mendelson at e-MFP shares three broad takeaways from the event, representing three key priorities for the inclusive finance industry as it seeks to adapt to the COVID-19 crisis – without overlooking other essential priorities.
Documenting a Historic Year in Emerging Markets Business: Vote for the Top NextBillion Article of 2020
Like many of you, we're not sorry to see the end of 2020. But as we look back on this historic, tragic year, NextBillion would like to take a moment to appreciate the extraordinary work done by enterprises, NGOs, researchers and others in the emerging markets business sector. They have risen to the occasion in ways that can best be described as heroic – while sharing their insights in nearly 100 COVID-19-focused articles on our platform. Several of these pieces are included in our "Most Influential Article of the Year" contest, which launches today. We invite you to read these articles and vote for your favorites – the contest runs from Dec. 21 to Jan. 2.
- Agriculture, Coronavirus, Energy, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Impact Assessment, NextBillion Originals
2020 MOST INFLUENTIAL ARTICLE CANDIDATE: Businesses Behaving Badly: The Troubling Parallels Between Microfinance and Facebook
Chuck Waterfield left microfinance five years ago, after working in the sector for three decades. He stopped using Facebook three years ago, after using the platform for about 10 years. As he explains, he left them both for a similar reason: Their business models have grown increasingly problematic over time – and without external intervention, things are likely to get worse.
2020 MOST INFLUENTIAL ARTICLE CANDIDATE: Liquidity Before Solvency: A Guide for Microfinance Investors in the Time of COVID-19
Among microfinance investors, there's growing concern that the COVID-19 pandemic will push providers toward insolvency, with fewer loans and shrinking portfolios leading MFIs to default on their debt. But Daniel Rozas at e-MFP argues that in a crisis, preserving MFIs’ liquidity must take precedence over maintaining their solvency. To that end, he urges investors to commit to a six-month moratorium on debt repayments from MFIs.
Press Release: Grameen America Launches Impact Investing Fund to Support Minority Women Small Business Owners Impacted by the Pandemic
Over the course of the fund's five-year life, $17.5 million will be redeployed in nearly $200 million of cumulative loans to women entrepreneurs.
- Sub-Saharan Africa
Globally, more than 1.5 billion people live or work on small farms, like Gomez's. They often cannot afford the advanced technology that could help them contend with the fallout from climate change.
- Latin America
Data + Digitization: The Key To Helping African Banks and Microfinance Institutions Support Their Customers During COVID-19
Thanks to COVID-19, the IMF projects 2020 to be the worst year for Africa's economic growth since its record-keeping began in 1970. And concerns are also mounting about the likelihood of an increase in non-performing loans, which will impact businesses, industries and individuals across the continent. Cate Rung at Pngme explores how financial technology – including a unified data API platform – can help banks and microfinance institutions weather this crisis, while delivering services that comply with social distancing measures.