MICROFINANCE EVENT: AITEC Banking & Mobile Money Lagos 2015, July 28 – 29, 2015, Lagos, Nigeria

Event Name: AITEC Banking & Mobile Money Lagos 2015

Event Date: July 28 – 29, 2015

Event Location: Eko Hotel, Adetokunbo Ademola Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria

Event Theme: Financial Empowerment through Trusted Payment Solutions

Event Summary: Now entering its eighth year, AITEC (African Information Technology Exhibitions and Conferences) Banking & Mobile Money Lagos 2015 will address issues in Nigeria’s financial services sector, including developments in payment technologies, best practices in information technology project deployment, and trends in customer service delivery. Additionally, broader themes of risk management, governance, regulation and compliance will be covered.

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Oradian Raises Seed Funding to Scale its Instafin Banking Software Platform Across West Africa

Oradian, a Croatian startup that provides cloud-based software for microfinance institutions in developing economies, announced recently that it has raised seed funding from various investors to scale its products across West Africa, an effort that will include expanding its team in its offices in Croatia and Nigeria. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Finance Corporation (IFC) to Loan $15m to Chase Bank Kenya, Advise on Financial Access for Women Entrepreneurs

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the US-based World Bank Group, recently announced an agreement to provide a loan of USD 15 million and 15 months of advisory services to Chase Bank Kenya, a privately owned bank in Kenya [1]. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Social Performance Task Force (SPTF), CERISE Release Updated SPI4 Assessment Tool

The Social Performance Task Force (SPTF), a US-based nonprofit charged with addressing questions about measuring and managing social performance, and the France-based network CERISE (Comité d’Echanges de Réflexion et d’Information sur les Systèmes d’Epargne-crédit) recently released version 1.2 of SPI4, their assessment tool for the social performance of microfinance institutions.  Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) Donates $1.2m to Effort by Center for Latin American Monetary Studies to Improve Remittance Market in Latin America

The Multilateral Investment Fund, a member of the US-based IDB (Inter-American Development Bank), has donated USD 1.2 million to fund a collaborative project with the Center for Latin American Monetary Studies, an association of Latin American and Caribbean central banks (also known by its Spanish acronym CEMLA).  Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Messrs United Cement Company of Nigeria (UNICEM), Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD) Partner on $5m Loan to Nigerian MFI Lift Above Poverty Organization (LAPO)

Messrs United Cement Company of Nigeria (UNICEM), an indirect subsidiary of the French construction materials company Lafarge, and Agence Française de Développement (AFD), the international development department of the French government, reportedly have collaborated to loan NGN 1 billion (USD 5 million) to Lift Above Poverty Organization (LAPO), a Nigerian microfinance institution (MFI), for funding the construction of 5,000 new housing units in the country.  Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Accion’s Smart Campaign Streamlines Microfinance Client Protection Certification Program

The Smart Campaign, a consumer-protection initiative launched in 2010 by US-based nonprofit Accion, recently announced changes to its Client Protection Certification Program that are intended to improve the certification process by reducing the time it takes for financial institutions to become certified, extending certification validity from two years to four years, and launching an appeals and complaints system [1]. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Parinaam Foundation of India Launches Financial Literacy Program in Tribal Communities of Garo, Jaintia, Khasi

The Parinaam Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides social services to women in India, has partnered with the World Bank Group, a group of five multilateral organizations that invest in developing countries, and the government of the Indian state of Meghalaya to offer a financial literacy training program to individuals in three tribal communities: Garo, Jaintia, and Khasi.  Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Finance Corporation (IFC), MasterCard to Establish $250m Risk-Sharing Facility to Support Consumer Loans Distributed via Debit Card

MasterCard, a US-based payments and technology company, and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the US-based World Bank Group that offers financial services to businesses and governments in developing countries with the aim of increasing economic growth, reportedly have pledged to establish a USD 250 million risk-sharing facility, which is expected to provide an unspecified number of people in emerging markets with access to small loans via payment cards.  Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL EVENT: 5th Pacific Microfinance Week: Next Mile Financial Services in the Pacific, September 21-25, 2015, Honiara, Solomon Islands

Event Name: 5th Pacific Microfinance Week 2015: Next Mile Financial Services in the Pacific

Event Date: September 21-25, 2015

Event Location: Heritage Park Hotel, Honiara, Solomon Islands

Event Summary: Pacific Microfinance Week (PMW) 2015 is a series of workshops, field visits and formal conference sessions focusing on providers of financial services for poor people in the Pacific region. The topics that will be discussed include digital finance and delivery channels, women’s empowerment through access to finance, enhancing the potential of non-bank financial institutions, policy and regulation, innovations in products and services, developing measures of financial inclusion, how corporate governance structures can improve organizational performance, and a special session on financial inclusion in the Solomon Islands. The most recent PMW was held in 2013. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: The MasterCard Foundation, TechnoServe Extend “Strengthening Rural Youth Development through Enterprise” (STRYDE) in East Africa

The MasterCard Foundation, which is based in Canada, and TechnoServe, a US-based nonprofit organization, recently announced five-year, USD 25.9 million partnership to support 48,000 young people in rural East Africa via a second phase of the Strengthening Rural Youth Development through Enterprise (STRYDE) program, which was first launched in August 2011[1]. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Eco.business Fund Loans $10m to Banco Davivienda Costa Rica to Promote Biodiversity

The Luxembourg-based eco.business Fund, which was launched in 2014, announced recently that it has lent USD 10 million to Banco Davividenda Costa Rica, a unit of Colombia’s Bolivar Group, for on-lending to companies that work in sectors such as agriculture, forestry and fisheries, and are certified for their sustainability and contribution to biodiversity by entities such as the Germany-based FairTrade International or the US-based Rainforest Alliance. Continue reading

MICROFINANCE EVENT: European Microfinance Network (EMN) to Host 12th Annual Conference “Microfinance and Banks: Are We the Right Partners?;” June 18-19, 2015; Dublin, Ireland

Event Name: 12th Annual EMN Conference “Microfinance and Banks: Are We the Right Partners?”

Event Date: June 18-19, 2015

Event Location: The Grand Hotel Malahide, Dublin, Ireland

Summary of Event: This conference will bring together microfinance practitioners from both European and developing countries to share, evaluate and challenge best practices in the microfinance industry. The discussion will center around the potential of cooperation among traditional financial service providers and microfinance practitioners in order to further the goal of promoting greater financial inclusion. Continue reading