MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: National Bank of Cambodia: Foreign Banks Struggling to Meet 10% Local-currency Lending Requirement Should Partner with Microfinance Institutions

The National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) continues to resist suggestions that it soften the decree it made in December 2016 that all financial institutions boost their local-currency lending to 10 percent of their portfolios by December 2019. NBC Director General Chea Serey reportedly said foreign banks struggling to meet the new threshold should partner with microfinance institutions (MFIs) because

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Platform for Economic Inclusion (PEI) to Carry on CGAP’s Work on Graduation Programs

CGAP (the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor), a nonprofit research center seeking to expand financial services in poor regions, recently announced the establishment of the Platform for Economic Inclusion (PEI) to “accelerate innovation and scaling of graduation-style programming.” Initiated by Bangladeshi NGO BRAC (formerly the Bangladesh Rehabilitation Assistance Committee) in 2011, the graduation approach involves: targeting only

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Nicaraguan MFI Among Those Borrowing $12m from C-Quadrat’s Dual Return Vision Microfinance Funds

A unit of Austrian fund manager C-Quadrat, C-Quadrat Asset Management, recently informed MicroCapital that a Nicaraguan microfinance institution (MFI) was among the beneficiaries of the equivalent of USD 12 million that its Dual Return Vision Microfinance funds lent during October. The other borrowers are located elsewhere in Central and South America as well as

SPECIAL REPORT: Public Solutions at SAM: Collateral Registries, Business Training, Higher Microinsurance Uptake Can Promote Entrepreneurship in Africa

At SAM Conference 2017, Addis Ababa, Ethiopiathe SAM (Semaine Africaine de la Microfinance) plenary on “Public Solutions to Promote Entrepreneurship in Africa,” Kennedy Komba of the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) explained that his institution’s SME (Small and Medium-sized Enterprise) Working Group comprises 53 regulatory and policy-making bodies. To facilitate the growth of entrepreneurship, these agencies have created collateral registries, adjusted lender liquidity ratios, updated know-your-customer frameworks and established rules for digital financial services. Trainers in Zambia used a financial education game to reach 5,000 people, of whom 80 percent were able to improve their businesses as a result. In Ghana, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Bank of Ghana collaborated to boost local value chains in an effort to reduce costly

SPECIAL REPORT: At SAM, a “Moral Obligation” to Include More People in the Financial System, Harvesting Wins $12k FMO Fintech for Microfinance Prize for Use of Satellite Data to Boost Agricultural Lending

At the gala dinner at SAM Conference 2017, Addis Ababa, Ethiopiathe SAM (Semaine Africaine de la Microfinance) conference, Olivier Massart, the General Manager of ADA, argued that the attendees of the event have incurred a “moral obligation” to increase financial inclusion. The 650+ attendees spent an estimated total of USD 1 million to USD 2 million on travel and registration fees. Because they elected not to spend this money directly on serving poor people, Mr Massart challenged each delegate to bring at least one additional person in to the financial system for each

SPECIAL REPORT: ADA, Grameen Credit Agricole Microfinance Foundation Sign Collaboration Agreement at SAM

After Tuesday’s sessions at the “SAMthe SAM (Semaine Africaine de la Microfinance) conference, Olivier Massart, the General Manager of ADA, and Eric Campos, Managing Director of the Grameen Credit Agricole Microfinance Foundation (GCAMF), signed an agreement to collaborate on their institutions’ service delivery to microfinance institutions (MFIs). Mr Massart explained that the two Luxembourgish NGOs will work “hand in hand” in areas including the measurement of social impact. ADA specializes in technical assistance, and although GCAMF also provides technical assistance, it is a major local-currency funder of MFIs. Both institutions prioritize working with MFIs that serve people in rural areas as well as women in general.

Mr Campos told MicroCapital that a primary motivation for the collaboration is to reduce the workload for MFIs, which are often called upon to submit substantial amounts of overlapping data to funders and other interested parties. He also spoke passionately about how MFIs can maintain market share as fintech

SPECIAL REPORT: “Financial Inclusion and Job Creation in Africa” at the SAM Conference in Addis Ababa

Today “SAMat the SAM (Semaine Africaine de la Microfinance) conference, Laura Foschi of ADA addressed the question of “how to support enterprises as they make the transition from micro- to small and medium-sized.”

Rebecca Rouse of Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA), described how randomized controlled trials can help determine “how can we best create value, spaces and opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and SME growth.” For example, evaluating the effectiveness of a business training program is much more enlightening when

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: C-Quadrat’s Dual Return Vision Microfinance Funds Lend $31m to MFIs in Asia, Latin America

C-Quadrat Asset Management, an arm of Austrian fund manager C-Quadrat, recently informed MicroCapital that its Dual Return Vision Microfinance funds lent a total approximately equivalent to USD 31 million to unidentified microfinance institutions (MFIs) in five Asian countries, Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Kyrgyzstan and Pakistan, as well as three Latin American countries, Ecuador, Mexico and

SPECIAL REPORT: “Lessons from Micro-leasing” at European Microfinance Week

MicroCapital: How does micro-leasing compare with microlending?

Manuel Hörl: Microcredits do not fit the needs of every situation. Often, the borrower cannot meet the collateral or other requirements for receiving a loan. Micro-leasing can allow a farmer, for example, to pre-finance the purchase of a productive asset, such as a cow. The farmer receives basic training in handling the asset, and risk is mitigated by

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: MFIs in Asia, Central America Borrow $10m from C-Quadrat’s Dual Return Vision Microfinance Funds

C-Quadrat Asset Management, an arm of Austrian fund manager C-Quadrat, recently informed MicroCapital that its Dual Return Vision Microfinance funds lent a total approximately equivalent to USD 10 million to unidentified microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Guatemala, India, Kazakhstan, Nicaragua and

SPECIAL REPORT: Ann Miles on Envisioning Agriculture As a Business for Youth in Africa – 3 Weeks Ahead of the SAM Conference in Ethiopia

MicroCapital: The Mastercard Foundation is organizing a session at SAM (Semaine Africaine de la Microfinance) on “Envisioning agriculture as a business for youth in Africa.” What tools do youth need to be successful in agriculture?

Ann Miles: Learning and training is critical for youth to succeed in whatever they undertake, so we offer scholarships for talented but underprivileged youth to obtain secondary and university education. Once they graduate, we assist young people in finding work in agriculture; accessing finance or training for entrepreneurship; or developing the “soft skills” necessary to succeed in any job, such as networking, communication, or demonstrating reliability and resourcefulness.

Studies consistently have shown that

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: C-Quadrat’s Dual Return Vision Microfinance Funds Loan $12.5 to MFIs in Latin America, Southeast Asia

An arm of Austrian fund manager C-Quadrat, C-Quadrat Asset Management, recently informed MicroCapital that its Dual Return Vision Microfinance and Dual Return Vision Microfinance-Local Currency funds lent a total approximately equivalent to USD 12.5 million to unidentified microfinance institutions (MFIs) in four Latin American countries – Bolivia, El Salvador, Guatemala and Peru – as well as

SPECIAL REPORT: Saleh Usman Gashua of AFRACA on Creating Value for SMEs at SAM (Semaine Africaine de la Microfinance)

MicroCapital: What is your perspective on the theme of SAM (Semaine Africaine de la Microfinance) this year, “Creating Value for SMEs: A New Frontier for Inclusive Finance”?

Saleh Usman Gashua: Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Africa are facing numerous challenges, especially in accessing finance. SMEs, particularly those in the “missing middle,” comprise a segment whose growth and development will go a long way in generating jobs for young Africans. With 11 million youth entering Africa’s labour market each year, we cannot ignore SMEs. Microfinance institutions (MFIs) and other organizations serving these enterprises therefore have a major role to play in the future of Africa. I hope this edition of SAM will generate a range of concrete solutions for this segment.

MC: Your organization, the African Rural & Agricultural Credit Association (AFRACA), is one of several networks that collaborated to create SAM.

SUG: Organizing a forum of this magnitude is by no means an easy task! Given the experience of AFRACA organizing similar forums in the past, we know that a partnership approach is necessary. The coordination process so far has been seamless, with the lead institution, ADA, facilitating

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Telenor Pakistan, Telenor Microfinance Bank, Punjabi Government Creating Connected Agriculture Platform Punjab (CAPP)

Two entities in Pakistan that are controlled by Norwegian conglomerate Telenor recently partnered with two entities of the government of the Pakistani province of Punjab to create the “Connected Agriculture Platform Punjab” (CAPP).

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: CGAP, Pula Announce Microinsurance Partnership for Farmers in Nigeria

CGAP (the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor), a US-based, nonprofit research center that aims to facilitate the expansion of financial access, and Pula, a Kenya-based, agricultural insurance intermediary that serves small-scale farmers by leveraging satellite technology, recently announced that they are partnering to deliver “satellite-based agricultural insurance” to farmers in Nigeria.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: EBRD Lends $2m to Imon International of Tajikistan for Female-Run MSMEs

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a UK-based organization that invests in support of market-oriented economic policies, recently lent the local-currency equivalent of USD 2 million to Imon International, an institution that offers microcredit and deposit services with the aim of improving its clients’ standards of living as well as promoting economic development in Tajikistan.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Advans Cote d’Ivoire, Aga Khan’s PAMF-Mali Borrowing $3.8m from Grameen Credit Agricole Microfinance Foundation

The Grameen Credit Agricole Microfinance Foundation (GCAMF), a Luxembourg-based provider of financial services to microfinance institutions and other social businesses, recently informed MicroCapital that it has committed to extending the following local-currency loans in phases over three years: the equivalent of USD 2.9 million to Advans Cote d’Ivoire and the equivalent of USD 890,000 to Premiere Agence de MicroFinance (PAMF) Mali.