Category: Events

MICROFINANCE EVENT: Fondazione Giordano Dell’Amore to Host Conference, “Improving Financial Inclusion of Smallholder Farmers”, Milan, Italy, October 15-16, 2015; Results of $54k Microfinance Best Practices International Award to be Declared

Event Name: Improving Financial Inclusion of Smallholder Farmers

Event Date: October 15-16, 2015

Event Location: Via Romagnosi 8, 20121 Milan, Italy

Cost: Free, registration required

Summary of Event: The conference aims to discuss various issues related to microfinance and improving financial inclusion of smallholder farmers, through three plenary sessions and nine workshops. The winner of the EUR 50,000 (approximately USD 54,000) Giordano Dell’Amore Microfinance Best Practices International Award 2015 will be announced at the conference. The primary language of the conference will be English. Registration is compulsory. Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE EVENT: Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) Presents Bridging the Gap: Financial Policy Solutions for Women in Africa, July 22, 2015, Yamoussoukro, Côte d’Ivoire

Event Name: Bridging the Gap: Financial Policy Solutions for Women in Africa

Event Date: July 22, 2015

Event Location: Hotel President, Yamoussoukro, Côte d’Ivoire

Event Summary: The Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI), a Malaysia-based network of financial regulators, will host this one-day conference immediately preceding the 3rd Annual African Mobile Phone Financial Services Policy Initiative (AMPI) Leaders’ Roundtable. The purpose is to create a forum for financial regulators to discuss and increase awareness of policies that are intended to facilitate an increase in financial inclusion for women to help close the “financial inclusion gender gap”[1]. Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE EVENT: Women’s World Banking (WWB) Presents Making Finance Work for Women Summit, November 11-12, 2015, Berlin, Germany

Event Name: Women’s World Banking (WWB) Making Finance Work for Women Summit

Event Date: November 11-12, 2015

Event Location: Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (which is also known by its German acronym BMZ), Berlin, Germany

Event Summary: The Making Finance Work for Women Summit is a two-day event that will focus on how women’s access to financial services relates to economic opportunity and macroeconomic growth. Sessions will cover best practices to “serve the women’s market for financial services”[1]. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: 2015 CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor) Microfinance Photo Contest Accepting Entries Through September 9

CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor), a US-based, nonprofit policy and research center that aims to facilitate the expansion of financial access, has announced the opening of its annual photo contest to entries of original images that capture the “diversity and dynamism of microfinance and financial inclusion around the world”[1]. Continue reading

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SPECIAL REPORT: ACRE Africa, Bima, Microfact, Tech-Innov, UTM, Others Report on New Products for Rural Areas at Semaine Africaine de la Microfinance (SAM) in Dakar, Senegal

As Semaine Africaine de la Microfinance (SAM) began to draw to a close, a range of service providers described their new products and services at an all-day Innovation Fair.

Solenn Marquette of Bima, a Sweden-based insurer operating in 13 developing countries, explained her firm’s strategy for using mobile phones to sell insurance. Although building branches is too expensive, “we still put education teams on ground” to market products. One such product is Tigo Hospitalization, which is offered in Senegal starting at CFA 200 (USD 0.40) per month for up to CFA 30,000 (USD 50) in coverage. Continue reading

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SPECIAL REPORT: How Holistic Approaches Can Advance Rural Enterprise Through Microinsurance, Technology, Market Research

At the start of the second day of conference sessions at Semaine Africaine de la Microfinance (SAM), Renée Chao-Beroff of the Participatory Microfinance Group for Africa (PAMIGA), a France-based network of 14 African microfinance institutions, argued, “Microfinance has to be with something else to have effect. Standalone financial services are no longer working. We have to question our practices and go to a more holistic approach.” As an example, Mark Rueegg of Swiss microinsurer CelsiusPro explained how his firm distributes some of the satellite data it collects for actuarial purposes directly to farmers via mobile phones. “These data can give optimal planting dates instead of farmers going by what they were taught by their father, their neighbor…. This can allow them to increase their yield dramatically without extra costs, such as for additional fertilizer.” Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: World Economic Forum (WEF) Leaders Aim for Cooperation among Regulators for Financial Inclusion in Africa

During the World Economic Forum (WEF) in South Africa, business and political leaders from multiple African countries including Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa among others, emphasized the need for collaboration among regulators in order to promote financial inclusion globally. Continue reading

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SPECIAL REPORT: Promoting Partnerships that Support Value Chains at Semaine Africaine de la Microfinance (SAM)

During the opening plenary session of African Microfinance Week, also known as Semaine Africaine de la Microfinance (SAM), the hot topic was partnerships, especially those that support value chains. André Okou of the African Development Bank, explained that his organization aims “to create new synergy by approaching the value chain in an integrated fashion – supporting all parts of the chain, including non-agricultural elements – to tackle constraints.” Raphaël de Guerre of the French government’s Agence Française de Developpement stated, “In Guinea we have added value for coffee producers. In Cameroon, we have increased honey prices by a factor of 3, showing private investors that this is viable.” Continue reading

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SPECIAL REPORT: Opening Ceremonies of Semaine Africaine de la Microfinance (SAM) Raise Hopes of Reducing Poverty Through Improved Value Chains, Government Support of Agriculture

African Microfinance Week, also known as Semaine Africaine de la Microfinance (SAM), was launched this morning in Dakar, Senegal, by speakers including Minister Moustapha Diop of Senegal’s Ministry of Women, Family and Children. (While related meetings, training sessions and vendor presentations are running from June 25 through July 3, the main conference sessions are being held on June 30 and July 1.)

Minister Diop Opens SAM

In keeping with the event theme, “Accelerating Innovative Rural Finance in Africa,” Minister Diop argued that climate change is expected to reduce crop yields in Africa over time and that “to focus on this challenge, family farms are needed, and they need access to finance. Government is helping them, but they need more…. We would like to attract financing to the rural zones; by merging the efforts of the public and private sectors, we will meet this challenge.” Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE EVENT: Opportunity Collaboration, October 11 – 16, 2015, Ixtapa, Mexico

Event Name: Opportunity Collaboration

Event Date: October 11-16, 2015

Event Location: Playa Quiet Beach, Ixtapa, Mexico

Event Summary: Opportunity Collaboration is a five-day networking and problem-solving event that engages social entrepreneurs, nonprofit leaders, social financiers and grant-makers to explore methods of collaboration, identify opportunities for leveraging resources across organizations and generate mechanisms for reducing poverty. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: The MasterCard Foundation Offering $150k Via Clients at the Centre Prize; Applications Due June 30, 2015

The MasterCard Foundation, a Canadian organization founded by the US-based payments firm MasterCard, is accepting applications for the Clients at the Centre Prize through 11:59 p.m. GMT on June 30, 2015 via the following website: https://mastercardfdn.innocentive.com/. Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE EVENT: East Africa Microfinance Summit 2015: “Microfinance Enhancing Lives through Innovations,” August 17-19, 2015, Nairobi, Kenya

Event Name: East Africa Microfinance Summit 2015

Event Date: August 17-19, 2015

Event Location: Kenyatta International Convention Center, Nairobi, Kenya

Summary of Event: The theme of this conference is “Microfinance Enhancing Lives through Innovations,” and the event will focus on topics including: (1) the impact of mobile banking and agent-based banking for promoting financial inclusion; (2) the role of regulation in encouraging innovation; (3) the benefits of credit information sharing; (4) the role of youth and women in advancing social and economic development; (5) microfinance and socially-responsible enterprise; and (6) developments and trends observed in the East African microfinance industry over the past year.  Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE EVENT: Cracking the Nut Conference, “Regenerating Rural & Agricultural Development,” March 1-2, 2016, Washington, DC, USA

Event Name: Cracking the Nut Conference 2016

Event Date: March 1 – 2, 2015

Event Location: Enrique V. Iglesias Conference Center, Washington, DC, USA

Event Summary: Cracking the Nut 2016 will focus on three topics: (1) developing methods to incentivize small farmers to adopt “sustainable” farming practices and regenerating rural and agricultural landscapes by restoring deforested areas and depleted soils; (2) financing environmentally sustainable development; and (3) promoting investment in environmentally friendly agriculture.  Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Inter-American Awards for Financial and Entrepreneurial Innovation: Applications Due July 10, 2015

The Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), a member of the IDB (Inter-American Development Bank) Group, has announced that it is accepting applications for the 2015 Inter-American Awards for Financial and Entrepreneurial Innovation, which is intended to recognize the achievements of institutions that support financial inclusion in Latin America and the Caribbean. Continue reading

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SPECIAL REPORT: Frédéric Ruaz on Semaine Africaine de la Microfinance (SAM, African Microfinance Week), June 29 – July 3, 2015, Dakar, Senegal

MicroCapital: What can attendees expect to see at Semaine Africaine de la Microfinance (SAM)?

Frédéric Ruaz: You will find most of the sessions involve managers of several types of organizations: microfinance institutions (MFIs), public entities and private funds. In addition to fostering debate, we aim SAM to bridge practitioners with experts, South with North, and even small MFIs with large MFIs. Indeed, SAM is the largest microfinance meeting place in Africa.

MC: Is there a session that you think attendees may find particularly valuable?

FR: That is a tough question, as SAM offers such a diversity of panels. On Wednesday, July 1, the second session will focus mostly on social entrepreneurship. Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE EVENT: 26th Annual SRI Conference on Sustainable, Responsible, Impact Investing, November 3-5, 2015, The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs, United States

Event Name: 2015 SRI Conference on Sustainable, Responsible, Impact Investing

Event Date: November 3 to November 5, 2015

Event Location: The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States

Cost: The early registration rate of USD 995 is available until September 9, 2015, A regular registration rate of USD 1,085 is available from September 12 to October 13, 2015, and late registration rate of USD 1195 is available after October 13, 2015. Presenters, students, journalists and sponsor representatives are eligible for an entry price of USD 535 per head. Continue reading

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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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