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: PFIP Giving $450k to Solomon Islands’ Government to Digitize Tax Payments

The Pacific Financial Inclusion Program, a Fiji-based initiative of the UN that works to extend financial services to unbanked Pacific Islanders, recently granted USD 450,000 to the Solomon Islands’ Inland Revenue Division (IRD) with the goal of increasing the availability of electronic payment channels for taxes paid by “123,800 wage and salary employees, 200 corporate taxpayers and 3,684 small businesses.”

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: MicroFinanza Rating Issues 13 Institutional, Social, Client-protection Credentials to Microfinance Institutions in Albania, Morocco, Namibia, Asia, Latin America

During July and August, Italy’s MicroFinanza Rating (MFR) issued five microfinance institutional ratings. Morocco’s Attadamoune Micro-Finance was assigned the grade B+ with a stable outlook. Ecuador’s Fundación Espoir and Albania’s FED Invest both earned grades of BB with stable outlooks. Two institutions earned grades of

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Offshore Financial Centers for Impact Investing; Financial Inclusion in 2025; Microfinance in India

“Offshore Financial Centers for Financial Inclusion: A Marriage of Convenience;” by Sam Mendelson and Daniel Rozas; published by the Center for Financial Inclusion (CFI) at Accion; June 2017; 14 pages; available at:

This paper explores the use of offshore financial centers (OFCs) based on interviews with 13 equity impact investors.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Reserve Bank of India Releases “Compendium of Guidelines on Financial Inclusion and Development” in Support of Small Finance Banks’ Launch

The Reserve Bank of India, India’s central banking authority, recently released its “Compendium of Guidelines on Financial Inclusion and Development” for small finance banks, a new classification of institutions intended to increase the “supply of credit to micro- and small enterprises (MSEs), [as well as] agriculture and banking services in unbanked and under-banked regions in the country.”

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Sanad Fund for MSME Lends $20m to Lebanon’s Byblos Bank

The Sanad Fund for MSME (Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprise), a provider of loans and equity to financial institutions in the Middle East and North Africa, recently announced it will loan USD 20 million to Byblos Bank, a commercial bank based in Lebanon, to on-lend to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bank Eskhata Borrows $1m as Tajikistan Becomes 17th Country to Host EBRD’s “Women in Business” Programme

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a UK-based multilateral development institution, recently announced it is expanding its “Women in Business” programme to Tajikistan with an investment of USD 10 million.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Turkey’s QNB Finansbank Borrows $55m via EBRD’s “Women in Business” Programme, Partially Guaranteed by EBRD, EU, Turkish Government

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a UK-based multilateral development institution, recently announced it is extending its partnership with QNB Finansbank, a commercial bank in Turkey, with a five-year loan of USD 55 million under EBRD’s “Women in Business” programme.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Fairtrade Access Fund Issues $3m Trade-finance Loan to Cote d’Ivoire’s Enterprise Cooperative Kimbe (Ecookim), Supporting 12k Cocoa Farmers

German development bank Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) recently notified MicroCapital that the Fairtrade Access Fund (FAF), which invests in initiatives supporting farmers in developing countries, has issued a trade finance loan of USD 3 million to Enterprise Cooperative Kimbe (Ecookim), a union of 23 cooperatives in Cote d’Ivoire. 

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Fairtrade Access Fund Loans $750k to Colombia’s Cooperativa DelosAndes for Coffee Mill

Germany-based development bank Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) recently notified MicroCapital that the Fairtrade Access Fund (FAF), which invests in initiatives supporting farmers in developing countries, has loaned USD 750,000 to Cooperativa DelosAndes, a Colombia-based coffee cooperative, to co-finance a wet mill. 

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Morgan Stanley Raises $125m for PMF Integro Impact Investing Fund

US-based financial services firm Morgan Stanley has reported that it raised USD 125 million for its recently launched Private Markets Fund Integro Fund I, the firm’s first “global impact fund,” which will be managed by Alternative Investment Partners (AIP) Private Markets, Morgan Stanley’s private equity arm.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Morgan Stanley, Economist Intelligence Unit Release “Inclusive Growth Opportunities Index” Ranking 20 Countries on Impact Investing Potential

The Institute for Sustainable Investing, a unit of US-based financial services firm Morgan Stanley, in collaboration with The Economist Intelligence Unit, a UK-based advisory affiliated with The Economist magazine, recently released the 2017 Inclusive Growth Opportunities Index, a report on investment opportunities intended to increase access to education, healthcare and finance as well as “gender inclusion.”

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) Targeting Microentrepreneurs via Microfinance Institution, BPI Direct BanKo

The Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), which is owned by the Philippines’ Ayala Corporation, recently created BPI Direct BanKo, a microfinance bank intended to cater to “self-employed micro-entrepreneurs.”

MICROFINANCE EVENT: Global Impact Investing Network’s (GIIN’s) Scaling Impact Investing: A Conversation Among Senior Leaders; September 18, 2017; New York, USA

Event Name: Scaling Impact Investing: A Conversation Among Senior Leaders

Event Date: September 18, 2017

Event Location: New York, New York, USA

Cost: There is no fee to attend, but registration is open only to staff of organizations that are members of the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN).

Summary of Event: This event will include “a showcase of large-scale blended finance funds” as well as discussions on investing in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals [1, 2]. 

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: World Refugee Fund Created by Kiva, Alight, Tent Foundation, USA for UNHCR to Collect Loan Capital from Individuals for Displaced People

Kiva, a US-based, nonprofit crowdfunding platform for microfinance institutions (MFIs), recently launched its World Refugee Fund to raise money online from individuals for on-lending to institutions serving cross-border refugees and people who have been internally displaced.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Targeting Rural MSEs, EFSE Lends Local-currency Equivalent of $6m to Opportunity Bank Serbia

The European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE), a Luxembourg-based microfinance investment vehicle, recently announced it will loan RSD 615 million (USD 6 million) to Opportunity Bank Serbia (OBS), a branch of US-based microfinance network Opportunity International, “to support small businesses, especially in rural areas.”