MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: responsAbility Agriculture I Fund Takes Equity Stake in Indian Value-chain Lender Samunnati

Switzerland-based responsAbility Investments recently disbursed the first investment from its private equity fund responsAbility Agriculture I, acquiring a “significant” minority stake in Samunnati, a non-banking financial company in India that provides loans and advisory services to players in agricultural value chains. Although the price and size of the stake remain confidential, responsAbility Agriculture I generally places investments of

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Global Parametrics, 6 VisionFund Microfinance Institutions Prepare for Climate Disasters Under African and Asian Resilience in Disaster Insurance Scheme (ARDIS)

Global Parametrics, a for-profit risk manager funded by UK-based and German development institutions, and the UK-based NGO VisionFund International recently established the African and Asian Resilience in Disaster Insurance Scheme (ARDIS), to protect six VisionFund microfinance institutions (MFIs). In case of drought or extreme storm, the MFIs can access up to USD 10 million to manage delays in client repayments and

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Sanadcom Launches to Serve SMEs in Jordan, Backed by Microfund for Women, GMS Ventures and Investments

Sanadcom for Business Finance, a lender to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Jordan, recently launched with two “anchor” investors: Microfund for Women, a Jordanian microfinance institution, and GMS Ventures and Investments, a subsidiary of Jordan’s GMS Holdings. Sanadcom has enjoyed “additional equity funding and support” from the Sanad Fund for MSME (micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises), a European investor in North Africa and the Middle East, and

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: C-Quadrat Dual Return Vision Microfinance Funds Invest in Ecuador, 13 Other Countries

C-Quadrat Asset Management, a unit of Austrian fund manager C-Quadrat, disbursed the equivalent of USD 40 million during December to 15 microfinance institutions (MFIs) from its Dual Return Vision Microfinance funds. The MFIs, whose identities remain confidential, span 14 countries. One is a cooperative located in

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Equator Raises $62m for ShoreCap III from AfDB, CDC, EIB, KfW, OeEB to Invest in Financial Inclusion in Africa

Equator Capital Partners, a US-based manager of “impact” funds, recently announced the first close of its third ShoreCap fund, which will invest in African firms offering services such as microcredit, microinsurance, leasing, housing finance, and banking for small and medium-sized enterprises. Equator is seeking to raise a total of USD 150 million for ShoreCap III to invest over 10 years in about

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Sri Lanka’s SANASA Installing 35 Weather Stations, Expanding Index Insurance for Rice Farmers to Pepper, Cinnamon Growers

SANASA Insurance Company Limited, a member of Sri Lanka’s cooperative SANASA group, recently installed the first of 35 weather stations funded by a donation from Desjardins Financial Security, an insurer within the Canadian cooperative Desjardins Group. The stations expand an existing network supporting SANASA Insurance’s provision of index insurance to rice farmers, whereby the farmers are paid when weather conditions are not conducive to healthy crops rather than based on individual insurance claims. The new stations are intended to improve the provision of insurance for rice farmers as well as allowing SANASA Insurance to expand to serving pepper and

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: India’s Aavishkaar Bharat Fund Attracts $95m for Impact Investing from Investors Including CDC, SIDBI, Munjal Family Office (Hero Corporation), TIAA

Indian fund advisor Aavishkaar recently completed the first close of the Aavishkaar Bharat Fund, with commitments of INR 6.2 billion (USD 95 million), of which it has INR 5.9 billion (USD 92 million) in hand. The fund will support businesses in India that further Aavishkaar’s mission to “enhance livelihoods and reduce vulnerabilities for the low-income population” in “a range of sectors, namely agriculture, dairy, education, energy, handicrafts, health, water and sanitation, technology for development, microfinance and financial inclusion.” Aavishkaar will seek to do this while generating a

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Erste Group Pilots Roma Housing Microfinance Project in Slovakia

The Erste Group Bank, an Austria-based institution with 16 million clients in Central and Southeast Europe, recently completed the pilot phase of a homeownership program for members of the Roma community in Slovakia. The program begins with financial education and a savings program. Of the 100 families that enrolled, 60 completed 12 months of savings, making them eligible to

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: MFI in Bosnia and Herzegovina Borrows from Dual Return Vision Microfinance Fund

A microfinance institution (MFI) in Bosnia and Herzegovina borrowed a portion of the equivalent of USD 47 million that C-Quadrat Asset Management, a unit of Austrian fund manager C-Quadrat, disbursed during November via the Dual Return Vision Microfinance funds. The other borrowers are located elsewhere in Europe as well as Latin America and

SPECIAL REPORT: Cooperativa de Ahorro y Préstamo Tosepantomin (Mexico), Winner of the 2017 European Microfinance Award

From the European Investment Bank: The 2017 European Microfinance Award honours a microfinance institution, based in a developing country, that implemented innovative solutions to support access to better quality residential housing for low income, vulnerable and excluded groups, with no or limited access to housing finance in the mainstream sector.

The Cooperativa de Ahorro y Préstamo Tosepantomin helps marginalised rural Mexican communities with their residential housing building projects by offering savings and home loan products paired with technical support. The cooperative is also recognised for its promotion of eco-friendly building techniques.

This award, a EUR 100,000 prize from the Directorate for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs of Luxembourg’s Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, was given at a ceremony held at the European Investment Bank, in the presence of Their Royal Highnesses the Grand Duchess and the Hereditary

SPECIAL REPORT: Scaling Up Implementation of Social Performance Management at European Microfinance Week

On European Microfinance Week 2017the first day of conference sessions at European Microfinance Week, experts in the social performance of microfinance institutions (MFIs) discussed how tools developed over the last ten years have reached a level of maturity warranting their wider rollout.

Cecile Lapenu of France-based Cerise described SPI4, the fourth iteration of a set of Social Performance Indicators intended to simplify reporting and provide a common language for different stakeholders to discuss social performance management (SPM). SPI4 incorporates the Smart Campaign’s Client Protection Principles and the Social Performance Task Force’s Universal Standards for SPM. It also includes optional modules on poverty, gender and the environment. To date, 432 SPI4 audits have been completed on institutions in 88 countries.

Jurgen Hammer of the Luxembourg-based Grameen Credit Agricole Foundation explained his organization’s use of the SPI4/ALINUS (Aligning Investors’ Due Diligence to the Universal Standards) framework to evaluate and benchmark the social performance of its partner MFIs. The foundation was meeting or exceeding the benchmark data in all categories except

SPECIAL REPORT: European Microfinance Week Opens: Microfinance and Environment Action Group Celebrates Rollout of Solar Products in Central America, Ethiopia, Philippines; Turns Eye to Scaling Up

On European Microfinance Week 2017the opening day of European Microfinance Week, the European Microfinance Platform’s (e-MFP’s) Microfinance and Environment Action Group met to review its successes and make plans for the next two years.

Carla Palomares of ADA, the Luxembourgish nonprofit formerly known as Appui au Développement Autonome, explained her organization’s work with the 60-member Microfinance Council of the Philippines (MCPI) and Red Centroamericana y del Caribe de Microfinanzas (REDCAMIF), a network of networks serving 139 microfinance institutions (MFIs) in the Dominican Republic and six Central American countries. ADA helped MCPI develop a team dedicated to supporting its member MFIs in offering loans for clients to buy solar lamps. MCPI is now working with six additional MFIs to roll out solar loans. The program with REDCAMIF is similar, but involves microleasing for agricultural equipment and support regarding environmentally sustainable farming practices as well as

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: IFC, KfW, OeEB Renew $310m in Commitments to Microfinance Enhancement Facility (MEF)

The Microfinance Enhancement Facility (MEF), which was established in 2009 to provide liquidity to microfinance institutions (MFIs), recently negotiated an extension until 2025 of its investments from the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the development banks of Germany and Austria. These investments total USD 310 million out of MEF’s total assets of approximately USD

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Le Levier, Développement international Desjardins (DiD) Open Entrepreneur Financial Centre (EFC) Owned by Cooperatives in Grand Nord Region of Haiti

Le Levier, a federation of cooperatives in Haiti, and Développement international Desjardins (DiD), a unit of Canadian cooperative Desjardins Group, recently inaugurated an Entrepreneur Financial Centre (EFC) owned by six cooperatives in Haiti. Based in the city of Cap-Haitien, the EFC will focus on serving the 400 entrepreneur

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: OJK Licenses 10 Islamic Microfinance Institutions in Indonesia

Otoritas Jasa Keuangan (OJK), the Financial Services Authority of Indonesia, recently granted operating licenses to 10 Islamic microfinance institutions (MFIs) in the country. The MFIs are funded by unspecified donors wishing to encourage

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Camilla Nestor Named CEO of MIX, Provider of Data on Microfinance, Agricultural Finance, Digital Financial Services

Camilla Nestor, who recently worked for the US-based Grameen Foundation, has been named CEO of the US-based nonprofit MIX, which seeks to increase financial inclusion by promoting transparency. The Chief Operating Officer of MIX, Blaine Stephens, said “Camilla’s extensive knowledge of these sectors augments MIX’s efforts to address information gaps constraining the development of emerging segments including smallholder agricultural finance and

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