MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Microsoft, MasterCard to Provide Payment, Technology Support for Micro-Business Owners in Mexico

Microsoft Corporation, a US-based technology firm, and MasterCard, a US-based financial services corporation with operations in 210 countries, have announced a partnership through which they will seek to enhance information technology, communication and payments for small-scale merchants in Mexico.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Triodos Sustainable Trade Fund Loans $800k to Organic Sesame Exporter Bioexport of Paraguay

The Triodos Sustainable Trade Fund, an investment vehicle managed by a unit of the Netherlands-based Triodos Bank, recently announced that it has invested in Bioexport, a Paraguayan firm that purchases sesame and other crops directly from farmers and cooperatives for export.

MICROFINANCE EVENT: Caribbean MicroFinance Alliance (CMFA) to Host “Sixth Caribbean Microfinance Forum (CMF VI): Solutions for Inclusive Growth;” July 6-9, 2015; Miami, Florida, USA

Event Name: The Sixth Caribbean Microfinance Forum: Solutions for Inclusive Growth

Event Date: July 6-9, 2015

Event Location: Doubletree by Hilton Hotel, Miami Airport & Convention Centre; Miami, Florida, United States of America

Cost: The fee to attend the forum is USD 600. A reduced rate of USD 475 is available for attendees who register by April 1, 2015, and a discounted rate of USD 200 is available for one-day registration.

MICROFINANCE EVENT: Mobile Money and Digital Payments Americas; March 24-25, 2015; Mexico City, Mexico

Event Name: Mobile Money & Digital Payments Americas

This event will be held at the same time and venue as the Prepaid Americas and Transport Ticketing Americas events.

Event Date: March 24-25, 2015

Event Location: Marquis Reforma Hotel; Mexico City, Mexico

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: $53k Giordano Dell’Amore Microfinance Best Practices International Award Applications Due April 19, 2015

Fondazione Giordano Dell’Amore, an Italian foundation that supports microfinance, has announced that it is accepting applications for its 2015 Giordano Dell’Amore Microfinance Best Practices International Award, which aims to increase the understanding of microfinance and promote the sharing of good practices among industry players.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Colombian Government Creating Licensing System for Electronic Deposit-Taking Entities

The government of Colombia recently approved a law to regulate and license electronic deposit-taking entities. These financial institutions, designated Sociedades Especializadas en Depósitos y Pagos Electrónicos (Specialized Electronic Deposit and Payment Institutions), may be incorporated by individuals or legal entities, such as telecom operators or postal offices. With a minimum capital requirement of USD 3 million, these entities can allow users to save, make payments and receive money, primarily through correspondent agents [1] [2].

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Assessment of Deutsche Bank’s VG Microfinance Fund, SMEs in Latin America and the Caribbean, Bridging the Entrepreneurship Gender Gap

“VG Microfinance – Invest Nr. 1 GmbH Fund Assessment Study;” by Rocio Cavazos and Melanie Meslay; 2015; 33 pages; available at https://www.db.com/usa/content/en/vg-microfinance-invest-1.html

This study presents a quantitative and qualitative analysis of VG Microfinance-Invest Nr. 1 GmbH, a fund launched by Germany’s Deutsche Bank in 2007 with the support of the German government’s Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau Entwicklungsbank (KfW) that provided subordinated debt to 21 microfinance institutions (MFIs) in 15 different countries.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: AccessHolding Enters Latin America Acquiring 93% Equity Stake in Accion Microfinancas of Brazil

Access Microfinance Holding AG (AccessHolding), a German company that invests in microfinance institutions (MFIs), recently announced that it has acquired 93 percent of the equity in Accion Microfinancas SCMEPP SA, a Brazilian MFI that operates as a subsidiary of US-based nonprofit Accion.

SPECIAL FEATURE: Are Microfinance Institutions and Investors Removed from Business Reality?

This opinion piece was contributed by David MacDougall, a consultant based in the US city of New York.

Microfinance inspires optimism. Investors – especially private equity investors – anticipate handsome returns; aid agencies see strong social impact; and microfinance institution (MFI) managers are certain they can grow themselves out of every tight situation. While microfinance can play an important role in development, most MFIs nevertheless are relatively simple financial institutions that need to be grounded in sound market and business principles rather than pie-in-the-sky expectations. These “Business 101” principles, which may sound like common sense truisms, in my experience, have not trickled down to many MFIs. In over 10 years of examining the viability of MFI business models as an analyst and risk manager, I have seen decision makers fail again and again to do reality checks. What’s still urgently needed is sound market analysis and professional risk management.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Movistar, MasterCard Collaborate to Launch Mobile Money Service “Tu Dinero Móvil” in Peru

Movistar, the Spanish mobile phone operator owned by Telefónica S.A., and MasterCard, the US-based payments and technology company, recently launched “Tu dinero móvil” (Your mobile money), which reportedly is the first electronic money service operating in Peru [1]. The service will allow Movistar’s 16 million mobile users in Peru to perform financial transactions such as depositing and withdrawing money, refilling mobile balances and purchasing goods in the 65,000 establishments in Peru that are affiliated with MasterCard [2]. 

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Développement international Desjardins (DID) to Establish 4 More Entrepreneur Financial Centers in Tunisia, Elsewhere in Africa, Latin America

Développement international Desjardins (DID), a Canadian nonprofit providing technical support and investment for the community finance sector in emerging economies, has announced that it will establish four new entrepreneur financial centers (EFCs) in Africa and Latin America.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES) Loans $100m to Banco do Nordeste do Brasil to Expand Microcredit

Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social (BNDES), the Brazilian government’s development bank, reportedly has announced that it will loan USD 100 million to Banco do Nordeste do Brasil (BNB), a public bank operating in Brazil’s Northeastern Region.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Nestlé Dominican Republic, Multilateral Investment Fund, Asociación Dominicana para el Desarrollo de la Mujer (ADOPEM) to Develop Microfranchise Distribution Project in the Dominican Republic

The Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), a member of the US-based Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), recently announced that it has partnered with Asociación Dominicana para el Desarrollo de la Mujer (ADOPEM), a microfinance institution (MFI) in the Dominican Republic, and Nestlé Dominican Republic, a unit of the Switzerland-based multinational food and beverage company, to develop a project that will give low-income women in the country an opportunity to operate micro-franchises to distribute Nestlé products in their communities [1].

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Absolute Portfolio Management’s Vision Microfinance Funds Invest $8.5m in Microfinance Institutions in Cambodia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Peru

Absolute Portfolio Management (APM), an arm of Austria-based asset management group C-Quadrat, recently informed MicroCapital that it disbursed credits totaling the approximate equivalent of USD 8.5 million from its two Vision Microfinance funds, the Dual Return Fund-Vision Microfinance and the Dual Return Fund-Vision Microfinance Local Currency, to unspecified microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Cambodia, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Peru.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Loans $30m to Paraguay to Fund Small, Medium-sized Enterprises

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), a US-based multilateral finance institution that operates in Latin America and the Caribbean, recently approved a loan of USD 30 million to the government of Paraguay.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Mobile Services Firm Digicel Invests $5m in Bima to Promote Microinsurance in Asia-Pacific, Caribbean, Central America

Digicel, a Bermuda-based cellular network provider that operates in 30 markets in the Caribbean, Central America and the Pacific, recently invested USD 5 million in Bima, a Sweden-based mobile microinsurance provider that operates in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Central America and the Pacific, to expand microinsurance product offerings in the Caribbean and the Asia-Pacific region.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Finance Corporation (IFC) Purchases Entire $42m Issuance of Bonds by Rural Microfinance Institution Bancamía of Colombia

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, recently announced that it purchased the entire stake of ordinary bonds recently issued by Bancamía S.A. (Corporation), a Colombian microfinance institution (MFI).

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Développement international Desjardins (DID), Financière agricole du Québec-Développement international (FADQDI) to Offer Agricultural Microinsurance, Training in Colombia

Développement international Desjardins (DID), a Canadian nonprofit providing technical support and investment for the community finance sector in emerging economies, and Financière agricole du Québec – Développement international (FADQDI), a Canadian nonprofit that aims to promote rural economic development, recently announced that they will launch a joint project with the aim of supporting the agricultural sector in Colombia.