Category: Latin America

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Development Bank of Jamaica Commits $20m to Micro-, Small Businesses

The Jamaican Minister of Finance and Planning, the Hon. Dr. Peter Phillips, reportedly announced in the House of Representatives that the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ), a government-owned development bank, will commit JMD 2 billion (USD 20 million) to the micro- and small business sector during fiscal year (FY) 2013/2014, which ends on March 31, 2014. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Accion Venture Lab Invests in 5 Startups Aiming to Bring Financial Services to Poor People, Including Salud Facil of Mexico, Varthana of India

Accion, a US-based provider of microenterprise loans and business training in 31 countries, has announced that its Accion Venture Lab, which provides seed capital and management support to financial inclusion startups, will invest an aggregate of USD 10 million in startup companies that deliver financial services to poor people around the globe. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: IFC, Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), Atlantic Bank of Belize Extend Effort to Improve Access to Small, Medium-Sized Enterprises, Increase Portfolio to $35m by 2014

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, and Atlantic Bank, a Belizean bank majority-held by Sociedad Nacional de Inversiones, SA of Honduras, recently launched the second phase of a project with the aim of improving access to financial services for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Belize with support from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Absolute Portfolio Management Loans $13m from Dual Return Funds to Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) in South America, Eurasia Including FINCA Armenia

Absolute Portfolio Management (APM), an Austria-based firm that invests in microfinance and other sectors, recently notified MicroCapital that it loaned the equivalent of USD 13 million during April 2013 through two of the funds that it manages to microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Ecuador, Honduras, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Peru, the Philippines, Russia and Tajikistan. Of this amount, USD 7.5 million was issued in local currency. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Cuba Leases 2,000 State Firms to Private Sector

According to Cuba’s Domestic Trade Ministry, a government body charged with implementing and monitoring domestic wholesale and retail commerce, 2,041 businesses have been leased to 5,479 former employees as part of Cuba’s economic reform plan to introduce non-state management in 47 economic activities. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: U’yo’olché, Fondo Mexicano para la Conservación de la Naturaleza (FMCN) Look to Carbon Credits to Finance Improved Cook Stoves to Reduce Emissions, Improve Living Standards, Promote Women’s Rights in Rural Mexico

U’yo’olché, a Mexican environmental non-governmental organization (NGO), and Fondo Mexicano para la Conservación de la Naturaleza, A.C. (FMCN), a nonprofit funder of environmental efforts, are leading an initiative to provide improved cook stoves to families in rural areas of southern Mexico with the aim of reducing wood consumption, eliminating hazardous household smoke, decreasing the risk of accidents, minimizing household expenses and promoting women’s empowerment. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: IFC to Advise La Nacional of the Dominican Republic on Strengthening Risk Management, Corporate Governance

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private-investment arm of the World Bank Group, has announced a cooperation agreement with Asociacion La Nacional de Ahorros y Préstamos (La Nacional), a financial institution in the Dominican Republic, to strengthen La Nacional’s risk management and corporate governance practices in an effort to improve its service to its low-income and small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) clients. Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE PAPER WRAP-UP: “Incentives for the Introduction of Agents in Colombia by Banca de las Oportunidades;” by Marulanda Consultores, published by CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor)

By Marulanda Consultores; published by CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor); February 2013; 32 pages; available at: http://www.cgap.org/sites/default/files/colombia_agent_subsidy_english.pdf

This report analyzes a set of incentives offered by Banca de las Oportunidades, a government organization in Colombia that aims to increase financial access, to expand networks of “non-banking correspondents” (NBCs) to reach unbanked areas. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: responsAbility Loans $8m to Banco Pichincha of Ecuador

ResponsAbility Social Investments, a Swiss investment company, has notified MicroCapital that it recently disbursed loans totaling USD 8 million to Banco Pichincha of Ecuador, a commercial bank that offers financial services to corporations; retailers; and micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Multilateral Investment Fund to Invest $5.8 million in Equity in Nxtp Labs of Argentina to Support Technology Start-Ups in Latin America

The Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), a member of the US-based IDB (Inter-American Development Bank) Group, recently approved a USD 5 million equity investment and USD 750,000 in technical assistance for Nxtp Labs, an Argentina-based company that provides seed funding for entrepreneurs in Latin America seeking to establish technology-based businesses in exchange for an equity stake worth between two and ten percent. Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Global Mobile Money Adoption Survey, Eye Care for El Salvador’s “Base of the Pyramid,” Financial Needs in Rwanda

“State of the Industry: Results from the 2012 Mobile Money Adoption Survey;” by Claire Penicuad; published by Global System for Mobile Communications Association’s (GSMA’s) Mobile Money for the Unbanked program; 2012; 36 pages; available at http://www.gsma.com/mobilefordevelopment/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/MMU_State_of_industry.pdf

This report presents the results of the Global Mobile Money Adoption Survey, launched by GSMA’s Mobile Money for the Unbanked program “to allow mobile money service providers to benchmark their performance against their peers in the industry.” Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Caja Rural de Ahorro y Credito (CRAC) Nuestra Gente of Peru Now Controlled by Fundacion Microfinannzas BBVA, to be Merged into Financiera Confianza

The Peruvian Superintendency of Banking, Insurance and Pension Fund Administrators (known as SBS in Spanish) recently approved the merger of two Peruvian microfinance institutions (MFIs) via the absorption of Caja Rural de Ahorro y Credito (CRAC) Nuestra Gente by Financiera Confianza. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Finance Corporation, Central Bank of Belize to Establish Credit-Reporting System

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the commercial arm of the US-based World Bank Group, is working with the Central Bank of Belize, the country’s financial regulatory body, to launch a credit-reporting system that will allow financial institutions to exchange credit information. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Finance Corporation (IFC), Netherlands’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs Partner with Fundacion para el Desarrollo Socioeconomico Rural (FUNDESER) of Nicaragua to Increase Financial Access for Micro, Small Entrepreneurs

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the US-based World Bank Group, and the Netherlands’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs recently partnered with Fundacion para el Desarrollo Socioeconomico Rural (FUNDESER), a microfinance institution (MFI) in Nicaragua, to improve its credit risk management system as part of the MFI’s ongoing transition into a regulated financial entity under Nicaragua’s Superintendency of Banks and Other Financial Institutions, known by the Spanish acronym SIBOIF. Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Poverty Scorecard for Nicaragua, Financial Inclusion in Russia, Health Microinsurance in India

“A Simple Poverty Scorecard for Nicaragua;” by Mark Schreiner; January 2013; 189 pages; available at http://www.microfinance.com/English/Papers/Scoring_Poverty_Nicaragua_2009_EN.pdf

This document introduces an “easy-to-use” poverty scorecard based on household expenditure data from Nicaragua’s 2009 Living Standards Measurement Survey. Continue reading

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