MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Nestlé, Telenor Microfinance Bank Providing Digital Loans to Farmers in Pakistan

The Pakistani subsidiary of Switzerland-based food company Nestlé recently partnered with Telenor Microfinance Bank Limited,a Pakistani branch of Norway’s Telenor Group, to provide microloans to its dairy farmer suppliers via Telenor’s mobile wallet service, Easypaisa. The program reportedly uses a “digital credit score card and analytics, thus considerably reducing

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: MicroFinanza Rating Issues 5 Institutional, Social Credentials to Microfinance Institutions in Ecuador, Mexico, Palestine, Rwanda

Italy’s MicroFinanza Rating (MFR) issued two microfinance institutional ratings during September. Palestine’s Asala Company for Credit and Development was assigned a grade of BB+ with a “stable” outlook, and Inkunga Finance of Rwanda was assigned a grade of

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: UN’s World Food Programme Uses Ethereum Blockchain, Retina Scans to Support 10,000 Syrian Refugees

The United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP) is helping Syrian refugees in Jordan’s Azraq camp buy food from supermarkets inside the camp utilizing blockchain technology from Switzerland’s Ethereum Foundation.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: EBRD Lending $2m to Microfinance Institution Microfund for Women (MFW) for Entrepreneurs, Syrian Refugees in Jordan

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a UK-based multilateral development institution, recently announced it will loan USD 2 million in local currency to Microfund for Women (MFW), a microfinance institution in Jordan, to support female entrepreneurs in that country.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: World Bank Providing $130m for Financial Inclusion Effort in Pakistan

The government of Pakistan recently announced the start the Pakistan Financial Inclusion and Infrastructure Project with funding totaling USD 130 million from two arms of the World Bank, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA). Three Pakistani organizations will carry out the project: the Pakistan Microfinance Investment Company, a new organization funded by

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Alternative Financing in Africa, Middle East; Interoperability of Digital Financial Systems; Financial Inclusion in Kerala, India

“The Africa and Middle East Alternative Finance Benchmarking Report”; by The Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF) and Energy4Impact; published by CCAF; February 2017; 64 pages; available at https://www.scribd.com/document/338995486/CCAF-Africa-and-Middle-East-Alternative-Finance-Report-2017#download&from_embed/

This report focuses on assessing the types and prevalence of alternative financing in Africa and the Middle East.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Whole Foods Market’s Whole Planet Foundation Raises $2.2m to Support Microfinance Institution Partnerships in 11 Countries, Including Expanding Work with Grameen America to New York, Miami

The Whole Planet Foundation, an affiliate of US-based grocer Whole Foods Market, announced it has secured donations of USD 2.2 million (as of March 17) towards its goal of raising USD 3.2 million by the end of March 2017 to grant for microlending through

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Palestine Monetary Authority Puts Credit Reports Online for Microfinance Institutions, Banks

The Palestine Monetary Authority (PMA), with assistance from Ramallah-based Al-Andalus Software Development, recently released a “credit reports handling system” that allows financial institutions to access to individual’s credit histories electronically. Previously, credit report requests had to be filed in person

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: MicroFinanza Rating Issues 10 Institutional, Social Ratings

During February 2017, Italy-based MicroFinanza Rating issued “microfinance institutional ratings” to the following institutions, all with stable outlooks: Indonesia’s Komida, which was assigned a grade of BB; Albania’s NOA, which earned a BBB; Haiti’s ACME, which was assigned a BB+; Vietnam’s Anh Chi Em (ACE), which got a BB-; and two institutions that each received an A-,

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: FMO Investing $15m in Equity in Sanad Fund for MSME for On-lending in the Middle East, North Africa

Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden (FMO), a Dutch development bank, recently announced that it will place equity of USD 15 million in the debt sub-fund of the Sanad Fund for MSME (Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprise), which disburses “medium- and long-term” loans to financial institutions that serve MSMEs

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Asian University for Women Expanding on Partnerships with Grameen Bank of Bangladesh, BRAC Afghanistan

Asian University for Women (AUW), which was created in 2008 in Chittagong, Bangladesh, is in the process of bringing on additional partners through which it will recruit bachelor’s degree candidates from low-income regions of Asia and the Middle East. The mission of AUW is to offer talented young women from families with minimal educational and financial resources the opportunity to earn an undergraduate

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Sanad Fund for MSME Lends $1.5m for Women’s Enterprises in Palestine via Microfinance Institution Asala

The Sanad Fund for MSME (Micro Small and Medium Enterprise), a provider of loans and equity to financial institutions in the Middle East and North Africa, recently announced that it will lend USD 1.5 million to the Asala for Credit and Development Company, a microfinance institution in Palestine, for on-lending to female entrepreneurs. The microlender operates nine offices in the West Bank and Gaza, focusing on serving micro- and small enterprises owned by women in rural areas. Asala, a for-profit successor to the Palestinian Businesswomen’s Association, was launched in 2014 with support from the Sharakat

MICROFINANCE EVENT: MENA Governance and Strategic Leadership Seminar; March 7 – 9, 2017; Amman, Jordan

Event Name: MENA Governance and Strategic Leadership Seminar

Event Date: March 7 – March 9, 2017

Event Location: Sheraton Amman Al Nabil Hotel, Fifth Circle, Amman, 11184, Jordan

Summary of Event: The goal of this event is to strengthen boards of directors of microfinance institutions in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region

MICROFINANCE EVENT: 12th Biennial Conference on Entrepreneurship; February 22 – 24, 2017; Ahmedabad, India

Event Name: 12th Biennial Conference on Entrepreneurship

Event Date: February 22 – 24, 2017

Event Location: Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India

Summary of Event: This event offers researchers, educators and practitioners opportunities to discuss their work with the goal of advancing research in entrepreneurship. In past