Category: Middle East

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 Continue reading

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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. Continue reading

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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 Continue reading

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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 Continue reading

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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-, Continue reading

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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 Continue reading

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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 Continue reading

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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 Continue reading

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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 Continue reading

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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 Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Jordan Launches Financial Inclusion Strategy for 2018 – 2020

The Central Bank of Jordan recently announced a strategy to increase financial inclusion in the country during the years 2018 through 2020. The document calls for increased financial education, client protection and Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: 16 Additional Institutions Commit to World Bank’s Goal of Achieving Universal Financial Access by 2020

The US-based multilateral World Bank Group (WBG) recently announced that 16 additional financial institutions have committed to partner to work toward “universal financial access” (UFA) by 2020, bringing the size of the group to 30 organizations. The new partners, which have committed to helping a total of 168 million people open new transaction accounts by 2020, are:

(1) the Aga Khan Agency for Microfinance, which operates in Africa, Asia and the Middle East;
(2) Ant Financial (Ali Baba Group) of China; Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Islamic Development Bank’s ICD, Gabon’s CDC to Launch Fund Aimed at Growing SMEs in Central Africa

The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), a development finance institution of the Saudi Arabia-based Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), and the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations Deposit (CDC), a financial institution backed by the government of Gabon, recently announced that they have signed a memorandum of understanding for the creation of a private equity fund to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Gabon and elsewhere in Central Africa. Continue reading

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Written by Comments Off on MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Islamic Development Bank’s ICD, Gabon’s CDC to Launch Fund Aimed at Growing SMEs in Central Africa Posted in Africa, Deals, Middle East

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Investment Bank, World Bank Partner to “Boost MENA,” Supporting First-time Entrepreneurs in the Middle East, North Africa

The European Investment Bank (EIB), the Luxembourg-based long-term lender of the European Union (EU), and the US-based multilateral World Bank Group (WBG) recently announced a joint initiative, Boost MENA, to support “first-time entrepreneurs”, particularly women and young people, in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Continue reading

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SPECIAL REPORT: Kashf Foundation of Pakistan Wins $106k European Microfinance Award for Supporting “Low-cost” Private Schools

The Kashf Foundation, a Pakistani nonprofit providing microfinance services and advocacy on social issues, won the seventh European Microfinance Award last night for its support of private schools that serve students from low-income families. In addition to financing the schools, Kashf provides training in areas ranging from classroom management to human resources. The organization also assists Continue reading

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SPECIAL REPORT: Uniting Refugees, Locals via Lending Groups: European Microfinance Week Opens in Luxembourg

Among today’s opening meetings of European Microfinance Week was a working session on the financial inclusion of refugees that was organized by the US-based nonprofit Social Performance Task Force (SPTF) and the Luxembourgish nonprofit European Microfinance Platform (e-EMP). Lene Hansen, a consultant to SPTF, offered evidence to counter some of the common misconceptions discouraging microfinance institutions (MFIs) and their funders from serving refugees. Key among these is Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: IFC, AFD, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women to Guarantee $5m in SME Lending by Lebanon’s BLC Bank

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the US-based World Bank Group, and Agence Française de Développement (AFD), the international development arm of the French government, recently launched the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) SME Risk Sharing Facility, through which the organizations will guarantee loans for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), 20 percent of which are to be issued to enterprises owned and operated by women. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: JazzCash Mobile Money Users in Pakistan to Gain Access to Merchants Accepting Visa Cards

JazzCash, a mobile money service of Pakistan-based cellular phone network Mobilink, and Visa, a US-based payment technology company, recently announced that JazzCash Mobile Account customers will be able to make purchases from the millions of merchants worldwide that accept Visa payment cards, including approximately 50,000 retail outlets in Pakistan. Continue reading

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