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.
Ghana-based AgroCenta recently won USD 20,000 in the Fincluders Startup Challenge, which was created to support new companies seeking to increase financial inclusion.
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.
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
“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.
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
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
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-,
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
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
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
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
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
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
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;
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.
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).
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