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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Entrepreneurial Finance Lab Offers Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) Credit Scores for Micro-, Small Enterprises (MSEs) Based on Psychometric Tests

In an effort to promote financing to self-employed entrepreneurs and micro- and small enterprises (MSEs) in emerging economies, Entrepreneurial Finance Lab (EFL), a US-based company, is employing psychometric analyses to assess the creditworthiness of loan applicants. Continue Reading »

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Saturday, March 22, 2014

OPINION: No Silver Bullet: While Microfinance Alone Won’t End Poverty, It Is Making an Impact – So Let’s Re-focus It to Serve the Poor

The debate about the contributions that microfinance is making to global poverty alleviation is an interesting one. But it’s also getting a little tedious.

We are all disappointed that microfinance has not, as the popular culture has promoted it, proven to be the “silver bullet” for poverty alleviation. If, however, we challenge ourselves to really understand (and be transparent about) the strengths and limitations of microfinance, and begin to think about it as just one part of a more comprehensive package of development services, the debate (and potential for impact) becomes much more interesting. Continue Reading »

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: US-based Startups First Access, Cignifi Analyze Mobile Phone Usage to Measure Creditworthiness of Unbanked

A number of startup companies are employing analytical techniques based on “big data” to interpret the mobile phone usage of poor people to assess the creditworthiness of those applying for loans in developing economies. Continue Reading »

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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

MICROFINANCE PAPER WRAP-UP: “Using Subsidies for Inclusive Insurance: Lessons from Agriculture and Health;” by Ruth Vargas Hill, Gissele Gajate-Garrido, Caroline Phily, and Aparna Dalal; Published by International Labour Organization

“Using Subsidies for Inclusive Insurance: Lessons from Agriculture and Health;” by Ruth Vargas Hill, Gissele Gajate-Garrido, Caroline Phily, and Aparna Dalal; published by International Labour Organization; January 2014; 55 pages; available at http://www.microinsurancefacility.org/publications/mp29

This report was published by the Microinsurance Innovation Facility, a nonprofit research institution housed within the UN’s International Labour Organization (ILO) that promotes the development of insurance products and risk-mitigation markets in developing economies. Continue Reading »

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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Public Investment Corporation of South Africa Among Those Demanding Resignation of Thierry Tanoh, CEO of Togo-Based EcoBank

Mr Thierry Tanoh, the chief executive officer (CEO) of Togo-based EcoBank Transnational Incorporated (EcoBank), has been called to step down due to allegations of being “unfit to lead” the bank [1]. Continue Reading »

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Monday, February 24, 2014

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: MFX Solutions, Fonds pour l’Inclusion Financière en République Démocratique Congo to Provide Technical Assistance to Banks, Microfinance Institutions (MFIs)

MFX Solutions, a US-based company that provides currency hedging solutions for microfinance institutions (MFIs) and microfinance investment vehicles (MIVs), recently announced that it has entered into a two-year technical assistance partnership with Fonds pour l’inclusion financière en république démocratique Congo, a nonprofit microlending organization in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) that is known by its English acronym FPM, in an effort to help financial institutions better manage risks. Continue Reading »

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Sunday, February 16, 2014

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bank of Uganda Issues Mobile Money Guidelines Intended to Prevent Fraud, Increase Efficiency

The Bank of Uganda (BoU), the country’s central bank, has issued a set of mobile money guidelines aimed at regulating mobile money services in the country [1]. Continue Reading »

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Indian Microfinance Institutions Trident, Bhartiya Samruddhi Finance Limited (BSFL) May Close Due to Lack of Funds

Trident Microfin Private Limited, a microfinance institution (MFI) in India, reportedly may shut down operations after being denied a loan write-down and additional funding from a forum of 21 lenders in the Indian state Andhra Pradesh. Continue Reading »

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Monday, November 18, 2013

SPECIAL REPORT: Why Microfinance Institutions Offer Unprofitable Housing Loans

On November 14, the closing day of the European Microfinance Platform’s (e-MFP’s) European Microfinance Week, Wilson Twamuhabwa, CEO of Uganda’s Ugafode Microfinance Limited, explained that his organization began to offer housing loan products partly because its clients were using 30 percent of their loans for housing anyway. Continue Reading »

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Thursday, November 14, 2013

SPECIAL REPORT: Overcoming Barriers to Agricultural Microfinance

At European Microfinance Week, which is hosted by Luxembourg’s 140-member European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP), Daniela Rottger, a consultant to German development finance institution Deutsche Investitions-und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG), spoke Wednesday about her study of the agricultural lending products offered by several African banks and microlenders. Continue Reading »

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Thursday, November 14, 2013

SPECIAL REPORT: Women Microfinance Clients Often Save More, Are More Loyal to Lenders

At today’s session on gender at European Microfinance Week in Luxembourg, panelists eschewed the idea that lenders have a moral obligation to serve a greater proportion of women. Instead, Anne-Marie Chidzero of South Africa and Anna Gincherman of the US-based Women’s World Banking (WWB) network both argued strenuously that lenders are leaving money on the table by failing to reach out to women. Continue Reading »

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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

SPECIAL REPORT: Michael Chu: “Disrupt this Old Model to Unlock the Potential of Microfinance”

At today’s opening plenary of European Microfinance Week, which is hosted by Luxembourg’s 140-member European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP), Michael Chu of the US-based Harvard Business School and the Mexico-based venture capital fund Ignia, argued that microfinance is generally implemented using a 20-year-old model that is inefficient and “ripe for disruption” through technology. Continue Reading »

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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

SPECIAL REPORT: “Making Microfinance Investment Responsible” Group Wrestles with Inconsistent Data Reporting at European Microfinance Week

On this first day of European Microfinance Week, which is hosted by the 140-member European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP) of Luxembourg, e-MFP’s “Making Microfinance Investment Responsible” Action Group convened to work on the data it has collected on client protection from 10 microfinance investors, rating agencies and NGOs. Continue Reading »

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Monday, November 4, 2013

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Développement International Desjardins (DID) Invests in Microfinance Currency Hedging Company MFX Solutions

Développement International Desjardins (DID), a nonprofit organization based in Canada that provides technical support and investment for development finance in emerging economies, has invested an unspecified amount in US-based MFX Solutions, a company that provides currency hedging solutions for microfinance institutions (MFIs) and microfinance investment vehicles (MIVs) [1]. Continue Reading »

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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Lessons Learned from Morocco’s Microcredit Crisis; Using Microinsurance to Promote Universal Coverage; Remittances and Post-Conflict Economic Growth

“Lessons Learned from the Moroccan Crisis;” by Nadine Chehade and Alice Negre; published by CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor); 2013; 4 pages; available at http://www.cgap.org/sites/default/files/Brief-Lessons-Learned-from-the-Moroccan-Crisis-July-2013_0.pdf

This report presents the results of a study conducted by US-based NGO CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor) that explored the Moroccan microcredit downturn, focusing on outlining “lessons learned from the rise, fall, and ongoing recovery of the Moroccan microcredit sector that may be useful when adapted in other countries in similar situations.” Continue Reading »

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Sunday, September 22, 2013

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Establishes $2m Local Currency Credit Line for Bank of Asia

The UK-based European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) recently opened a local-currency credit line equivalent to USD 2 million for the Bank of Asia Closed Joint Stock Company (CJSC), a public bank based in the Kyrgyz Republic, to support the bank’s micro-, small and medium-sized enterprise (MSME) clients. Continue Reading »

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Thursday, July 18, 2013

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Depositors Withdraw Savings from Microfinance Firms in Kumasi, Ghana amid Lack of Safety Nets for Clients

High rates of deposit withdrawals reportedly are occurring in Ghanaian city of Kumasi, which allegedly is attributed to the lack of safety nets protecting depositors in case firms are shut down by the Bank of Ghana (BoG), the country’s main financial regulator. Continue Reading »

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Monday, July 15, 2013

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: MFX Solutions Launches “Risk Management Initiative in Microfinance (RIM)” for Microfinance Institutions

MFX Solutions, a US-based company that provides currency hedging solutions for microfinance institutions (MFIs) and microfinance investment vehicles (MIVs), recently announced the launch of the Risk Management Initiative in Microfinance (RIM), which will aim to mitigate challenges MFIs face in risk management; promote best practices; institute global MFI risk management standards; and protect MFIs and their clients from internal and external risks. Continue Reading »

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