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

SPECIAL REPORT: Innovations in Fintech, Human Resources Development at SAM (Semaine Africaine de la Microfinance)

At SAM Conference 2017, Addis Ababa, Ethiopiathe SAM (Semaine Africaine de la Microfinance) conference in Addis Ababa, a wide variety of vendors presented their wares. Among these were several core banking system providers. Antonio Separovic of Oradian previously had set the stage for the conversation at the fintech (financial technology) session organized by Dutch development bank FMO. He argued that microfinance institutions (MFIs) shouldn’t start by thinking about whether to buy a new system, but about where the MFI wants to go and how to get there. “Fintech may be able to reduce the friction to do these things,” he said.

Cameron Goldie-Scot of Musoni agreed: “It’s about what are the challenges in your organization? Is it too expensive to handle cash in rural areas? Do you have trouble getting

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Social Impact Hub Introduces Library of Potential Impact Investments in Australia

The Impact Investing Hub, a student-led project connecting investors to potential impact investments, recently created a Current Deals Library to provide greater access to information on opportunities that are meant to pay off financially as well as

SPECIAL REPORT: At SAM, a “Moral Obligation” to Include More People in the Financial System, Harvesting Wins $12k FMO Fintech for Microfinance Prize for Use of Satellite Data to Boost Agricultural Lending

At the gala dinner at SAM Conference 2017, Addis Ababa, Ethiopiathe SAM (Semaine Africaine de la Microfinance) conference, Olivier Massart, the General Manager of ADA, argued that the attendees of the event have incurred a “moral obligation” to increase financial inclusion. The 650+ attendees spent an estimated total of USD 1 million to USD 2 million on travel and registration fees. Because they elected not to spend this money directly on serving poor people, Mr Massart challenged each delegate bring at least one additional person in to the financial system for each

SPECIAL REPORT: “Financial Inclusion and Job Creation in Africa” at the SAM Conference in Addis Ababa

Today “SAMat the SAM (Semaine Africaine de la Microfinance) conference, Laura Foschi of ADA addressed the question of “how to support enterprises as they make the transition from micro- to small and medium-sized.”

Rebecca Rouse of Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA), described how randomized controlled trials can help determine “how can we best create value, spaces and opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and SME growth.” For example, evaluating the effectiveness of a business training program is much more enlightening when

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Egyptian Mobile Payment Platform Fawry Sells Equity Stake to Private Equity Firm Managed by responsAbility

An entity managed by Switzerland’s responsAbility Investments recently purchased a stake of undisclosed size and price in Fawry, a mobile payments platform in Egypt. Fawry has 20 million customers, whom it enables to pay bills and make retail purchases via mobile phones, credit cards, automatic teller machines, accounts at 23 banks, and point-of-sale machines at 65,000

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Juvo Raises $40m to Provide Microloans for Mobile Airtime Credit in Eastern Europe, Latin America, Southeast Asia

Juvo, a US-based company that offers lines of credit to individuals in emerging markets, recently raised USD 40 million from investors including New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and Wing Venture Capital, both of which are also based in the US. Juvo plans to use the funding to

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Everex Raises $17m in “Initial Coin Offering,” Anticipates Offering Mobile Remittances, Microcredit Using Blockchain Technology in 2018

Everex, a Singapore-based startup with plans to offer microfinance services using its own virtual currency, recently closed its first

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: ADB Donates $150k to Cantilan Bank of the Philippines to Migrate to Oradian Cloud Banking Software

The Philippine’s Cantilan Bank recently received grant funds of USD 150,000 from the Manila-based Asian Development Bank to migrate its operations to Instafin, a cloud-based software product from Croatia-based Oradian. The migration is expected to help Cantilan carry out its “day-to-day operations more effectively and serve their clients more efficiently.” Cantilan Executive Vice President Tanya Hotchkiss said, “This has given Cantilan more capacity to focus on our core business and financial inclusion

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Fundación Paraguaya Offering Loans in Paraguay for Stoves with Lower Environmental Impact, Supported by DiD, Econoler, IDB

Fundación Paraguaya, a Paraguay-based non-governmental organization, recently introduced a credit product intended to facilitate “the purchase of environmentally friendly technology,” particularly induction stoves, which run on electricity rather than gas or charcoal. In a pilot program, 383 women who purchased induction stoves

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: UK-based Humaniq Harnesses Blockchain, Biometrics To Launch Mobile Money Service in Ghana, Asia, South America

Humaniq, a London-based technology company, recently announced the launch of its “blockchain-powered financial inclusion app,” which allows users to send and receive money. Humaniq has

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: CGAP, Pula Announce Microinsurance Partnership for Farmers in Nigeria

CGAP (the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor), a US-based, nonprofit research center that aims to facilitate the expansion of financial access, and Pula, a Kenya-based, agricultural insurance intermediary that serves small-scale farmers by leveraging satellite technology, recently announced that they are partnering to deliver “satellite-based agricultural insurance” to farmers in Nigeria.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: ZAMFI Blames Zimbabwe’s Liquidity Challenges for Microfinance Portfolio-at-risk (PAR) Ratio Surpassing 12%

The Zimbabwe Association of Microfinance Institutions (ZAMFI), a 100-member advocacy group, recently announced its members’ aggregate portfolio-at-risk (PAR) ratio rose from 8.3 percent in December 2016 to 12 percent in March 2017, citing both “corporates and individuals fail[ing] to honour their debt obligations due to the liquidity crisis.”

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Morgan Stanley, Economist Intelligence Unit Release “Inclusive Growth Opportunities Index” Ranking 20 Countries on Impact Investing Potential

The Institute for Sustainable Investing, a unit of US-based financial services firm Morgan Stanley, in collaboration with The Economist Intelligence Unit, a UK-based advisory affiliated with The Economist magazine, recently released the 2017 Inclusive Growth Opportunities Index, a report on investment opportunities intended to increase access to education, healthcare and finance as well as “gender inclusion.”

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: CGAP Accepting 2017 Photo Contest Entries Through September 29

CGAP (the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor), a US-based, nonprofit policy and research center that aims to facilitate the expansion of financial access, is seeking submissions of original photographs for its annual competition, which aims to highlight the positive effects of microfinance.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: World Refugee Fund Created by Kiva, Alight, Tent Foundation, USA for UNHCR to Collect Loan Capital from Individuals for Displaced People

Kiva, a US-based, nonprofit crowdfunding platform for microfinance institutions (MFIs), recently launched its World Refugee Fund to raise money online from individuals for on-lending to institutions serving cross-border refugees and people who have been internally displaced.