Category: Technology

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Role of Impact Investing in Achieving UN Sustainable Development Goals; Microfinance Investment Vehicle Survey; Lessons from Tanzania’s Digitization Efforts

“Achieving The Sustainable Development Goals: The Role of Impact Investing;” published by The Global Impact Investing Network; September 12, 2016; 9 pages; available at https://thegiin.org/knowledge/publication/sdgs-impinv

This report profiles impact investors that have leveraged the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for the following purposes: (1) as a framework to communicate their social impact goals; (2) to develop new or realign existing investment strategies and; (3) to attract capital from private investors that are new to impact investing. Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE PAPER WRAP-UP: 2016 Brookings Financial and Digital Inclusion Project Report; by John Villasenor, Darrell West, Robin Lewis

“The 2016 Brookings Financial and Digital Inclusion Project Report Advancing Equitable Financial Ecosystems;” by John D. Villasenor, Darrell M. West and Robin J. Lewis; published by the Center for Technology Innovation at the Brookings Institution; August 2016; 146 pages; Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Australian Government, ANZ Bank, PFIP to Connect Solomon Islands’ Coconut Farmers to Mobile Banking

The Australian government; the Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) Bank, a publicly traded commercial bank; and the Pacific Financial Inclusion Program (PFIP), a Fiji-based initiative of the United Nations that attempts to extend financial services to unbanked Pacific Islanders, recently started a program with a budget of SBD 5 million (USD 650,000) to connect rural coconut oil producers, laborers, buyers and transport operators with digital finance. Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE EVENT: European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP) to Host European Microfinance Week, November 16-18, 2016, Luxembourg

Event Name: European Microfinance Week 2016

Event Date: November 16 – November 18, 2016

Event Location: Neimënster, 28 Rue Münster, L-2160 Luxembourg Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE EVENT: Global Symposium on Innovative Financial Inclusion, September 21-22, 2016, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Event Name: Global Symposium on Innovative Financial Inclusion: “Harnessing Innovation for Inclusive Finance”

Event Date: September 21 – September 22, 2016

Event Location: Sasana Kijang, Number 2, Jalan Dato’ Onn, 50480, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE EVENT: Global SME Finance Forum 2016, September 19-21, 2016, Beijing, China

Event Name: Global SME Finance Forum 2016

Event Date: September 19-21, 2016

Event Location: Shangri La – China World Hotel, 1 Jianguomenwai Avenue, Beijing, 100004, China Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: India’s Nandan Nilekani, Ratan Tata, Vijay Kelkar, R.Venkataramanan Announce the Start of New Microfinance Company, Avanti Finance

Nandan Nilekani, Co-founder of Infosys Limited; Ratan Tata, Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons; Vijay Kelkar, Chairman of India’s National Institute of Public Finance and Policy; and R. Venkataramanan, Managing Trustee of the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust, recently announced the launch of Avanti Finance, “a technology enabled financial inclusion vehicle.” Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE EVENT: Sa-Dhan Association to Host National Conference, September 14-15, 2016, New Delhi, India

Event Name: Sa-Dhan National Conference 2016: “Financial Inclusion on Path to Sustainable Development Goals”

Event Date: September 14-15, 2016

Event Location: India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road, New Delhi, India 110003 Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE PAPER ROUND-UP: Managing Risks for Smallholders in Africa, Financing Shortfall for Women-owned Enterprises in Indonesia, Perspectives of Banks in Emerging Countries on Financial Inclusion

“Finance for Smallholders: Opportunities for Risk Management by Linking Financial Institutions and Producer Organisations;” by J de la Rive Box et al; published by the Food & Business Knowledge Platform, Agri Pro Focus and the Platform for Inclusive Finance NPM; May 2016;  22 pages; available at: http://www.inclusivefinanceplatform.nl/documents/npm%20summary%20report%20finance%20for%20smallholders.pdf Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Cambodia’s Prasac Microfinance Introduces Mobile Banking Services Through Compass Plus’s TranzWare

Cambodia’s Prasac Microfinance Institution Limited recently launched a suite of mobile banking services using the TranzWare processing platform from Compass Plus, an electronic payment systems provider with primary offices located in Russia and the United Kingdom. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: VisionFund Selects BankBI’s Cloud-Based Software to Manage Microfinance Institutions in 32 Countries

VisionFund International, the microfinance arm of US-based NGO World Vision, recently selected UK-based BankBI Limited’s business intelligence and analytics software to manage its operations in 32 countries. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Interest Rate Cuts by Reserve Bank of India Trickle Down to Microfinance Loans

Successive interest rate cuts by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) since 2015 have led to decreasing cost of funds for microfinance institutions (MFI) and a reduction in lending rates to end customers. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to Invest $80m in Acquiring Data on Progress, Barriers to Success of Women, Girls

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, a nonprofit organization based in the United States, recently announced that it will commit USD 80 million over three years to improve the availability and reliability of data on women and girls including: (i) how much time they spend on unpaid work; (ii) information on the efficacy of programs and other interventions; and (iii) how successful political leaders are in supporting gender equality. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Smart Communications, ICMFI to Offer Mobile Banking Accounts in Iloilo, Philippines

Smart Communications Incorporated, a mobile services subsidiary of publicly-traded PLDT Incorporated (formerly the Philippines Long Distance Telephone Company), has partnered with the Philippine nonprofit International Care Ministries Foundation (ICMFI) to provide Smart Communications’ “SMART Money” mobile banking accounts to members of the Pototan community in Iloilo province. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: India’s Jharkhand State Livelihood Promotion Society (JSLPS), MicroSave Launch Financial Education Pilot Program for Self-Help Groups (SHGs)

The Jharkhand State Livelihood Promotion Society (JSLPS), a program of the local government’s Rural Development Department, and MicroSave, a financial inclusion consulting firm headquartered in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, recently launched a financial education pilot program in the Bero, Khuntipani and Manoharpur blocks of the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: SBP Increases Transaction Limits, Bolsters Alternate Channels to Boost Branchless Banking in Pakistan

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) recently announced reforms to the country’s branchless banking regulations in an effort to further the bank’s National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS), launched in May 2015 seeking to deliver financial services to 50 percent of the adult population in Pakistan by 2020.  Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Tigo Tanzania Distributes $2.5m in Profit to Customers, Agents of Digital Payment Platform Tigo Pesa

Tigo Tanzania, a brand of Swedish telecom provider Millicom, recently announced it paid TZS 5.6 billion (USD 2.5 million) of its profits to Tigo Pesa users. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Controversy Brews as For-Profit Fintech Provider MyBucks Buys 6 African Microfinance Organizations from Nonprofit Opportunity International

The sale of microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania and Uganda over the first half of 2016 by US-based NGO Opportunity International to Luxembourg-based financial technology company MyBucks has raised concerns both that these MFIs’ clients could be negatively impacted and that these transactions signal that the sector’s overall direction has shifted toward profit-making. Continue reading

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