Event Name: Savings and Credit Forum: What are the Social Performance Management and Reporting Practices of Financial Institutions and Microfinance Impact Investors?
Event Date: March 16, 2017
Event Location: University of Zürich, Rämistrasse 59, Zürich, Switzerland
Summary of Event: The draft agenda for this event includes topics such as standards for social performance management and the social performance reporting practices of several microfinance institutions. This half-day event Continue reading →
Event Name: SPTF Social Investor Working Group Meeting
Event Date: March 15 – March 16, 2017
Event Location: University of Zurich, Rämistrasse 71, 8006 Zürich, Switzerland
Summary of Event: Participants in this meeting will discuss the challenges of social performance management (SPM) as it relates to investing in inclusive finance. Speakers also will share Continue reading →
At the 2016 Mekong Financial Inclusion Forum, Ms. Claire Van der Vaeren, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, Cambodia, said that financial inclusion is a vital enabler that can help unlock the potential of the poor and underserved, enhance women’s economic empowerment and catalyse a range of national development objectives. Its importance is shown in references to six of the seventeen UN sustainable development goals.
Ms. Van der Vaeren also was impressed by level of private and public engagement in Continue reading →
This report draws upon two recent initial public offerings (IPOs) in the financial inclusion industry – those of Equitas and Ujjivan, both microfinance lenders in India – to make the case that institutions can use IPOs to strengthen their capital base while remaining committed to their social missions. Continue reading →
Event Name: Africa Finance & Investment Forum (AFIF) Entrepreneurship and Innovation for Growth
Event Date: February 13 – 16, 2017
Event Location: Strathmore University, Nairobi, Kenya
Summary of Event: This year’s iteration of the annual African Finance & Investment Forum (AFIF) will focus on entrepreneurship and innovation over two days of conference sessions preceded by a two-day training session. The goal of Continue reading →
Event Name: Harvard Business School–Accion Program on Strategic Leadership in Inclusive Finance
Event Date: April 17 – 22, 2017
Event Location: Harvard Business School, Soldiers Field, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Summary of Event: This week-long program will cover approaches financial inclusion executives can take to address “industry change, managing competition, organization growth, and creating economic and social value.”  Past iterations Continue reading →
WorldRemit, a UK-based online money transfer service, recently announced that it will partner with Mobile Telecommunications Network Group (MTN), a South Africa-based telecommunications provider; Express Union, a Cameroon-based financial services firm; and Banque Atlantique, a Togo-based retail bank, to offer digital remittance services in Cameroon. Continue reading →
Event Name: Digital Financial Services: Are We Realising Their Full Potential?
Event Date: January 19, 2017
Event Location: Citigroup Centre, 33 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London, UK
Cost: There is no registration fee, but in order to attend you must purchase a membership to the Financial Inclusion Forum unless it is your first time at one of the organization’s events.
Summary of Event: This event will address concerns regarding digital financial services and how to move beyond the focus on payments to increase the availability and usage of savings, credit and insurance. Continue reading →
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 →
Jean-Michel Severino and Jérémy Hajdenberg argue that the 5-percent average annual growth rate Sub-Saharan Africa has experienced since 2000 is being driven significantly by the region’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Continue reading →
Ms. Nina Nayar, Associate of the Foundation for Development Cooperation, opened the session reviewing microfinance products and market segments in the region. She described the evolution from “credit and basic savings” years ago to today’s array of credit, savings, insurance, money transfer and other services for individuals as well as micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). These include “a whole slew of innovations” such as payment cards and automated teller machines. She argued that new products are in demand by many segments of often-excluded people: farmers, people in conflict areas, minorities, youth, urban informal workers, migrants and single mothers. At the same time, fear and lack of confidence often Continue reading →