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
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
Event Name: Sixth Global Islamic Microfinance Forum: “Financial Inclusion, Outreach Strategies and Innovations”
Event Dates: Conference: November 8-9, 2016; Post-Conference Workshop: November 10-11, 2016
Event Location: Nairobi, Kenya Continue reading
The Green for Growth Fund (GGF), a Luxembourg-based investment vehicle that supports energy-efficiency (EE) initiatives in Southeast Europe, recently announced that it will invest EUR 2 million (USD 2.2) in debt in Alter Modus, a Montenegro-based microfinance institution (MFI). Continue reading
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
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, which seeks to allow SBP to deliver financial services to 50 percent of the adult population in Pakistan by 2020. Continue reading
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
“Household Responses to Access to Finance Through GIZ-AFP Village Banks;” published by the Laos-Australia Development Learning Facility; February 2016; 50 pages; available at: http://ladlf.org/images/publications/030516_LADLF_GIZ_HH_Response_to_A2F_Final.pdf Continue reading
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
Marina Kortenbusch, who serves as the Head of the European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP’s) Rural Outreach and Innovation (ROI) Action Group, is the Managing Partner of Switzerland’s Business and Finance Consulting. Josien Sluijs is an e-MFP board member and Director of the Netherlands’ Platform for Inclusive Finance, which is also a member of the ROI Action Group.
MicroCapital: Why is it important to serve rural markets?
Marina Kortenbusch: In most emerging economies, the rural sector employs a large share of the working population. Developing rural markets is an effective way to boost prosperity by increasing the incomes of individuals whilst also contributing to food security, reducing environmental impact and increasing exports.
MC: What are some key differences between rural and urban markets? Continue reading
CGAP (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 Continue reading
The Ministry of Economy of Gabon recently froze the activities of 50 microfinance institutions that lacked approval to offer microfinance services. Continue reading
Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB), a Kenya-based publicly traded financial services company, and GoSwiff, a Singapore-based payment facilitation firm, recently rolled out a mobile payment solution for merchants in Rwanda. Continue reading
Three Dutch institutions, development bank Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden (FMO), Algemene Bank Nederland (ABN) Amro, and fund manager Privium, recently announced the opening of the FMO Privium Impact Fund. Continue reading
Développement international Desjardins (DiD), a unit of Canada’s cooperative Desjardins Group that promotes financial services in developing countries, launched a pilot program Continue reading
“Cost-Benefit Analysis of Traditional Versus Flexible Microfinance in Bangladesh;” by S. Bairagi, W. Bin Shadat; published by the Copenhagen Consensus Center; May 2016; 32 pages; available at: http://www.copenhagenconsensus.com/sites/default/files/bin_shadat_microfinance.pdf Continue reading
Developpement international Desjardins (DiD), a nonprofit unit of Canada’s cooperative Desjardins Group that promotes financial services in developing countries, recently partnered with Kafo Jiginew, a microfinance institution in Mali, to help it introduce a savings plan intended to address the fact that small-scale farmers often run out of funds between harvest and planting time. Continue reading
Christoph Pausch serves as Executive Secretary of the European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP). The European Microfinance Award is jointly organised by the Luxembourg Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, e-MFP and the Inclusive Finance Network Luxembourg. For more details, please visit http://www.european-microfinance-award.com.
MicroCapital: Why is education access the topic of this year’s Award?
Christoph Pausch: Education is the strongest predictor of economic
well-being, and it can also have a major impact on health, women’s empowerment and even population growth. Unfortunately, Continue reading