Category: Trends/Challenges

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Call for Applicants for $227k Ashden International Sustainable Energy Awards Open until November 4, 2014

Ashden, a UK-based nonprofit established in 2001 that promotes the use of sustainable energy, has issued a call for applicants for the 2015 Ashden International Awards, which will recognize development programs with a focus on reducing carbon emissions and increasing access to sustainable energy. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Développement international Desjardins (DID), International Co-operative Alliance (ICA), Proxifin Members Endorse Draft Declaration on Food Security, Job Creation, Access to Healthcare

On the occasion of the recently convened International Summit of Cooperatives, Développement international Desjardins (DID), a Canadian nonprofit corporation that specializes in providing technical support and investment for the community finance sector in emerging economies; the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA), a Belgium-based nonprofit with 271 member cooperatives in 94 countries; and microfinance institutions (MFIs) that are members of the Proxifin Network, an international network of 30 community finance institutions coordinated by DID, endorsed a Draft Declaration to tackle the “challenges of food security,” “employment crisis,” and “access to health care and services”[1]. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: United Nations Global Compact, Gate Global Impact Launch Gateway 2.0 to Fund Socially Responsible Projects

The United Nations (UN) Global Compact, an initiative to encourage businesses to adopt sustainable and socially responsible policies, and Gate Global Impact (GGI), a US-based regulatory-compliant electronic marketplace that focuses on impact investing, have launched Gateway 2.0, a website enabling small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) listed on the UN Global Compact Social Enterprise Hub to access financing for sustainable and “socially responsible” projects [1]. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: African Development Bank (AfDB), Asian Development Bank (ADB), European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), European Investment Bank (EIB), Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), World Bank Group (WBG) Issues Joint Statement on Climate Finance

A group of multilateral development finance institutions, the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Investment Bank (EIB), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the World Bank Group (WBG), recently issued a joint statement on climate finance. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Sodexo, Bluedrop Learning, Global Impact Announce Commitments to Middle East, Women-Owned Small, Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) at 10th Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting

The tenth annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), an initiative of US-based nonprofit Clinton Foundation, is being held in the US city of New York from September 21-24, and has entertained new commitments as well as progress reports on earlier commitments to address global challenges [1][2]: Continue reading

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SPECIAL REPORT: Clinton Global Initiative Members Emphasize Empowering Women and Girls for Fifth Consecutive Year

In the US city of New York today, at the tenth annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative, an effort by the US-based Clinton Foundation to connect public and private organizations to address problems such as poverty and climate change, a major focus was placed on empowering women and girls for the fifth consecutive year. Lilianne Ploumen, the Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, argued that it is critical to reach out to those with whom you generally disagree in order to seek common ground from which progress is possible. Regarding issues facing women and girls, Minister Ploumen argued that “leveling the playing field” for females involves more than economics, but extends into areas such as inheritance law, safety in transportation, and the passage and enforcement of laws against domestic violence. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Borrowing in Cambodia from Microfinance, Commercial Banks Forecast to Increase by 147% to $14b by 2020

The latest outlook published by the Credit Bureau of Cambodia (CBC), a provider of credit information to organizations and consumers in Cambodia, forecasts that the total number of customers of microfinance institutions (MFIs) and commercial banks will increase from 1.9 million to 3.3 million individuals by 2020 and that these customers will borrow a total of USD 14 billion by that time, up from USD 5.7 billion [1]. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: FirstRand Bank Downscaling into Microfinance in Suburban Mumbai, India

Under a pilot project named “Easy Banking,” FirstRand Bank, a commercial bank based in South Africa, is providing financial services to shops and other small businesses in areas of suburban Mumbai, such as Bandra and Lokhandwala, based on the rationale that competition is too fierce in areas with higher population densities. Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE PAPER WRAP-UP: “Integrated Health and Microfinance in India, Volume II: The Way Forward;” by Somen Saha, D.S.K. Rao; published by Microcredit Summit Campaign, Freedom from Hunger

“Integrated Health and Microfinance in India, Volume II: The Way Forward;” by Somen Saha and D.S.K. Rao; published by the Microcredit Summit Campaign and Freedom from Hunger; 2014; 36 pages; available at http://microcreditsummit.org/uploads/resource/document/ffh_indiareport_2014_web_58274.pdf

This paper builds on a report entitled “Integrated Health and Microfinance in India: Harnessing the Strengths of Two Sectors to Improve Health and Alleviate Poverty”, which was written in 2012 by a group of authors that includes those who wrote “Volume Two.” Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Microinsurance Distribution Channels, Friendship Bridge, MicroVest Impact Reports

“Microinsurance Distribution Channels: Insights for Insurers;” by Alice Merry, Pranav Prashad and Tobias Hoffarth; published by the Microinsurance Innovation Facility of the International Labour Organization as Paper Number 33; June 2014; 25 pages; available at http://www.microinsurancefacility.org/sites/default/files/MP33.pdf

The Microinsurance Innovation Facility of the International Labour Organization (ILO), an agency of the United Nations that addresses labour standards and related issues, recently analyzed the distribution channels available to microinsurance providers based on the experiences of 60 of its partner institutions.

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MICROFINANCE PAPER WRAP-UP: Symbiotics 2014 MIV [Microfinance Investment Vehicle] Survey Report: Market Data and Peer Group Analysis

“Symbiotics 2014 MIV [Microfinance Investment Vehicle] Survey Report: Market Data and Peer Group Analysis;” published by Symbiotics Group; 2014; 36 pages; available at http://www.symbioticsgroup.com/media/72461/symbiotics-2014-symbiotics-miv-survey-report.pdf

Symbiotics, a Switzerland-based investment company that is “specialized in emerging, sustainable and inclusive finance”, recently performed a survey of microfinance investment vehicles (MIVs) regarding their financial and social performance during 2013. Continue reading

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SPECIAL REPORT: European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP) Action Group Proposes Best Practices for Microfinance Institutions Offering Remittances

MicroCapital: Please tell us a bit about the Remittances Action Group of the European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP).

Gera Voorrips: As you know, e-MFP is a membership organization that promotes members working together on specific topics on which they have a shared interest. In 2011, I took the initiative to engage several members who were working on remittances to launch an Action Group to collaborate on this topic. As one of the requirements of an e-MFP Action Group is to work toward specific results, we decided that we wanted to focus on best practices for microfinance institutions (MFIs) that want to be successful in remittances. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor) Seeks Responses to “Global Pulse Survey on Responsible Digital Finance” by August 8, 2014

CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor), a US-based, nonprofit policy and research center that aims to facilitate the expansion of financial access, has launched its “Global Pulse Survey on Responsible Digital Finance”[1]. Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION WRAP-UP: “The Microfinance Sector in Morocco: Investment Opportunities After the Crisis;” Published by MicroFinanza Rating

“The Microfinance Sector in Morocco: Investment Opportunities After the Crisis,” published as part of the Insight series by MicroFinanza Rating, May 2014, 4 pages, available at http://www.microfinanzarating.com/images/Insight_Morocco_March_2014.pdf

Performed by Italy’s MicroFinanza Rating in May 2014, this “country screening” analyzes the political, economic and legal frameworks in which microfinance institutions (MFIs) function in Morocco. Continue reading

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