Category: Trends/Challenges

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: CGAP, Citi Foundation Launch Digital Financial Inclusion Policy Program in China, Indonesia, Philippines

CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor), a US-based, nonprofit research center that aims to facilitate the expansion of financial access, and the Citi Foundation, the charitable arm of US-based financial services firm Citigroup, recently launched the “East Asia Digital Financial Inclusion Program”. Continue reading


MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: JazzCash Mobile Money Users in Pakistan to Gain Access to Merchants Accepting Visa Cards

JazzCash, a mobile money service of Pakistan-based cellular phone network Mobilink, and Visa, a US-based payment technology company, recently announced that JazzCash Mobile Account customers will be able to make purchases from the millions of merchants worldwide that accept Visa payment cards, including approximately 50,000 retail outlets in Pakistan. Continue reading


MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bangladeshi Farmers to Receive Microloans via Credit Cards Arranged by CARE Bangladesh, DAM, mPower, USAID

The Agricultural Extension Support Activity (AESA) of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), which is implemented by the Bangladesh-based nonprofit Dhaka Ahsania Mission (DAM), is piloting an initiative to provide smallholder farmers with loans via bank cards. Continue reading


MICROFINANCE EVENT: Aflatoun to Host Annual International Meeting on Social, Financial Education, November 2-4, 2016, The Hague, the Netherlands

Event Name: Aflatoun International Meeting 2016: Social and Financial Education Contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Event Date: November 2 – November 4, 2016

Event Location: World Trade Center, Prinses Beatrixlaan 582, The Hague, the Netherlands Continue reading


MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Indian Banks Deceptively Reduce Number of Zero-Balance Accounts Under Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana Financial Inclusion Effort

Although the proportion of zero-balance bank accounts opened under India’s Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) program was reduced from 76 percent in January 2015 to 24 percent as of September 2016, it recently has been reported that this is not due to customer deposits. Continue reading


MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Microfinance Institutions Adie, microStart, Taysir Launch Free Online Training for Microentrepreneurs

Microfinance institutions (MFIs) Adie, which offers financial services and related training in France; microStart, which works with small businesses in Belgium; and Taysir, which funds microenterprises and small-scale farms in Tunisia, recently launched an online training platform for microentrepreneurs and small-business owners. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: WeConnect, Airbnb, Procter & Gamble, Unilever, HP Make Commitments to Women, Entrepreneurship, Education at 12th, Final Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting

At the recent 12th annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), a program of the US-based nonprofit Clinton Foundation,  various organizations made 25 new commitments worth USD 70 million as part of the “Girls, Women and the Global Goals” project, which is intended to “advance women’s economic participation, address violence against girls and women, and promote women’s leadership in the public and private sectors”, Continue reading


SPECIAL REPORT: Rajnish Dhall of Micro Housing Finance Corporation, Mark van Doesburgh of Triple Jump Preview European Microfinance Week Session on Micromortgages, More

MicroCapital: How does housing finance differ from traditional microfinance?

Rajnish Dhall: In India, traditional microloans usually are: (1) sized less than USD 1,000; (2) targeted for productive assets; (3) priced at around 22 percent per year; (4) repaid within less than a year or two; and (5) carry a group guarantee in lieu of collateral. In contrast, the micromortgages that Micro Housing Finance Corporation (MHFC) offers first-time homebuyers: (1) average about USD 8,000 in size; (2) carry interest rates of about 12.5 percent per year; (3) usually have a term of 15 years; (4) are individual rather than group-based; and (5) most importantly, are secured with the home as collateral. While the audience is quite similar, the products are almost at opposite ends of the spectrum.

Mark van Doesburgh: The MicroBuild Fund (MBF) we manage for Habitat for Humanity Continue reading


MICROFINANCE EVENT: Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) Investor Forum, December 7-8, 2016, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Event Name: Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) Investor Forum 2016

Event Date: December 7 – December 8, 2016

Event Location: NH Collection Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky, Dam 9 1012 JS, Amsterdam, the Netherlands Continue reading


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

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


MICROFINANCE EVENT: Sankalp Africa Summit, February 23-24, 2017, Kenya School of Government, Nairobi

Event Name: Sankalp Africa Summit 2017: Spurring the Entrepreneurship Economy

Event Date: February 23 – February 24, 2017

Event Location: Kenya School of Government, Lower Kabete, Nairobi City, Kenya Continue reading


MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Guatmemala’s Fundación Génesis Empresarial, Pakistan’s Kashf Foundation, Opportunity Bank of Uganda Named as Finalists for Education Edition of $112k European Microfinance Award

The European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP), a network of European microfinance stakeholders working in developing countries, recently announced that three finalists for the 7th European Microfinance Award have been selected from 30 applicants: (1) Fundación Génesis Empresarial of Guatemala; (2) Kashf Foundation of Pakistan; and (3) Opportunity Bank of Uganda. Continue reading


MICROFINANCE EVENT: Microinsurance Network: How to Optimise Distribution in the Low-Cost Insurance Environment, September 27-28, 2016, Johannesburg, South Africa

Event Name: Regional Workshop and Field Trip in Johannesburg: How to optimise distribution in the low-cost insurance environment?

Event Date: September 27 – September 28, 2016

Event Location: The Country Club, Napier Road, Auckland Park, Johannesburg Continue reading


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


MICROFINANCE EVENT: Toronto International Microfinance Summit to Feature Muhammad Yunus, September 29, 2016, Toronto, Canada

Event Name: Toronto International Microfinance Summit 2016, Muhammad Yunus and Social Business: What is the Opportunity for Indigenous & Underrepresented Communities?

Event Date: September 29, 2016

Event Location: Royal Canadian Military Institute, 426 University Avenue, Toronto, Canada Continue reading


MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: MicroSave Launches Telephone-Based, Online ePaathshala School for Microfinance Institution Staff, Clients

MicroSave, a for-profit consulting company based in India, recently launched ePaathshala, an educational program for both staff and clients of financial institutions. Continue reading