Category: Trends/Challenges

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Financial Sector Development Program (FSD) Africa to Invest $2m in Microinsurance Innovation Laboratory of International Labor Organization’s (ILO’s) Impact Insurance Facility

The Financial Sector Development Program (FSD) Africa, a project funded by the UK’s Department for International Development (DfID), will invest USD 1.8 million over the next four years in the “microinsurance innovation laboratory” by the Impact Insurance Facility (IIF) of the International Labor Organization (ILO), an agency of the United Nations. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bangko Sentral Ng Pilipinas (BSP) Allows Micro-Banking Offices (MBOs) to Approve New Deposit Accounts

Bangko Sentral Ng Pilipinas (BSP), the central bank of the Philippines, recently authorized micro-banking offices (MBOs) of financial institutions to extend the range of “allowable activities” [1] with the aim of increasing financial inclusion in the rural parts of the country. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Microfinance Network FINCA International Appoints Andree Simon as Co-CEO

The Foundation for International Community Assistance (FINCA International), a US-based nonprofit with microfinance operations in 23 countries, recently announced the promotion of Andrée Simon to the position of co-CEO of FINCA Microfinance Holding LLC (MFH), FINCA’s network of microfinance subsidiaries. Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: ING’s Billion to Gain: Geographic Variations in Microfinance Impact; Indian Mobile Wallet Market Growth; Profiting From Financial Inclusion

“A Billion to Gain? Microfinance Clients Are Not Cut from the Same Cloth,” G. Hieminga, R. Budjhawan, S. Eriksen, I. Unger; published by ING Bank; November 2015; 8 pages; available at: http://www.ingcb.com/insights/research/microfinance-emancipating-the-worlds-poorest Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Maria Cavalcanti to Serve as New CEO, President of Pro Mujer

Pro Mujer, a US-based nonprofit that provides healthcare, training and financial services to women in Latin America, recently appointed Maria Cavalcanti as its President and CEO. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: India’s Sa-Dhan, Microfinance Institutions Network (MFIN) Revise Code of Conduct

Sa-Dhan, an India-based association of 214 microlenders and other financial institutions, and the Microfinance Institutions Network (MFIN), a trade association of 48 Indian microfinance lenders, recently launched a revised code of conduct. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Fondazione Giordano Dell’Amore, European Microfinance Network Accepting Applications for $54k Microfinance Good Practices Award Through February 14, 2016

Fondazione Giordano Dell’Amore, an Italian foundation that supports microfinance, and the European Microfinance Network, a Belgian nongovernmental organization (NGO), recently announced the eighth annual edition of the Microfinance Good Practices Europe Award, a series that aims to increase awareness about microfinance as a tool for alleviating poverty and promote the sharing of good practice among microfinance organizations in Europe. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: India’s SKS Microfinance Seeks to Go Paperless with IBM MobileFirst Tablet System

SKS Microfinance Limited, a for-profit microfinance institution (MFI) headquartered in Hyderabad, India, recently partnered with IBM MobileFirst, the mobile division of US-based information technology company International Business Machines (IBM), in an effort to improve staff productivity in acquiring customers, completing loan disbursements and collecting repayments [1][2]. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Omidyar Network Leads Investment in eCurrency Mint to Support Technology That Enables Central Banks in Issuing Digital Currency

Omidyar Network, a US-based  investment firm, recently made an investment of undisclosed amount in eCurrency Mint (eCM), an Ireland-based company that has developed a technology that enables central banks to issue digital currency, called eCurrency. Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE PAPER WRAP-UP: “Global Financial Development Report 2015/2016,” Published by the World Bank

“Global Financial Development Report 2015/2016,” published by the World Bank, September 2015, 211 pages, available at http://www.worldbank.org/en/publication/gfdr/report Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Islamic Banking and Growth; Sharia-Compliant Microfinance Products; Islamic Financial Services in Yemen

“Is Islamic Banking Good for Growth?”; by Patrick Imam and Kangni Kpodar; published by the International Monetary Fund; April 2015; 33 pages; available at: http://www.microfinancegateway.org/library/islamic-banking-good-growth

This paper analyzes the relationship between the development of Islamic banking and economic growth in low- and middle-income countries, finding that “countries where Islamic banking is present experience faster economic growth than others” [1]. Continue reading

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SPECIAL REPORT: How Microinsurance Affected Mongolian Herders Rebuilding After Drought

European Microfinance WeekAt European Microfinance Week yesterday, Veronika Bertram-Hümmer of Deutsches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung Berlin (the German Institute for Economic Research) and Leibniz Universitat Hannover presented research on how insured and uninsured herders in Mongolia recovered from the 2009-2010 drought that killed 22 percent of the livestock in the country. Insured households received an average payout of USD 312. None used the money to buy livestock, instead opting Continue reading

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SPECIAL REPORT: Crédit Rural de Guinée Wins $110k European Microfinance Award for Response to Ebola

Crédit Rural de Guinée (CRG) has been announced as the winner of the 6th European Microfinance Award, focusing this year on Microfinance in Post-disaster, Post-conflict Areas & Fragile States, for its innovative response to the Ebola outbreak in Guinea. The Award was presented during European Microfinance Week by Her Royal Highness the Grand Duchess of Luxembourg, during a ceremony on 19th November held at the European Investment Bank headquarters in Luxembourg. Continue reading

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SPECIAL REPORT: On Financial Stability, Inclusion, Exclusion and “Big Mistakes”

During a session on financial stability at European Microfinance Week yesterday, Piotr Korynski of the Microfinance Centre said regarding financial services that “it is not always a good idea to include everybody.” After showing data from a range of countries showing a positive correlation between the share of adults with formal financial accounts and gross domestic product, Mr Korynski asked, Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion, Harvard Business School to Offer Joint Education Program on Strategic Leadership in Inclusive Finance, Applications Due by December 31, 2015

The Center for Financial Inclusion (CFI), an affiliate of the US-based nonprofit Accion that aims to promote universal financial access, and the Harvard Business School (HBS) have announced that they will offer a joint executive education program entitled ‘Program on Strategic Leadership in Inclusive Finance’. Continue reading

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SPECIAL REPORT: Mariel Mensink Presents Agri-Finance Lending Scorecard to Rural Outreach and Innovation Action Group at e-MFP’s European Microfinance Week

Mariel Mensink of ICCO Terrafina Microfinance, an affiliate of the Dutch Interchurch Organization for Development Cooperation (ICCO), spoke yesterday during the opening day of the European Microfinance Platform’s (e-MFP’s) European Microfinance Week, presenting the agri-finance scorecard, a tool that loan officers can use to assess the repayment capacity of potential microborrowers. Continue reading

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SPECIAL REPORT: e-MFP’s Microfinance & Environment Action Group Focuses on Quantitative Measures

As part of the first day of the European Microfinance Platform’s (e-MFP’s) European Microfinance Week, e-MFP’s Microfinance & Environment Action Group met today to elaborate its plan for the next two years. Marion Allet of the Paris-based Participatory Microfinance Group for Africa (PAMIGA) led the group in a set of exercises to explore the Action Group’s three areas of focus: Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE EVENT: Microfinance Egypt Summit, March 23-24, 2016, Cairo, Egypt

Event Name: Microfinance Egypt Summit

Event Dates: March 23-24, 2016

Event Location: The Nile Ritz-Carlton Cairo, Egypt Continue reading

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