Category: Trends/Challenges

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: 25% of Microfinance Borrowers Use Part of Enterprise Loan Proceeds for Consumption, According to Study by Dean Karlan, Jonathan Zinman

In a recent paper, “List Randomization for Sensitive Behavior: An Application for Measuring Use of Loan Proceeds,” researchers Dean Karlan and Jonathan Zinman put forth data indicating that enterprise microloan borrowers tend to underreport the percentage of the loan, if any,  that they use for non-business purposes such as household expenses [1] [2]. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Dr Muhammad Yunus Suggests Microfinance “Misinterpreted” as Charity in the Arab World due to Outdated Regulation

Dr Muhammad Yunus, the founder of Bangladeshi microfinance institution (MFI) Grameen Bank, recently argued that the Arab world has “misinterpreted the system’s true principles” by operating it as a “charity affair” [1]. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: In Center for Financial Inclusion (CFI) Report, “Opportunities and Obstacles to Financial Inclusion,” Microfinance Stakeholders Cite Financial Education as Top Need

The Center for Financial Inclusion (CFI), an affiliate of US-based nonprofit ACCION International, recently released a report titled “Opportunities and Obstacles to Financial Inclusion”, that identifies client financial education as the top opportunity in the microfinance sphere [1]. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Swiss Re Commits to Offering Cholera Insurance in Haiti and Crop Insurance in Senegal, Clinton Global Citizen Awards Announced at CGI Annual Meeting

Swiss Re, a global reinsurer, announced during the recent 2011 Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting its commitment to provide insurance against cholera for Haitian women entrepreneurs and an “insurance for work” program intended to help farmers in Senegal maintain food and income security amidst climate change. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Skincare Company Dermalogica Establishes Financial Independence Through Entrepreneurship (FITE) Project to Encourage Customers to Lend to Entrepreneurial Women via Microfinance Intermediary Kiva

Financial Independence Through Entrepreneurship (FITE), an online lending platform designed by US-based microfinance intermediary Kiva, has been established by US-based skincare brand Dermalogica to raise money for on-lending to women worldwide to invest in their businesses. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Due Diligence Critical as Indian Banks Select Business Correspondents to Downscale to Microfinance, Opines Ramesh S Arunachalam

Indian rural finance practitioner Mr Ramesh S Arunachalam recently addressed the need for due diligence in the business correspondent (BC) model that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), India’s central banking authority, adopted in 2010 to increase financial access for low-income people [1]. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Minimum Standards Proposed for Microfinance Institutions’ Management Information Systems in India

An opinion piece by Rural Finance Practitioner Ramesh S Arunachalam that was recently published in Indian personal finance magazine Moneylife highlights the importance of management information systems (MIS) to microfinance institutions (MFIs) and calls for the establishment of minimum MIS standards as a prerequisite for MFI accreditation in India. Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE PAPER WRAP-UP: The Impact of the Global Financial Crisis on Microfinance and Policy Implications, by Gabriel Di Bella, published by the International Monetary Fund

Published by the Western Hemisphere Department of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as IMF Working Paper No. WP/11/175, 2011, 41 pages, available at: http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/wp/2011/wp11175.pdf Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Works With African Development Bank, Islamic Development Bank to Plan Expansion to Support Emerging Arab Democracies

In a recent statement, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a UK-based development finance institution, announced that it has signed memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with the African Development Bank (AfDB), a multilateral financial institution based in Tunisia, and the Islamic Development Bank, a development finance institution based in Saudi Arabia, to outline how the institutions would cooperate in the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean region as EBRD extends its operation in the region to support the emerging Arab democracies [1]. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Microfinance Institutions Move to Recover “Pre-Crisis” Loans Worth $1.4b in Andhra Pradesh, India

Microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Andhra Pradesh, India, have started talks to recover outstanding loans amounting to INR 7,000 crore (approximately USD 1.4 billion), which they have been unable to collect since the repayment dropoff in the state started in 2010. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Haitian Microfinance Institution Fonkoze Using “Progress out of Poverty Index” to Monitor Economic Progress of Clients in Disaster-Affected Areas

A recent study by the US-based nonprofit Grameen Foundation titled “Rapid Response in the Wake of Disaster: Using the PPI to Design and Support Fonkoze’s Earthquake Recovery Program,” describes how Fonkoze, a Haitian microfinance institution (MFI), is using the Progress out of Poverty Index (PPI), a country-specific poverty assessment tool, in disaster affected areas to monitor and evaluate the progress of its clients [1]. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Consortium on Financial Systems and Poverty (CFSP) Researchers Posit Weak Financial Sectors in Developing Countries Encourage Microenterprises at Expense of Economic Growth

In a recent paper, “Finance and Development: A Tale of Two Sectors,” published in the academic journal American Economic Review, researchers affiliated with the US-based nonprofit Consortium on Financial Systems and Poverty (CFSP), conclude that poor access to financing opportunities in developing countries makes it harder for entrepreneurs to start large-scale businesses like manufacturing [1]. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Grameen Foundation, US Agency for International Development (USAID) to Provide $1.5m in Credit Guarantees to Back Local-Currency Loans From Peruvian Credit Union Abaco to Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) Pro Mujer, Asociación Arariwa of Peru

Grameen Foundation, a US-based nonprofit organization that supports microfinance institutions (MFIs), and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), a government agency that provides international economic and humanitarian assistance, will respectively provide credit guarantees worth USD 300,000 and USD 1.2 million to Cooperative de Ahorro y Credito Abaco, a Peruvian credit union. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Panelists at Toronto International Microfinance Summit 2011 Discuss Interest Rate Pricing, Technological Solutions, Commercial and Philanthropic Funding

In a presentation at the recent Toronto International Microfinance Summit, panelists weighed in on a range of current topics in the microfinance sector, including profitability, the effect of commercial investment and advances in technology. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: “Intercontinental Ballistic Microfinance” Video Shows Graphic Of Kiva’s Worldwide Microlending Activities

Kiva, a US-based online portal allowing individuals to make loans to microfinance institutions (MFIs), recently posted a video simulation of the flow of funds between its lenders and borrowers across the globe from its incorporation in 2005 until 2011. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Government of Andhra Pradesh, India, Launches Cooperative Microfinance Bank for Self-Help Groups (SHGs)

Self-help groups (SHGs) in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh will soon have an alternative source of microloans in the form of Stree Nidhi, a cooperative microfinance bank that has been formed by the state government and the Mandal Mahila Samkhyas (MMS), a representative federation of SHGs. Continue reading

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