Category: Trends/Challenges

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Financial Times’ FundFire Reporter Calls on Big Brokerages to Link Investors and Microfinance Institutions

In a recent column published in The Financial Times, Tom Stabile, a reporter for the The Financial Times publication FundFire, argues that big brokerages, especially American ones, should play a role in linking wealthy investors to microfinance institutions.  Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL EVENT: Hanson Wade Hosts Microfinancial Services World: Innovation In Microfinance Conference in Washington D.C., October 25 to 28

Event Name: Microfinancial Services World: Innovation In Microfinance

Event Date: October 25 – October 28, 2010

Event Location: Crowne Plaza Hamilton, Washington D.C. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Burcu Guvenek Arasli Calls for More Private-Sector Involvement in Microfinance Industry of Turkey

Burcu Guvenek Arasli, a lecturer at Turkey’s Middle East Technical University, recently authored an article published on the Hurriyet Daily News website [1] that describes the state of the microfinance industry in Turkey today. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: New Book “Why Doesn’t Microfinance Work?” by Milford Bateman Challenges Effectiveness of Microfinance

Milford Bateman challenges many of the common assumptions regarding microfinance in his book “Why Doesn’t Microfinance Work?” published June 10, 2010 by Zed Books. The book primarily argues that microfinance is not only an ineffective tool against poverty, but that it encourages it by trapping entrepreneurs in low-value-added enterprises [1]. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: World Bank, ACCION’s Center for Financial Inclusion Host Discussion on Access to Microfinance for Disabled People

The Center for Financial Inclusion of US-based nonprofit ACCION and the World Bank’s Global Partnership for Disability and Development recently hosted a roundtable discussion titled ‘A New Financial Access Frontier: People With Disabilities,’ to discuss the facilitation of financial access for disabled individuals in developing countries [1]. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: MicroSave Releases Third Publication Under its Optimising Performance and Efficiency (OPE) Series, Entitled “The Savings Booklet”

MicroSave, a technical assistance, training and technical resource center for microfinance established in Uganda in 1998, has released the third publication under its Optimising Performance and Efficiency (OPE) Series, entitled “The Savings Booklet.” Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: CARE International UK Launches New Microfinance Website, www.lendwithcare.org

CARE International UK, an affiliate of the aid agency CARE International, has launched www.lendwithcare.org, a microfinance website through which the public may provide funding to CARE’s partner microfinance institutions. Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE WRAP-UP: Microfinance Synergies and Trade-offs: Social versus Financial Performance Outcomes in 2008, by Adrian Gonzalez, Published by The Microfinance Information Exchange (MIX)

By Adrian Gonzalez, published by the Microfinance Information Exchange (MIX), August 2010, 15 pages, available at http://www.themix.org/sites/default/files/MIX%20Data%20Brief%207.pdf.

Adrian Gonzalez, a lead researcher for the Microfinance Information Exchange (MIX), conducted an econometric analysis to investigate whether there is a tradeoff between social performance (SP) and financial performance (FP) among microfinance institutions (MFIs) that reported data to MIX for the year 2008. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: John Cookson of Big Think Argues Socially Responsible, Profit-Maximizing Microfinance Are Mutually Exclusive; Cites Muhammad Yunus’ Appearance on “The Simpsons” as Proof of Mainstreaming

John Cookson, a writer for an online “forum for connecting people and ideas,” Big Think, recently wrote a blog entry entitled “Microfinance: For Community or for Gain?” which questions the present-day motives of microfinance institutions (MFIs) quoting Jonathan Morduch, Professor of Public Policy and Economics at the New York University Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Vijay Pratap Singh, Co-founder and CEO of Ekgaon Technologies, Discusses the Future of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Microfinance Institutions (MFIs)

Mr Vijay Pratap Singh, co-founder and CEO of Indian information and communication technology (ICT) provider Ekgaon Technologies, recently was interviewed by microfinance news website, MicrofinanceFocus.com concerning the impact of ICT on microfinance. Mr Singh claims that up to now, new technology has been “reluctantly received” and “half-heartedly implemented” by microfinance institutions (MFIs). Of impediments to progress, he notes that some MFIs have been unwilling to modify operational models to accommodate the new technologies. More importantly, he claims that MFIs are unable to utilize the full potential of ICT because they are unwilling to invest in operational efficiency, specifically in human resources. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Dr C Rangarajan, Chairman of the Indian Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council Asks Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) to Consider Borrowers’ “Repayment Capacity” To Avoid Default

Dr C Rangarajan, Chairman of the Indian Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council, recently asked India’s microfinance institutions (MFIs) to consider borrowers’ repayment capacity when setting interest rates on loans. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: SKS Microfinance IPO Experiences Strong Demand, Total Share Offer 13 Times Oversubscribed

When SKS Microfinance launched India’s first initial public offering (IPO) on July 28, 2010, the total share issue received bids for 13.55 times the overall shares on offer, with the institutional share offer oversubscribed by 20.3 times. Continue reading

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SPECIAL REPORT: The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Launches The Knowledge-Driven International Development (KDID) Portal to Encourage Greater Effectiveness of Development Knowledge

The Knowledge-Driven International Development (KDID) Portal is a family of websites established to maximize the effectiveness of economic development assistance by connecting development practitioners to spread innovation and good practice. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Finance Minister of Bangladesh, Ama Muhith, Calls Impact of Microfinance Small

During the recent Citi Micro Entrepreneurship Awards in Bangladesh, the Finance Minister of Bangladesh, Ama Muhith, commented that although microfinance has reached 30 million people in Bangladesh, 40 percent of people in the country remain below the poverty line. Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE PAPER WRAP-UP: Microfinance Programs and Better Health: Prospects for Sub-Saharan Africa; by Paul M. Pronyk, James R. Hargreaves and Jonathan Morduch; Published by The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA)

By Paul M. Pronyk, James R. Hargreaves and Jonathan Morduch, published by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), Volume 298, Number 16, October 2007, available at: http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/reprint/298/16/1925.pdf

In this paper, Paul Pronyk, James Hargreaves and Jonathan Morduch examine available evidence on the potential for microfinance to contribute toward achieving the United Nation’s (UN’s) Millennium Development Goals (MDG), with specific focus on improvements in health and the challenges and opportunities for expanding such outcomes in Sub-Saharan Africa, in particular. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Indian Microfinance Institution Spandana Sphoorty’s Board Actively Evaluating an Initial Public Offering (IPO)

Spandana Sphoorty Financial Limited, an Indian microfinance institution, is evaluating an initial public share offering (IPO) following the recent launch of SKS Microfinance’s IPO, the first IPO by an Indian microfinance institution. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Finance Corporation (IFC) to Provide $25m to Federal Bank, a Private Commercial Bank in India, to Support Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs)

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, will provide financing of USD 25 million to Federal Bank, a private commercial bank in India, to improve support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and to boost international trade opportunities. The deal will “facilitate transactions in challenging markets, promote competitive financing and build bank relationships with new institutions, thereby reducing risk and enabling more smaller businesses to engage in trade.” Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Microfinance Consultant, Adam Sorensen, Questions Unitus’ Decision to Cease Microfinance-Related Activities

Microfinance consultant and Seattle native, Adam Sorensen, recently commented on the closure of the nonprofit organization Unitus, which is based in the US city of Seattle. As MicroCapital reported on July 8, 2010, Unitus has recently announced that it will discontinue its microfinance-related activities and will direct its remaining assets to ‘new early-stage, poverty-focused philanthropic activities.’ Mr Sorensen recently commented in the Seattle Times Newspaper about the closure of Unitus’ offices. He argues that Unitus represented a different kind of nonprofit in the microfinance industry, one that advocated for commercial capital. He notes that in 2009 roughly 50 percent of total funding for the microfinance industry came from donors and investors. Given Unitus’ preference for commercial capital, Mr Sorensen asserts that it “promised better results by bringing commercial discipline and business practices cultivated by the leading companies that it often recruited [staff] from.” Continue reading

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