Category: Trends/Challenges

MICROFINANCE EVENT: “Doing Good and Doing Well” – A Conference on Responsible Business

Event Name: “Doing Good and Doing Well” – A Conference on Responsible Business

Event Description: This event provides an opportunity for students, professors and professionals to discuss careers that are both profitable and socially responsible. The topics include microfinance, social entrepreneurship, corporate citizenship, public-private partnerships, renewable energy and socially responsible investing. There will be various speakers, a Career Forum, interactive panels, networking events, and a Venture Seminar to “facilitate the investment process of worthwhile start-up companies.”

Event Date: February 26-27, 2010 Continue reading


MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Filipino Government and Private Sector Representatives Approve Draft of “National Strategy for Micro-insurance”

Filipino government and private sector representatives have approved a draft for the “National Strategy for Microinsurance,” which is set to launch on January 28, 2010, after a series of consultations with stakeholders. Under the draft, stakeholders will be responsible for providing insurance policies under a regulatory framework, monitoring informal insurance schemes and promoting financial literacy. Additionally, insurers will be encouraged to form partnerships with community-based organizations to increase their outreach. “The Finance department had previously said that the 42 million beneficiaries of the government’s microfinance program are the potential clients of microinsurance schemes.” Continue reading


MEET THE BOSS: Interview with Andrew Kuper, President and Founder of LeapFrog Investments Ltd.

Dr. Andrew Kuper is President and Founder of LeapFrog, the world’s first microinsurance fund, which he founded in 2007. He was previously a Managing Director of Ashoka, a support organization for social entrepreneurs. He has worked with microfinance institutions Grameen and BRAC, and is the author of two books on globalization. He holds a PhD from Cambridge University in the United Kingdom. Continue reading


MICROCAPITAL.ORG BRIEF: Opportunity International Subsidiary, MicroEnsure, Partners with CARE to Launch Funeral Microinsurance Product

MicroEnsure and CARE have named the unplanned nature of a death in the family as one of the largest risks a family faces. To address this issue, they have jointly developed a low-cost funeral benefit product to distribute to village savings and loan associations (VSLAs) via community-based trainers (CBTs). CARE´s VSLAs are built by women living on less than USD 2 a day who pool savings into a common fund. CBTs will provide VSLAs with initial training on the basics of microinsurance and the benefits of the funeral product. VSLAs will then have to unanimously vote on whether or not they would like to purchase the product. MicroEnsure, a wholly owned subsidiary of Opportunity International, provides a range of products including health, life, property and weather index-based insurance to over 3.5 million people across 10 countries. CARE is a global NGO that has supported over 800 poverty alleviation projects in 72 countries to reach more than 59 million people. Continue reading


MICROCAPITAL.ORG STORY: Australian Bank ANZ Amasses 10 million Fijian Dollars (USD 5.3 million) in Deposits through Mobile Rural Banking Program in Fiji Launched in 2004 in Conjunction with the United Nations Development Programme

ANZ, an Australian commercial bank, launched a mobile rural banking scheme in 2004 in an effort to offer financial services to new clients in a different nation, Fiji [1,2]. The program was launched in conjunction with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nation’s “global development network,” with the intention of providing credit to low-income Fijian households [1,3]. Since the program’s inception, ANZ has amassed 10 million Fijian Dollars in deposits from Fijian clients, the equivalent of over USD 5.3 million [1]. Microcapital reported on this rural banking scheme in July of 2009 [4]. Microcapital has also reported extensively on mobile banking [5,6,7]. Continue reading


MICROCAPITAL EVENT: International Disaster and Risk Conference, “From Thoughts to Action,” May 30 – June 3, 2010, Davos, Switzerland

Event Name: International Disaster and Risk Conference: “From Thoughts to Action”

Event Date: May 30 – June 3, 2010

Event Location: The Davos Congress Centre, Promenade 92 7270 Davos Platz, Davos, Switzerland

Event Website:

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MICROFINANCE PAPER WRAP-UP: Half the World is Unbanked, by Alberto Chaia, Aparna Dalal, Tony Goland, Maria Jose Gonzalez, Johnathan Morduch, and Robert Schiff

Written by Alberto Chaia, Aparna Dalal, Tony Goland, Maria Jose Gonzalez, Johnathan Morduch, and Robert Schiff, Published by the Financial Access Initiative in October 2009, available at:

This paper uses improved data on financial usage, socioeconomic, and demographics to construct an accurate estimate of how many adults (older than 15 years) in the world do not use formal financial services. The data sources included the estimates of 2003 access to formal and semi-formal financial services (using data from banks, microfinance institutions (MFIs), and household surveys) from Patrick Honohan’s 2008 paper “”Cross-country variation in household access to financial services,” 2005 population, per capita income and urbanization data from the United Nation’s Human Development Index, and poverty data from the World Bank’s PovcalNet [1,2,3]. The authors specifically study “usage” of financial services as opposed to “financial access.” Continue reading