MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Liberia Investing for Business Expansion (IBEX) Provides Technical Support, Access to $860k in Credit to Small, Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) Via Banks

The Liberia Investing for Business Expansion (IBEX) program, a project of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) that focuses on improving access to financial services for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by linking them with banks, provided clients in the agriculture, construction and trade sectors with access to loans totaling USD 860,000 from July to September 2014. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Grameen Crédit Agricole Microfinance Foundation Invests $788k in Oxus DR Congo, $321k in Uganda’s Encot

The Grameen Crédit Agricole Microfinance Foundation (GCAMF), a Luxembourg-based provider of financial services to microfinance institutions (MFIs) and other social businesses, recently informed MicroCapital that it has issued the following two loans: Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: SatADSL to Provide Microfinance Institutions, Money Transfer Firms with Satellite Technology to Expand Branch Networks in East Africa

SatADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line), a Belgian telecommunications company that provides internet services in Sub-Saharan Africa, recently announced that it plans to provide microfinance institutions and money transfer firms with automated teller machines (ATMs) and money transfer capabilities using “ very small aperture terminal” (VSAT) equipment. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Dutch Development Bank Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappijvoor Ontwikkelingslanden (FMO) Loans $9.5m to Nigeria’s Lift Above Poverty Organization (LAPO) for Microfinance

The Dutch development bank Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappijvoor Ontwikkelingslanden (FMO) recently signed an agreement to provide a five-year, local-currency loan equivalent to EUR 7.5 million (USD 9.5 million) to Lift Above Poverty Organization (LAPO), a Nigerian microfinance institution (MFI). Continue reading

MICROFINANCE PAPER WRAP-UP: “The Next Stage of Financial Inclusion;” by Dean Karlan; Published by Stanford Social Innovation Review

“The Next Stage of Financial Inclusion;” by D. Karlan; published by the Stanford Social Innovation Review; fall 2014; 9 pages; available at: http://www.ssireview.org/pdf/Fall_2014_The_Next_Stage_of_Financial_Inclusion_1.pdf

This paper investigates the evolving role of nonprofit organizations in providing microcredit to people with low incomes. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: CGAP, MasterCard Foundation Award $500k for Behavioral Research to Freedom from Hunger, IFMR, Innovations for Poverty, The MicroInsurance Centre

CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor), a US-based nonprofit that aims to facilitate the expansion of financial access, and The MasterCard Foundation, a Canadian nonprofit that aims to promote youth learning and financial inclusion in emerging markets, recently awarded a total of USD 500,000 to the following four organizations: Freedom From Hunger, a US-based NGO operating in developing countries to alleviate poverty and hunger; IFMR Finance Foundation, an arm of India’s Institute for Financial Management and Research (IFMR) Trust Group; Innovations for Poverty Action, a US-based nonprofit organization that uses randomized evaluations to research development initiatives; and The MicroInsurance Centre, a US-based, for-profit research, product development and training firm. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Togo-based EcoBank to Accept MasterCard Debit, Credit, Prepaid Cards via 2,500 ATMs, 10,000 Points of Sale in 28 African Countries

MasterCard, a US-based payment solutions company, recently partnered with EcoBank Transnational Incorporated (EcoBank), a Togo-based bank, to enable Ecobank’s customers to use MasterCard debit, credit and prepaid cards at all of Ecobank’s point-of-sale (PoS) terminals and automated teller machines (ATMs). Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Finance Corporation (IFC) Loans $5m to KazMicroFinance (KMF) of Kazakhstan for On-Lending to Small Enterprises

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private-investment arm of the World Bank Group, has announced that it will loan the equivalent of USD 5 million in Kazakh tenge (KZT) to KazMicroFinance Limited Liability Company (KMF), a microfinance institution (MFI) in Kazakhstan. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Turkish Government Launch “Finance and Advice to Women in Business” 

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a UK-based multilateral financial institution, along with the European Union Delegation to Turkey, the Turkish Employment Agency and the Ministry of Labour and Social Security of the Republic of Turkey recently launched the “Finance and Advice to Women in Business” program, an initiative that aims to strengthen and increase the role of women in the Turkish economy. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Kenyan Regulators Approve Equity Bank Mobile Money Services Despite Security Objections from Safaricom

The Communications Authority (CA) of Kenya, the government body that regulates the communication industry in the country, and the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), the country’s central banking authority, have given their approval to Equity Bank, a private Kenyan microfinance bank, to roll out a one-year pilot of its mobile money services using “Thin Sim technology” [1]. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: China’s Alibaba Launches Microfinance Arm, Ant Financial, to Consolidate Financial Services Units Including Alipay Mobile Payments, Yu’e Bao Money Market Fund

Alibaba Group Holding Limited, a Chinese internet and e-commerce company, recently launched Ant Financial Services Group, a microfinance arm to consolidate all six of Alibaba’s affiliated entities Alipay, an online payment tool; Alipay Wallet, a mobile payment application; Yu’e Bao, a USD 93 billion money market fund; Zhao Cai Bao, a platform that allows individuals and small businesses directly borrow from investors; Ant Micro, a microfinance provider and MY Bank, an affiliated private bank. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Monetary Fund (IMF) Releases 2014 Financial Access Survey (FAS)

The International Monetary Fund (IMF), a US-based organisation that is part of the United Nations, has released the results of its 2014 Financial Access Survey (FAS), a publication that provides data and analysis on financial inclusion around the world. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: US Agency for International Development (AID), CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor), The Mastercard Foundation Award $1m to ideas42 for Financial Management Tool for Microentrepreneurs

The US Agency for International Development (AID), a government agency that provides international economic and humanitarian assistance, and CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor), a US-based, nonprofit that aims to facilitate the expansion of financial access, and The Mastercard Foundation, a Canadian nonprofit that aims to promote youth learning and financial inclusion in emerging markets, recently awarded approximately USD 1 million to ideas42, a US-based nonprofit consulting and behavioral design firm, for the implementation of a SMS text-messaging “push” notification system and voice-based platform that is intended to help microentrepreneurs better manage their finances. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Call for Applicants for $227k Ashden International Sustainable Energy Awards Open until November 4, 2014

Ashden, a UK-based nonprofit established in 2001 that promotes the use of sustainable energy, has issued a call for applicants for the 2015 Ashden International Awards, which will recognize development programs with a focus on reducing carbon emissions and increasing access to sustainable energy. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Project Concern International (PCI) to Target 250,000 Additional Women Through Women Empowered (WE) Initiative

Project Concern International (PCI), a US-based non-governmental organization (NGO), recently announced that it plans to scale up the operations of its Women Empowered (WE) initiative by providing approximately 250,000 women, in addition to the 230,000 women it currently serves, with tools and training for their businesses. Continue reading