MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Impact Investment Exchange Asia (IIX) Launches Impact Accelerator in Philippines to Provide Financial, Operational Support to Early-Stage Social Enterprises

Impact Investment Exchange Asia (IIX), a Singapore-based for-profit company that provides capital to social enterprises (SEs), recently launched an Impact Accelerator program in the Philippines that will provide four early-stage SEs with seed capital and tailored mentorship and advisory services in an effort to decrease the time needed for the businesses to grow. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Finance Corporation (IFC) to Loan $30m to Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) of Philippines to Fund Small, Medium-sized Enterprises; Women-led Businesses

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the US-based World Bank Group that offers financial services to businesses and governments in developing countries with the aim of increasing economic growth, recently announced that it has approved a “medium-term loan”[1] of up to USD 30 million to the Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC), a commercial bank in the Philippines. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Investment Bank (EIB) Loans $24.8m to Cooperative Rural Development Bank (CRDB) of Tanzania, Announces $6.2m for Technical Assistance Programmes in East Africa

The European Investment Bank (EIB), the lending bank of the European Union, recently announced that it will issue a loan worth EUR 20 million (USD 24.8 million) to the Cooperative Rural Development Bank (CRDB), a commercial bank in Tanzania, to support small businesses in the agriculture, manufacturing and retail sectors in Tanzania. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Investment Bank (EIB) Lends $16.4m to Housing Finance Bank (HFB) to Support Small, Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Uganda

The European Investment Bank (EIB), a European Union-sponsored development bank, recently agreed to provide a credit line worth UGX 45 billion (USD 16.4 million) to the Housing Finance Bank (HFB), a Ugandan commercial bank, for on-lending to small and medium-sized enterprises in Uganda. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Expected to Loan $5m in Local Currency to Imon International of Tajikistan

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a UK-based multilateral institution that finances development projects in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and North Africa, is expected to issue a four-year, senior loan worth the local-currency equivalent of USD 5 million to Imon International, a microfinance institution (MFI) based in Tajikistan, to increase its lending to small-and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Lok Capital of Mauritius Seeking $100m for Third Fund, First Round Scheduled to Close by April 2015

Lok Capital, a Mauritius-based venture capital fund that focuses on microfinance and other social businesses in India, reportedly is seeking to raise USD 100 million for a new fund that will focus on financial inclusion as its key priority, with agriculture and energy as secondary areas of interest [1]. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Mozido Raises $185m from MasterCard, Wellington Management, Individual Funders to Expand Operations

Mozido, a US-based mobile payment and marketing software company, recently raised USD 185 million in capital in the first round of its Series B financing to expand its mobile and payment services in Africa, China, Europe, India, Latin America and the Middle East. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: US Agency for International Development (USAID) to Provide $71m to Government of India for Banking, Clean Energy, Water and Sanitation

The US Agency for International Development (USAID), a government agency that provides international economic and humanitarian assistance, recently committed up to USD 71 million to the Government of India to support the country’s banking, clean energy and water and sanitation sectors. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Investment Bank (EIB) to Loan $31m to AccessBank Azerbaijan for On-lending to Small, Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs)

The Luxembourg-based European Investment Bank (EIB), the long-term lending bank of the European Union (EU), recently announced that it is extending an intermediated senior loan totaling EUR 25 million (USD 31 million) to AccessBank Azerbaijan, a microfinance bank (MFB) in Azerbaijan, for on-lending to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the country. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Global Systems for Mobile Association (GSMA) Launches Code of Conduct for Mobile Money Providers

The Global Systems for Mobile Association (GSMA), a UK-based association of 1,000 mobile operators and associated companies, recently launched a “Code of Conduct for Mobile Money Providers” to provide guidance on best practices for its members. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bank of Thailand (BOT) to Aid Non-Bank Lenders in Providing “Nano-Loans” of $3040 to $3650

The Bank of Thailand (BOT), the country’s central bank, recently announced that it will introduce a “nano-financing” financial education scheme to enhance the ability of non-bank lenders to provide “nano-loans” that range from THB 100,000 (USD 3040) to THB 120,000 (USD 3650) and carry an annual interest rate of 30 to 36 percent. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) May Establish $200m Loan Facility for On-lending to Micro-, Small, Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs) in Kazakhstan

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a UK-based multilateral financial institution, recently announced that it is in the final stage of consideration for the establishment of a “Kazakhstan MSME Framework,” a credit facility totaling KZT 36 billion (USD 200 million) for on-lending to micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in the country. Continue reading

SPECIAL REPORT: Youth Are Less Risky Borrowers? European Microfinance Week Participants on Serving Young People via Leasing, Peer Education, Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs)

Countering the perception that youth are riskier borrowers than older clients, Maria Perdomo, the manager of the UN Capital Development Fund’s YouthStart program, recently presented data from seven African microfinance institutions (MFIs) showing that all but one have lower rates of portfolio at risk (PAR) within the segments of their portfolios serving youth than organization-wide. Nonetheless, she noted, youth often make up a disproportionately small share of an MFI’s customer base because loan officers believe they are less likely than others to repay, which would threaten the bonus that many loan officers receive when more of their clients do repay their loans. Continue reading

SPECIAL REPORT: On Microbusiness Support in Conflict Zones, a Discussion at European Microfinance Week

Major David Beskow of the US Military Academy told a crowd at European Microfinance Week, about distributing microgrants in eastern Baghdad, Iraq, largely to women shop-owners for refrigeration, generators or inventory. Funded by the Iraqi government and the US Army’s Commander’s Emergency Response Program, each grant ranged in size from USD 500 to USD 5,000. Although no repayment was required, each beneficiary business was documented through photos and other means before disbursal and after one and six months, in the presence of local police. Continue reading

SPECIAL REPORT: Distinguishing Multiple Lending from Over-indebtedness at European Microfinance Week

“Multiple borrowing was endemic,” in Bangladesh as of 2008, says Shameran Abed, the director of microfinance at Bangladesh-based Brac International, “but we didn’t know if this was bad, although we knew it was a risk.” Mr Abed was speaking this morning at the opening plenary of the last day of European Microfinance Week, which is organized by the Luxembourgish NGO European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP). In the past, he explained, the members of borrowing groups were good at letting Brac staff know who was a good credit risk. As the market was getting saturated, “Groups became less cohesive, so we couldn’t totally rely on them to tell us if individuals were becoming overindebted.” Continue reading

SPECIAL REPORT: Kompanion of Kyrgyzstan Wins $125k European Microfinance Award on Microfinance and the Environment for Pasture Land Management Training

Kompanion Wins EMAThe Kompanion Financial Group, a microfinance institution (MFI) in Kyrgyzstan, was selected today from three finalists to receive the Fifth European Microfinance Award, which includes a cash prize of EUR 100,000 (USD 125,000). Pictured at the right are Her Royal Highness The Grand Duchess of Luxembourg and Olesya Paukova the development director of Kompanion upon her receipt of the award on behalf of the MFI. Continue reading