SPECIAL REPORT: Narda Sotomayor on Regulating Microfinance via Proportionality, Financial Education and Mobile Money in Peru

MicroCapital: Can you tell us a bit about your talk planned for European Microfinance Week on “balancing financial inclusion with market stability”?

Narda Sotomayor: A key element to achieve this balance is the principle of proportionality, under which regulations vary based on the risks associated with the product or service in question. For instance, for microloans for businesses with overall debt below PEN 20,000 (USD 7,000), the required documentation is minimal, and loan provision requirements are based only on the number of days any loans are overdue. The lender has the freedom to establish prices to cover its costs, such that institutional sustainability is guaranteed. It was determined that anti-money-laundering rules were making it too costly to open deposit accounts for the poor, mainly because of the heavy burden of “know-your-customer” documentation. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: SolarNow Raises $2.5m from Novastar Ventures, Acumen Fund

SolarNow, an Ugandan-based company selling solar electric home systems, recently raised EUR 2 million (USD 2.53 million) by selling equity shares to Novastar Ventures, a Mauritius-based fund investing in new businesses with ‘innovative’ business models in Africa, and Acumen Fund, a New-York based nonprofit venture fund. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: African Development Bank (AfDB), Asian Development Bank (ADB), European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), European Investment Bank (EIB), Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), World Bank Group (WBG) Issues Joint Statement on Climate Finance

A group of multilateral development finance institutions, the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Investment Bank (EIB), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the World Bank Group (WBG), recently issued a joint statement on climate finance. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Loans $3m to Muganbank of Azerbaijan for On-Lending to Corporates, Individuals for Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy Projects

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a multilateral institution headquartered in London, is loaning USD 3 million to Muganbank, a financial institution that offers retail and corporate banking services in Azerbaijan. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Financial Organization (IFC) Syndicates Loans Totaling $60m to BBVA Paraguay to Fund Small, Medium-sized Enterprises

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group that offers financial services to businesses and governments in developing countries with the aim of increasing economic growth, has announced that it will loan a total of USD 60 million to Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria Paraguay (BBVA Paraguay), a subsidiary of the Spanish financial services group BBVA. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Finance Corporation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to Provide $3.9m in Advisory Services to Airtel Uganda to Expand Mobile Money

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the US-based World Bank Group that aims to improve the living standards of people in developing countries, recently announced that it will partner with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a US-based nonprofit that supports innovations in health and education, to provide advisory services valued at USD 3.9 million to Airtel Uganda, a subsidiary of Indian telecommunications company Bharti Airtel. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Grameen Crédit Agricole Microfinance Foundation (GCAMF) to Loan $1.1m to FINCA Malawi, $580k to Réseau de Micro-institutions de Croissance de Revenus of Mali

The Grameen Crédit Agricole Microfinance Foundation (GCAMF), a Luxembourg-based foundation providing financial services to microfinance institutions (MFIs) and other social businesses, recently informed to MicroCapital that it disbursed a three-year loan in local currency equivalent in value to EUR 882,000 (USD 1.1 million) to Foundation for International Community Assistance (FINCA) Malawi, a microfinance institution (MFI) member of the US-based, nonprofit FINCA International microfinance network. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Investment Fund Loans $2.53m to Vitas via European Progress Microfinance to Support Microenterprises in Romania

The European Investment Fund, a member of the European Investment Bank Group providing financing to small and medium-sized enterprises, recently loaned EUR 2 million (USD 2.53 million) to Vitas, a Romanian microfinance institution, through European Progress Microfinance, a microfinance investment vehicle supported by the EU’s European Commission and the European Investment Bank. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Center for Financial Inclusion (CFI), HelpAge USA Launch Research Initiative on Financial Inclusion of Older Adults in Colombia

The Center for Financial Inclusion (CFI), an affiliate of US-based nonprofit Accion, and HelpAge USA, an affiliate of UK-based NGO network HelpAge International, have launched a research initiative on the financial inclusion of older adults in developing countries. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Grameen Credit Agricole Microfinance Foundation Loans $609k to Juhudi Kilimo of Kenya

The Grameen Credit Agricole Microfinance Foundation (GCAMF), a Luxembourg-based investor in microfinance institutions (MFIs) and other social businesses, recently notified MicroCapital that it has disbursed a three-year, local-currency loan equivalent to EUR 482,000 (USD 609,000) to Juhudi Kilimo, a for-profit microlender in Kenya [1]. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Citi Foundation Donates $2m to 7 Initiatives for Financial Education, Capacity Building in India

The Citi Foundation, the charitable arm of US-based financial services provider Citigroup that promotes financial inclusion and other initiatives, recently announced that it has issued the first disbursement from its “Innovation Grant Program”[1] with the aim of increasing its impact in India. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Développement International Desjardins (DID), Agence Française de Développement (AFD) to Support Faîtière des Unités Coopératives d’Epargne et de Crédit du Togo (FUCEC-TOGO) in Product Development

Développement International Desjardins (DID), a nonprofit subsidiary of Canadian cooperative Desjardins Group, and Agence Française de Développement (AFD), the country’s body for international development, recently announced an agreement to co-finance the creation of products and services for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that are served by members of Faîtière des Unités Coopératives d’Epargne et de Crédit du Togo (FUCEC-TOGO), a network of 39 financial cooperatives in Togo. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Grameen Crédit Agricole Microfinance Foundation Invests $1.68m in Palestine’s Faten, in Azerbaijan’s Viator, in Bangladesh’s Grameen Danone

The Grameen Crédit Agricole Microfinance Foundation (GCAMF), a provider of financial services to microfinance institutions (MFIs) and other social businesses, recently informed MicroCapital that it has granted loans of EUR 739,000 (USD 937,000) to Faten, a microfinance institution based in the West Bank in Palestine; EUR 702,000 (USD 890,000) to Viator, an Azerbaijani microfinance organization; and a loan, which can be converted into equity, of EUR 240,000 (USD 304,000) to Grameen Danone Foods Limited, a social business in Bangladesh that sells food products containing nutrients that are generally lacking from the regional diet. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Finance Corporation (IFC) Loans $4m to Advans Côte d’Ivoire for On-lending to Micro-, Small, Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs)

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group that offers financial services to businesses and governments in developing countries with the aim of increasing economic growth, has announced that it will loan CFA 2 billion (USD 4.3 million) to Advans Côte d’Ivoire, a bank that was founded in 2012 to provide savings and lending services to micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in the country. Continue reading