MICROFINANCE EVENT: Women’s Economic Empowerment Global Learning Forum; May 23-25, 2017; Bangkok, Thailand

Event Name: Women’s Economic Empowerment Global Learning Forum

Event Date: May 23 – 25, 2017

Event Location: Bangkok, Thailand

Summary of Event: This event will offer stakeholders opportunities to discuss achieving “sustainable and scalable development outcomes for very poor and marginalized women.” Speakers will address Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: FMO Provides $6m Local-currency Loan to Sanasa Development Bank of Sri Lanka for SME Lending

Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden (FMO), a Dutch development bank, recently announced that it has provided a local-currency loan equivalent to USD 6 million to Sanasa Development Bank PLC (SDB bank), which provides leasing, credit, deposit Continue reading

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: UN Digital Financial Services Toolkits; 7th IMF Financial Access Survey; IFC, The MasterCard Foundation Mobile Money Handbook

“How to Succeed in Your Digital Journey: a Series of Toolkits for Financial Service Providers”; Published by the United Nations Capital Development Fund’s MicroLead Program; October 2016; available upon request via: https://uncdf.wufoo.com/forms/q4pnwh31pqtp7r/

This first portion of a six-part digital toolkit, which is available in English and French, was designed to benefit microfinance institutions (MFIs) and other financial services providers that aim to offer digital financial services to unbanked populations residing in remote locations. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Asian University for Women Expanding on Partnerships with Grameen Bank of Bangladesh, BRAC Afghanistan

Asian University for Women (AUW), which was created in 2008 in Chittagong, Bangladesh, is in the process of bringing on additional partners through which it will recruit bachelor’s degree candidates from low-income regions of Asia and the Middle East. The mission of AUW is to offer talented young women from families with minimal educational and financial resources the opportunity to earn an undergraduate Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Nepal Sets Microloan Interest Rate Maximum of 18%

The Nepalese central bank, Nepal Rastra Bank, reportedly has capped microloan rates at 18 percent per year following complaints of microfinance institutions (MFIs) “distributing high dividends by charging borrowers, who are often poor people in rural areas, exorbitant rates…as high as 30 percent.” This follows the declaration of Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Zimbabwe Loosens Microfinance Regulations in Effort to Boost Investment; Deliver Range of Services to More Women, Youth

The government of Zimbabwe recently liberalized its Microfinance Act with provisions such as extending the validity of microfinance institution (MFI) license renewals from one to three years. Zimbabwe’s Finance Minister, Patrick Chinamasa, was quoted as saying financial institution “charges are just too high. With MFIs, it mostly has to do with the fact that investment in the sector is just too low, so companies just end up passing their costs to clients…. Zimbabwe seeks to unlock economic opportunities, especially for the women and youths by expanding access to savings, Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: FMO, IFC Invest $16m in Equity in Mobisol to Finance Solar Power in Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania

Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden (FMO), a Dutch development bank, recently announced that is placing equity investments totaling EUR 9.2 million (USD 9.9 million) in Mobisol, a Germany-based provider of solar home systems in East Africa. The investments are funded by two entities FMO manages in partnership with the Dutch government: MASSIF and the Access to Energy Fund. These investments were accompanied by an equity placement of EUR 5.4 million (USD 5.8 million) by Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: IFC to Advise FINCA DRC on Boosting Access to Credit, Mobile Banking in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, with Funding from The MasterCard Foundation

The World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) recently agreed to provide two years of advisory services, valued at USD 1 million, to FINCA DRC, a unit of US-based FINCA Microfinance Holding Company that provides savings and credit services to 256,000 customers in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The goal is to Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Sanad Fund for MSME Lends $1.5m for Women’s Enterprises in Palestine via Microfinance Institution Asala

The Sanad Fund for MSME (Micro Small and Medium Enterprise), a provider of loans and equity to financial institutions in the Middle East and North Africa, recently announced that it will lend USD 1.5 million to the Asala for Credit and Development Company, a microfinance institution in Palestine, for on-lending to female entrepreneurs. The microlender operates nine offices in the West Bank and Gaza, focusing on serving micro- and small enterprises owned by women in rural areas. Asala, a for-profit successor to the Palestinian Businesswomen’s Association, was launched in 2014 with support from the Sharakat Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Solar Financier PEG Africa Offers Customers in Ghana Free Hospitalization Insurance via Bima

PEG Africa, which offers “rent-to-own” financing for solar products in Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana, recently arranged to offer select customers no-cost insurance cover via Bima, a microinsurance service of Sweden’s Milvik. The rollout across Ghana follows a pilot project that served 2,000 families. PEG will enroll customers that meet certain criteria relating to loyalty and timeliness of repayment. The insurnace will pay out for Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Jumo Sells Microenterprise, Consumer Lender afb Ghana to Letshego

Letshego Holding Limited, which is based in Botswana and offers deposit and lending services in 10 African countries, recently paid an undisclosed price to Jumo World Limited, a financial technology firm registered in Mauritius, for all of the shares of afb Ghana, which has 60,000 customers and total assets of GHS 97 million (USD 23 million) as of December 2016. Both afb and Letshego lend for Continue reading

SPECIAL REPORT: Semaine Africaine de la Microfinance (SAM, also known as African Microfinance Week) Scheduled for October 9 – October 13, 2017, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Luxembourgish NGO ADA, 27-member African Microfinance Transparency and the 71-member Microfinance African Institutions Network recently announced that they will hold the Semaine Africaine de la Microfinance Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: EBRD Loaning $5m to FondiBESA for Rural MSMEs, Farmers in Albania

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a multilateral institution headquartered in the United Kingdom, recently announced that it will loan USD 5 million for rural micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and individual farmers in Albania. Continue reading

MICROFINANCE EVENT: MENA Governance and Strategic Leadership Seminar; March 7 – 9, 2017; Amman, Jordan

Event Name: MENA Governance and Strategic Leadership Seminar

Event Date: March 7 – March 9, 2017

Event Location: Sheraton Amman Al Nabil Hotel, Fifth Circle, Amman, 11184, Jordan

Summary of Event: The goal of this event is to strengthen boards of directors of microfinance institutions in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region Continue reading

SPECIAL REPORT: European Microfinance Week Scheduled for November 29 – December 1, 2017, in Luxembourg

The European Microfinance PlatformEuropean Microfinance Platform (e-MFP) notified MicroCapital today that it has scheduled the next iteration of its European Microfinance Week for November 29 through December 1, 2017, at Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: FMO Loans $29m to El Salvador’s Fedecredito for On-lending to Cooperatives, Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Partner Mikrokreditna Fondacija for Agricultural Microenterprises

Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden (FMO), a Dutch development bank, recently announced two loans to support the provision of financial services to people with low incomes in El Salvador and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

FMO is lending USD 24 million to Continue reading

MICROFINANCE EVENT: Savings and Credit Forum; March 16, 2017; Zürich, Switzerland

Event Name: Savings and Credit Forum: What are the Social Performance Management and Reporting Practices of Financial Institutions and Microfinance Impact Investors?

Event Date: March 16, 2017

Event Location: University of Zürich, Rämistrasse 59, Zürich, Switzerland

Summary of Event: The draft agenda for this event includes topics such as standards for social performance management and the social performance reporting practices of several microfinance institutions. This half-day event Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: C-Quadrat’s Dual Return Vision Microfinance Funds Loan $63m to Various MFIs

Austria’s C-Quadrat Asset Management informed MicroCapital today that its Dual Return Vision Microfinance and Dual Return Vision Microfinance-Local Currency funds loaned a total approximately equivalent to USD 63.5 million during December to unspecified microfinance institutions (MFIs) in countries including Ghana, Indonesia, Kenya, Mongolia and Sri Lanka. The Continue reading