MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Tigo; UNICEF; Tanzania’s Registration, Insolvency and Trusteeship Agency to Provide Mobile Birth Registration for 200k Children in Iringa, Njombe Regions

Tigo Tanzania, a brand of Swedish telecom provider Millicom, recently announced that it will expand its partnership with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the government of Tanzania’s Registration, Insolvency and Trusteeship Agency (RITA) to register and provide birth certificates to an estimated 200,000 children under the age of five in the Iringa and Njombe regions. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Commercial Bank of Ethiopia Engaging Homesend to Launch Remittance Service for All Mobile Phone Users in the Country

HomeSend, a software platform facilitating remittance transactions, and the government-backed Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE) recently announced the intention to launch remittance services in Ethiopia by the end of 2016. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Development Research Centre, Alliance for Financial Inclusion Partnering to Promote Knowledge Sharing on Financial Inclusion

The Canadian government’s International Development and Research Centre (IDRC) and Malaysia-based Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI), recently signed a three-year partnership with the goal of “develop[ing] new knowledge and foster[ing] peer learning on financial inclusion” among AFI’s 123 members which include financial regulators and institutions in approximately 90 developing countries. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Namibia’s Trustco Borrows $33m from Norsad, EIB, Others

Verdant Capital, a corporate finance firm with offices in South Africa, Mauritius and Ghana, recently arranged debt financing totaling ZAR 450 million (USD 33 million) for Trustco Group, a Namibia-based financial services provider firm. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Infoteria, Tech Bureau Transfer Myanmar-based BC Finance’s Microfinance Data to Private Blockchain

Two Japanese firms, Infoteria Corporation, which specialises in the development of extensible markup language (XML) software, and Tech Bureau Corporation, which operates a bitcoin exchange platform, recently announced that they have transferred loan and deposit account information from BC Finance, a microfinance institution based in Myanmar that is wholly owned by Bagan Capital, to a private blockchain database. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: ACDI/VOCA Registers “Impact” Investment Management Subsidiary AV Ventures and AV Ventures Ghana Fund

Agricultural Cooperative Development International/Volunteers in Overseas Cooperative Assistance (ACDI/VOCA), a US-based nonprofit that implements “sustainable international development” projects related to supporting entrepreneurs in developing nations, recently registered a new subsidiary, AV Ventures LLC, which is designed to build “impact” funds that invest in agricultural small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in an effort to promote “more inclusive, responsible supply chains.” Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Kenyan Government Caps Bank Lending Rates, Sets Minimum Deposit Rates

The government of Kenya recently passed legislation to cap the interest rates on bank loans at 4 percent per year above an undisclosed benchmark reference rate and also set the minimum deposit interest rate at 70 percent of the reference rate. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: IKEA Foundation Donating $6m to Habitat for Humanity to Improve Homes in India, Kenya

The IKEA Foundation, an affiliate of the Sweden-founded IKEA group of furniture companies, recently announced a donation of EUR 5.3 million (USD 6 million) to Habitat for Humanity, a US-based nonprofit that aims to provide safe housing options for people in need. Continue reading

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SPECIAL REPORT: A Preview of European Microfinance Week’s “New Frontiers on SPM: Measuring Client Outcomes”

MicroCapital: What is the value of social performance management (SPM)?

Lucia Spaggiari & Amelia Greenberg: Financial service providers (FSPs) do not achieve their social goals without deliberately managing their social performance. Providing access to financial products and services can have a neutral or even harmful effect when it is not done responsibly. Even the best-intentioned FSPs have been shocked upon seeing their first data about client outreach, satisfaction and exit. Simply put, they were not reaching their target clients; their products were not well adapted to clients’ needs; and they were not achieving their missions.

MC: What social performance outcomes are you measuring? Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: MyBucks Launches Mobile App Offering “Nano-loans” in Kenya

GetBucks Kenya, a division of Luxembourg-based financial technology company MyBucks, recently announced the launch of its “Haraka” app, through which it will enable users in Kenya to take out “nano-loans” of EUR 4 (USD 4.30) to EUR 40 (USD 43) via mobile phones. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: FMO Provides $10m Credit Facility to Agrofértil of Paraguay for Agricultural Input Financing

Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden (FMO), a Dutch development bank, recently announced that it has provided a “medium-term” credit facility of USD 10 million to Agrofértil, a company that provides credit, crop protection products, agricultural inputs and “agronomic services” to farmers and farmer cooperatives in Paraguay. Continue reading

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Correlations Between Financial, Social MFI Performance; Banking for a Better World; A Case for Partnerships Among Corporations, Social Enterprises

“Where Good Intentions Meet Good Business Practice”; by Meraj Husain and Micol Pistelli; published by the Microfinance Information Exchange (MIX); August 2016; 16 pages; available at: https://www.themix.org/sites/default/files/publications/where_good_intentions_meet_good_business_practice_mix_august_2016_final.pdf

Drawing upon Microfinance Information Exchange (MIX)’s database of financial service provider (FSP) performance indicators, the authors examine the relationship between the social and financial performance of 780 FSPs in 98 countries. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: EBRD Provides Local-currency Credit Line Worth $7m for MSMEs in Kyrgyzstan Through Kyrgyz Investment and Credit Bank

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a multilateral institution headquartered in London, England, recently announced that it will provide a local-currency credit line equivalent to approximately USD 7 million for micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in Kyrgyzstan. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: EBRD, European Union Launch Agribusiness Program in Tajikistan with $2m in Local-currency for MFI Arvand

The European Union (EU) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a multilateral institution headquartered in London, England, recently launched the Enhanced Competitiveness of Tajik Agribusiness Programme (ECTAP), for which they are seeking to raise EUR 42 million (USD 46.5 million) to boost agricultural productivity in Tajikistan via local financial service providers. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Microcred Starts Microfinance Operations in Burkina Faso

The Microcred Group, a for-profit microfinance company operating under the umbrella of French NGO Positive Planet, recently started the operations of its new subsidiary in Ouagadougou. During the first 20 days, customers opened 1,260 accounts, mobilizing CFA 40 million (USD 68,000) in deposits. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: India’s Arman Financial Services Decreases Interest Rates on Two-wheel Vehicle, Microfinance Loans

Arman Financial Services Limited, a non-banking finance company based in the Indian state of Gujarat, recently announced it is reducing interest rates on its two-wheel vehicle and microfinance loans. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Goodwell Disburses Convertible Loan to “Innovative Microfinance Limited” for Expansion in Rural Ghana

Through its Goodwell Microfinance Development Company (MDC) III Fund, Goodwell Investments recently issued a convertible loan of undisclosed amount to Ghanaian microfinance institution (MFI) Innovative Microfinance Limited (IML), which provides credit, savings products, financial education, business development training and environmental advisory services to low-income individuals and microenterprises. Continue reading