MICROFINANCE EVENT: Fondazione Giordano Dell’Amore to Host Conference, “Improving Financial Inclusion of Smallholder Farmers”, Milan, Italy, October 15-16, 2015; Results of $54k Microfinance Best Practices International Award to be Declared

Event Name: Improving Financial Inclusion of Smallholder Farmers

Event Date: October 15-16, 2015

Event Location: Via Romagnosi 8, 20121 Milan, Italy

Cost: Free, registration required

Summary of Event: The conference aims to discuss various issues related to microfinance and improving financial inclusion of smallholder farmers, through three plenary sessions and nine workshops. The winner of the EUR 50,000 (approximately USD 54,000) Giordano Dell’Amore Microfinance Best Practices International Award 2015 will be announced at the conference. The primary language of the conference will be English. Registration is compulsory. Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Mobile Finance Implementation; Alternative Delivery Channels and Technology; “Market Insights for Innovations and Design” (MI4ID) Behavioral Research

“Expanding Access to Finance Through Mobile Payments;” published by the Foundation for International Community Assistance (FINCA) International and The MasterCard Foundation; June 2015; 12 pages; available at http://www.finca.org/files/2015/06/FINCA-MasterCard-Case-study-2015.pdf

This case study offers suggestions for microfinance institutions (MFIs) implementing mobile technology. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Tanzania’s Yetu Microfinance to Launch Initial Public Offering of $5.36m

Yetu Microfinance (Yetu), an unlicensed microfinance institution (MFI) in Tanzania, recently announced that it will launch an initial public offering (IPO) with the aim of raising TZS 12.5 billion (approximately USD 5.63 million) for expansion and to comply with the country’s regulatory minimum core capital of TZS 5 billion (approximately USD 2.25 million) for licensed MFIs. Continue reading

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SPECIAL REPORT: “More Inclusive Finance for Youth: Scalable and Sustainable Delivery Models for Financial and Non-Financial Services” from e-MFP’s Youth Financial Inclusion Action Group

MicroCapital: What is the motivation for the new study “More Inclusive Finance for Youth: Scalable and Sustainable Delivery Models for Financial and Non-Financial Services,” which was published recently by e-MFP’s Youth Financial Inclusion Action Group?

Severine Deboos: Almost 73 million youth worldwide are looking for work. The UN’s International Labour Office (ILO) considers financial inclusion an important ingredient to fostering youth employment. While young people may need access to services such as savings, credit, insurance and payments, potential employers may need loans to fund apprenticeships. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Insurance Regulatory Authority of Uganda (IRA) to Reduce Minimum Capital Requirement for Microinsurers to $30k, Increase Client Protection Measures

The Insurance Regulatory Authority of Uganda (IRA) recently urged insurance companies in the country to work with microfinance institutions (MFIs) to develop and promote microinsurance products. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Grameen Credit Agricole Microfinance Foundation Invests $2.4m in Cambodian Microfinance Institutions Chamroeun, Thaneakea Phum Cambodia (TPC)

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

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: 179 NGO Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) Receive Conditional License To Operate in Bangladesh

A group of 179 non-governmental microfinance institutions (MFIs) recently received conditional licenses to operate in Bangladesh for three years. The licenses were granted by the country’s Microcredit Regulatory Authority (MRA), a government agency that supervises the transparency and accountability of MFIs in the country. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Grameen Credit Agricole Microfinance Foundation Loans $424k to Sri Lanka’s Janamithu Lanka Limited, $841k to Tajikistan’s Humo and Partners

The Grameen Credit 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: (1) The equivalent of EUR 462,000 (approximately USD 424,000) in local currency over three years to Janamithu Lanka Limited (JLL), a microfinance institution (MFI) in Sri Lanka that offers loans to poor people for education and asset building; and (2) EUR 850,000 (approximately USD 841,000) over one year to Humo and Partners, a Tajikistan-based MFI founded by the local affiliate of Switzerland-based nongovernmental organization CARE International. The MFI lends mainly to farmers and other rural entrepreneurs [1]. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Considers $22m Credit to Belinvestbank of Belarus for On-Lending to Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs)

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a multilateral investment institution headquartered in London, is considering extending a credit line of EUR 20 million (USD 22 million) to Belinvestbank (BIB), a state-owned bank in Belarus. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Symbiotics Sells Bonds Worth $11m for South Africa’s SA Taxi

Symbiotics, a Switzerland-based investment company that focuses on emerging markets, recently announced that it has completed the second tranche of a bond transaction worth USD 11 million to benefit SA Taxi Development Finance (SA Taxi), a South African leasing company that finances “minibus taxi” operators in the country. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: MetLife Foundation Donates $1.8m to Opportunity International to Support Financial Access through Microfinance, Education in Rural China

MetLife Foundation, an affiliate of the Chicago-based insurance company MetLife, recently announced the disbursement of USD 1.8 million in grant funding to Opportunity International, a microfinance NGO also based in the US city of Chicago, to support its outreach via bank branches and mobile vans in rural China.  Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bank of Kigali, Mobile Telecommunications Network (MTN) Rwanda to Offer Mobile Financial Services

Bank of Kigali, a Rwandan commercial bank, and the Rwandan branch of Mobile Telecommunications Network (MTN), a South Africa-based internet and telecommunications company, recently entered into a partnership that will allow MTN subscribers who are also customers of Bank of Kigali to transfer funds between their Bank of Kigali accounts and MTN’s mobile payments platform, Mobile Money. Continue reading

MICROFINANCE EVENT: Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) Presents Bridging the Gap: Financial Policy Solutions for Women in Africa, July 22, 2015, Yamoussoukro, Côte d’Ivoire

Event Name: Bridging the Gap: Financial Policy Solutions for Women in Africa

Event Date: July 22, 2015

Event Location: Hotel President, Yamoussoukro, Côte d’Ivoire

Event Summary: The Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI), a Malaysia-based network of financial regulators, will host this one-day conference immediately preceding the 3rd Annual African Mobile Phone Financial Services Policy Initiative (AMPI) Leaders’ Roundtable. The purpose is to create a forum for financial regulators to discuss and increase awareness of policies that are intended to facilitate an increase in financial inclusion for women to help close the “financial inclusion gender gap”[1]. Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE EVENT: Women’s World Banking (WWB) Presents Making Finance Work for Women Summit, November 11-12, 2015, Berlin, Germany

Event Name: Women’s World Banking (WWB) Making Finance Work for Women Summit

Event Date: November 11-12, 2015

Event Location: Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (which is also known by its German acronym BMZ), Berlin, Germany

Event Summary: The Making Finance Work for Women Summit is a two-day event that will focus on how women’s access to financial services relates to economic opportunity and macroeconomic growth. Sessions will cover best practices to “serve the women’s market for financial services”[1]. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bank of Ghana Rejects Appeal by Customers of DKM Diamond Micro-Finance Limited; President Intervenes

The Bank of Ghana (BoG), the country’s central bank, recently rejected an appeal by the customers of the Ghana-based savings and microfinance company DKM Diamond Micro-Finance Limited (DKM) who had requested their cash deposits and matured investments with DKM to be paid out. BoG rejected the appeal due to the investigation into DKM’s practices being pending. BoG argued that it had to establish whether the MFI had violated the Ghanaian banking act before it allowed access to funds held by DKM. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: 2015 CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor) Microfinance Photo Contest Accepting Entries Through September 9

CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor), a US-based, nonprofit policy and research center that aims to facilitate the expansion of financial access, has announced the opening of its annual photo contest to entries of original images that capture the “diversity and dynamism of microfinance and financial inclusion around the world”[1]. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Société Générale Loans $21.2m to Microenterprises in Serbia; European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Guarantees $10.6m in Support of Financial Inclusion Via VisionFund’s AgroInvest

The European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a multilateral institution headquartered in London, England, recently announced that it will extend a guarantee facility of RSD 1.15 billion (USD 10.6 million) of a credit line totaling RSD 2.3 billion (USD 21.2 million) to be disbursed by Société Générale Serbia, a subsidiary of the France-based financial institution Société Générale, to rural microenterprises in Serbia. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Sanad, Bankmed Partner to Support Small, Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Lebanon

The Sanad Fund for MSME (micro-, small and medium-sized enterprise) (Sanad), a Luxembourg-based organization that provides “medium- and long-term”[1] debt and equity to financial institutions in the Middle East and North Africa region, has recently announced the disbursement of a loan of USD 15 million to Bankmed, a Lebanese commercial bank regulated by the Central Bank of Lebanon. Continue reading