MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Microfinance Institutions Network (MFIN) Applies to Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for Self-Regulatory Organization Status

The Microfinance Institutions Network (MFIN), a trade association composed of 47 Indian microlenders that operate as non-banking finance companies, reportedly has applied to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the country’s central banking authority, for status as a “self-regulatory organization” (SRO). Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Peru-based Financiera Edyficar’s Acquisition of 61% Stake in Mibanco Receives Regulatory Approval

Peru-based microlender Financiera Edyficar (Edyficar), an operating subsidiary of Peruvian holding company Creditcorp, has received regulatory approval from the Peruvian Superintendency of Banks, Insurance and Pension Funds, the financial sector regulator in the country, for its proposed USD 179 million acquisition of a 60.7-percent stake in Mibanco, a Peruvian microfinance institution (MFI) that is a subsidiary of nonprofit holding company Grupo Accion Comunitaria del Peru (ACP). Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: MasterCard Foundation Donates $23m to Opportunity International for Agricultural Financing in Sub-Saharan Africa

The MasterCard Foundation, which was founded by US-based global payment processing company MasterCard and aims to promote youth learning and financial inclusion in emerging markets, has donated USD 22.7 million to Opportunity International, a US-based non-profit microfinance organization, to launch the “Africa Growth and Innovation Initiative” to deliver agricultural financial services to 7 million low-income people in the Sub-Saharan African countries Ghana, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Entrepreneurial Finance Lab Offers Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) Credit Scores for Micro-, Small Enterprises (MSEs) Based on Psychometric Tests

In an effort to promote financing to self-employed entrepreneurs and micro- and small enterprises (MSEs) in emerging economies, Entrepreneurial Finance Lab (EFL), a US-based company, is employing psychometric analyses to assess the creditworthiness of loan applicants. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Finance Corporation (IFC) Capitalization Fund Invests $170m in Banco CorpBanca Colombia

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) Capitalization Fund, an investment fund managed by an arm of the World Bank Group’s IFC, has announced a USD 170 million subordinated bond investment in Banco CorpBanca Colombia (CBC), a subsidiary of CorpBanca, a Chile-based commercial bank that is a subsidiary of Brazil’s Itau Unibanco. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to Loan $7m to Enda Inter-Arabe for On-Lending to Micro-, Small Enterprises (MSEs) in Tunisia

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a UK-based multilateral financial institution, is lending TND 11 million (USD 7 million) to Enda Inter-Arabe, a Tunisian financial services provider and arm of Senegal-based non-governmental organization Enda Third-World. Continue reading

OPINION: No Silver Bullet: While Microfinance Alone Won’t End Poverty, It Is Making an Impact – So Let’s Re-focus It to Serve the Poor

The debate about the contributions that microfinance is making to global poverty alleviation is an interesting one. But it’s also getting a little tedious.

We are all disappointed that microfinance has not, as the popular culture has promoted it, proven to be the “silver bullet” for poverty alleviation. If, however, we challenge ourselves to really understand (and be transparent about) the strengths and limitations of microfinance, and begin to think about it as just one part of a more comprehensive package of development services, the debate (and potential for impact) becomes much more interesting. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: CGAP Branchless Banking Challenge Fund for West Africa Accepting Entries through March 31, 2014

CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor), a US-based nonprofit policy and research center that aims to facilitate the provision of financial access to poor people, is accepting applications for the Branchless Banking Challenge Fund, a contest to encourage development of innovative solutions to challenges faced by the branchless banking market in West Africa. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) Lends $45m to FINCA Microfinance Holding to Increase Outreach, Range of Services

The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), a development finance institution of the US government, is lending USD 45 million to the Foundation for International Community Assistance (FINCA) Microfinance Holding (FMH), a for-profit investment vehicle controlled by US-based NGO FINCA International [1]. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: By December, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) May Issue First New Banking Licenses Since 2004

The Indian Express, a provider of business news in India, recently speculated that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the country’s central banking authority, will issue at least three new banking licenses either in the second quarter of 2014 or near the end of the year. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: MoneyGram, Vodafone Partner to Enable Global Mobile Money Transfers Via M-Pesa

Vodafone Group, a British multinational telecommunications company, has partnered with MoneyGram, a US-based money transfer company with outlets in 200 countries, to allow MoneyGram’s customers to transfer funds to account holders of M-Pesa, a mobile money service developed by Vodafone that operates in six countries in Asia and Africa. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Allocates 60% of $1.3b Micro-, Small, Medium-Sized Enterprises Development Fund to Promote Women’s Empowerment, Gender Equality

In a publication outlining guidelines for the operation of its Micro-, Small, and Medium-Sized Enterprises Development Fund (MSMEDF), the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the country’s central banking authority, included a mandate to allocate 60 percent of the fund, or NGN 132 billion (USD 802 million), for on-lending to women-owned enterprises in an effort to promote the empowerment of women and to reduce gender inequality. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Government of Jamaica Introduces SIPP Registry of Collateral, “Super Form” for Business Registration to Support Micro-, Small, Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs)

The government of Jamaica has initiated the implementation of the Security Interests in Personal Property (SIPP) Registry to facilitate financial access for micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) by supporting the use of non-real estate assets, including movable items, as collateral [1][2]. Continue reading