MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Success Microfinance Bank (Formerly Collarhedge Finance) Acquires Deposit-taking License from Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe

Success Microfinance Bank, a financial institution in Zimbabwe formerly known as Collarhedge Finance, recently received a license from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe allowing it to accept deposits. Microfinance banks in the country Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: FMO Investing $15m in Equity in Sanad Fund for MSME for On-lending in the Middle East, North Africa

Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden (FMO), a Dutch development bank, recently announced that it will place equity of USD 15 million in the debt sub-fund of the Sanad Fund for MSME (Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprise), which disburses “medium- and long-term” loans to financial institutions that serve MSMEs Continue reading

MICROFINANCE EVENT: Young Africa Works Summit; February 16 – 17, 2017; Kigali, Rwanda

Event Name: Young Africa Works Summit

Event Date: February 16 – February 17, 2017

Event Location: Kigali, Rwanda

Summary of Event: This second iteration of this event will convene young agricultural entrepreneurs with leaders of NGOs and government agencies to address how young people Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: AYo Offers Free Mobile Health, Life Insurance to MTN Phone Subscribers in Uganda: “Recharge with Care” & “Send with Care”

AYo, which is a joint venture between two South African firms, insurer MMI Holdings and the MTN (Mobile Telecommunications Network) Group, recently launched its first two products, both in Uganda: (1) Recharge with Care, which provides life and/or hospitalization insurance when an MTN phone subscriber buys airtime; and (2) Send with Care, which Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: EFSE Lends $2m to VisionFund’s SEF International for Micro-, Small Enterprises in Armenia

The European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE), a Luxembourg-based microfinance investment vehicle, recently announced that it has loaned AMD 970 million (USD 2 million) to Armenia’s SEF International to support the microfinance institution’s (MFI’s) lending to micro- and small businesses. SEF, which offers Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Thos Gieskes to Lead Dutch Cooperative Investor Oikocredit

Oikocredit, a Netherlands-based cooperative with financial inclusion, agriculture and renewable energy investments in 71 countries, announced yesterday that Thos Gieskes is taking the position of Managing Director of the organization as of April. David Woods vacated the position in 2016 after joining Oikocredit in 2012. Mr Gieskes has over a decade of experience at Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE EVENT: 38th Midi de la Microfinance et de l’Inclusion Financière; March 8, 2017; Luxembourg

Event Name: 38th Midi de la Microfinance et de l’Inclusion Financière

Event Date: March 8, 2017

Event Location: Banque de Luxembourg, 14 Boulevard Royal, Luxembourg

Summary of Event: This 38th “Midi,” which is titled “Entreprenante Afrique: The Age of SMEs” consists of a one-hour discussion on the role that investors can play in the development of small and medium-sized enterprises Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: EBRD Lends $10.9m to Compagnie Internationale de Leasing to Support MSMEs in Tunisia

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a UK-based financial institution, recently announced that it is providing a senior unsecured loan of TND 25 million (USD 10.9 million) to Compagnie Internationale de Leasing (CIL), a Tunisian company that rents and leases industrial equipment and goods. The loan is intended to allow CIL Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Vision Microfinance Funds Loan $9m in Ecuador, Honduras

C-Quadrat Asset Management, a unit of Austrian fund manager C-Quadrat, today informed MicroCapital that its Dual Return Vision Microfinance and Vision Microfinance-Local Currency funds extended credit totaling approximately USD 9 million to Continue reading

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