MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Nicaraguan MFI Among Those Borrowing $12m from C-Quadrat’s Dual Return Vision Microfinance Funds

A unit of Austrian fund manager C-Quadrat, C-Quadrat Asset Management, recently informed MicroCapital that a Nicaraguan microfinance institution (MFI) was among the beneficiaries of the equivalent of USD 12 million that its Dual Return Vision Microfinance funds lent during October. The other borrowers are located elsewhere in Central and South America as well as

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: EBRD, EU, European Investment Advisory Hub to Provide Technical Assistance to SMEs in Bulgaria, Romania

The UK-based European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the EU and the European Investment Advisory Hub recently created a program to provide

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: FMO, Triodos, Accion Invest Equity in Nicaraguan Microfinance Institution Financiera FAMA

Entities of two Dutch institutions, the government-controlled development bank FMO and the foundation-controlled Triodos Bank, recently invested equity in Nicaragua’s Financiera FAMA for the first time. In addition,

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Milliman Acquires MicroInsurance Centre in Effort to Boost Services Benefiting Poor People

Milliman Inc., an international consulting and actuarial firm headquartered in the US city of Seattle, recently acquired the MicroInsurance Centre (MIC), a for-profit consulting firm based in the US state of Wisconsin that provides “product development, research, and advocacy” services relating to insurance services to poor people. The terms of the agreement have

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: 11 Women Offered MFI Jobs After Completing Afghanistan Microfinance Association Apprenticeships

A group of 75 women recently completed nine-month microfinance apprenticeships in the Afghan provinces of Balkh, Herat and Kabul. Eleven of these have been offered paid positions within the microfinance institutions (MFIs) at which they trained, Afghan Rural Finance Company, the First Microfinance Bank of Afghanistan, the Foundation for International Community Assistance (FINCA) Afghanistan and Oxus Afghanistan. Three additional MFIs, Mutahid, Exchangerzone and Hand in Hand, have agreed to host women apprentices in the future.

The program was funded by

MICROFINANCE EVENT: 14th Annual Global Microfinance Forum; March 15-16, 2018; Munich, Germany

Event Name: 14th Annual Global Microfinance Forum

Event Date: March 15 – March 16, 2018

Event Location: Munich, Germany

Summary of Event: This conference will include sessions on microleasing, “green” microcredit, managing foreign exchange risk, crowdfunding, serving small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), technology, leveraging guarantees

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Alternative Credit Scoring Firm MicroMoney, Peer-lending Platform Karma Partner to Promote Financial Inclusion

Singapore-based alternative credit scoring firm MicroMoney and Netherlands-domiciled peer-lending NGO Karma recently announced a partnership to work toward their shared “mission to help billions of people to be financially included” in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. MicroMoney will access repayment data from

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Uzbekistan’s NBU Borrowing $70m from EBRD to On-lend to MSMEs

The National Bank for Foreign Economic Activity of Uzbekistan (NBU) recently opened credit lines totaling USD 100 million with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a UK-based development finance institution. USD 70 million of the total is earmarked to on-lend to micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises, with the remainder allocated to

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Pakistan Microfinance Investment Company Linking 8 MFIs to United Bank’s “UBL Omni” Branchless Banking Service

United Bank Limited (UBL), a Karachi-based commercial bank, and the Pakistan Microfinance Investment Company (PMIC), an organization funded by the governments of the UK and Germany, recently reached an agreement through which PMIC will link eight of its partner microfinance institutions (MFIs)

MICROFINANCE EVENT: Africa Banking & Finance Conference; April 10 – 11, 2018; Lagos, Nigeria

Event Name: Africa Banking & Finance Conference

Event Date: April 10 – April 11, 2018

Event Location: Lagos, Nigeria

Summary of Event: This is the seventh iteration of this event, which will focus again on financial inclusion. In addition to a trade show, the conference will include sessions on insurance, savings, payments, capacity building, measuring success, regulation, agent banking, serving women and youth, and how banks can downscale

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bank of Ghana Warns Public About Illegal Microfinance Institutions

The Bank of Ghana recently accused a group of microfinance institutions of operating illegally, including Agro Development Fund Services Limited, Hebron Financial Services, MMM, Money-doubler and Oboanipa Ventures Limited. The government of Ghana is in the process of implementing a Depositors Insurance Act

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: 11th Symbiotics MIV Survey, Very Small Businesses in Ethiopia, Climate-shock Recovery Lending in Africa

“2017 Symbiotics MIV Survey,” published by the Symbiotics Group, September 2017, 55 pages, available at:
http://symbioticsgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Symbiotics-2017-MIV-Survey.pdf

This 11th annual survey of microfinance investment vehicles (MIV) offers data from 93 microfinance funds managed by “44 specialized asset management companies located in 17 countries.” The responding firms’ funds comprise 94 percent of the estimated market size of USD 13.5 billion. The MIV’s assets allocated to microfinance total USD 9.6 billion, of which 73 percent is in fixed-income funds, 16 percent in mixed funds and

MICROFINANCE EVENT: $165k Ethical Finance Innovation Challenge and Awards Gala Dinner; November 15, 2017; Dubai, UAE

Event Name: Ethical Finance Innovation Challenge and Awards Gala Dinner

Event Date: November 15, 2017

Event Location: The Ritz Carlton, Dubai International Financial Centre, United Arab Emirates

Summary of Event: This is the fifth rendition of a group of awards given by Thomson Reuters, a media firm traded on the New York and Toronto stock exchanges, and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank,

MICROFINANCE EVENT: Second European Microfinance Summit – Future Challenges for Sustainable Development; January 25-26, 2018; Vienna, Austria

Event Name: Second European Microfinance Summit – Future Challenges for Sustainable Development

Event Date: January 25-26, 2018

Event Location: Vienna, Austria

Summary of Event: This event will compare and contrast microfinance in Eastern and Western Europe, focusing the inclusion of people in very rural areas, environmental impacts, technology and

SPECIAL REPORT: HR Challenges Within MFIs at European Microfinance Week: “Banking Is People”

MicroCapital: Do you find that microfinance institutions (MFIs) tend to underinvest in human resources (HR)?

Rüdiger Meister: Definitely! Despite the efforts of many consultants in this field, the crucial role of HR management remains under-estimated. Technical assistance interventions, which often accompany investments into MFIs, tend to focus on discrete areas rather than following a holistic and structured approach to capacity building.

There is also a problem of short-term versus long-term thinking. In the short term, the MFI will function even if there are weaknesses in HR management. But in the long term, the MFI will have to pay for mistakes in areas such as