MICROFINANCE PAPER WRAP-UP: “Literature Review on the Impact of Microinsurance,” Published by Microinsurance Innovation Facility

“Literature Review on the Impact of Microinsurance,” published by the Microinsurance Innovation Facility, October 2013, 15 pages, available at http://www.microinsurancefacility.org/publications/rp35

Microinsurance is a financial instrument that provides coverage to help low-income individuals hedge against various risks. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Goldman Sachs, International Finance Corporation (IFC) Announce $600m Fund for Women-owned Small, Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs)

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private-investment arm of the US-based World Bank Group, and US-based investment bank Goldman Sachs Group (GS) recently announced the establishment of the “Women Entrepreneurs Opportunity Facility,” a USD 600 million credit fund aimed at supporting women-owned small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in emerging economies. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: India’s IntelleGrow Completes Second Round of Financing, Raising $4.6m from Omidyar Network, Michael and Susan Dell Foundation

IntelleGrow, an India-based lender to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), recently announced that it raised INR 250 million (USD 4.1 million) from Omidyar Network, a US-based social investment firm, and INR 30 million (USD 500,000) from the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, a US-based nonprofit institution, in return for stakes in the company of undisclosed size. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), European Union, Republic of Turkey Provide $469m For Female Entrepreneurs in Turkey

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a UK-based multilateral financial institution, in partnership with the European Union and the Republic of Turkey, is launching a “Women in Business Programme” in 2014 to provide financial and technical support services totaling EUR 338 million (USD 469 million) for female entrepreneurs in Turkey. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Airtel Zambia to Include Life Insurance Coverage In Mobile Subscriber Plans

Airtel Zambia, a subsidiary of Indian telecommunications company Airtel, in partnership with Zambian insurance company Focus General Insurance and UK-based microinsurer MicroEnsure, is now including free life insurance coverage to mobile subscribers who pay ZMW 10 (USD 1.77) or more per month for their phone service. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Considers Relaxing Capital Requirements for New Bank Licenses

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the country’s central banking authority, recently commissioned an investigative panel, the Committee on Comprehensive Financial Services for Small Businesses and Low Income Households (the Committee), to create a policy framework for achieving financial inclusion in India and to make formal recommendations on how to implement the framework. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Unfixes Microloan Interest Rate Cap to Vary Based on Cost of Funding

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the country’s central banking authority, has announced that as of April 1, 2014, it will remove the 26-percent interest rate cap established in 2011 on all microloans extended by microfinance institutions (MFIs) in the country. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTC), MobiPay to Launch “MTC Money” in Namibia

Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTC), a Namibia-based mobile network operator controlled by the government-owned Namibia Post and Telecommunications Holdings and privately-owned Portugal Telecom, reportedly has partnered with the Bank of Namibia’s mobile payment service MobiPay to launch MTC Money. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Asian Development Bank Approves $600k for Microfinance Development in Azerbaijan

The Asian Development Bank (ADB), a development finance institution based in the Philippines, has agreed to commit USD 600,000, including USD 300,000 from ADB’s Financial Sector Development Partnership Fund, to provide technical assistance for the development of Azerbaijan’s microfinance sector. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: India-based Elevar Seeks to Raise $75m for Third Impact-Investing Private Equity Fund, Receives Commitment from Omidyar Network

Elevar Equity, an India-based private equity fund that is focused on “impact investing,” is seeking to raise USD 75 million for its third fund by the end of 2014. Elevar reportedly has received commitments of unspecified amounts from two investors, including US-based investment firm Omidyar Network. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Silatech, PlaNet Finance to Support Youth Entrepreneurship in Egypt, Lebanon, Palestine

Silatech, a Qatar-based social enterprise that serves young people in the Middle East and North Africa, has signed on to support the Youth Entrepreneurship Project (YEP), an initiative founded by French non-governmental organization (NGO) PlaNet Finance and funded by the European Union that seeks to empower young people by supporting three microfinance institutions (MFIs): Alexandria Businessmen’s Association of Egypt, Lebanese Association for Development (Al Majmoua) and Palestine’s Arab Center for Agricultural Development (ACAD). Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Orange, Banco Popular Dominicano Launch M-Peso Mobile Payment Service in the Dominican Republic

Orange Dominicana, subsidiary of Orange of France that offers prepaid mobile services in the Dominican Republic, and Banco Popular Dominicano, a commercial bank in the Dominican Republic, reportedly have launched the M-Peso mobile wallet and payment service in the Dominican Republic.  Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Gives Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) 6 Years to Plan for Higher Capitalization Requirements

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), the country’s central bank, has issued new capitalization requirements for money-lending bodies that will become effective in December 2020, increasing the minimum capital required to USD 10 million for deposit-taking microfinance institutions (MFIs) and USD 50,000 for credit-only MFIs. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Crowdfunders Kiva, Vittana Partner to Extend Student Loans for Higher Education in Developing World

US-based nonprofit crowdfunders Kiva Microfunds, which raises money for microfinance institutions (MFIs) to on-lend for various purposes, and Vittana, which raises funds for MFIs to on-lend for higher education, have formed a partnership to post Vittana’s student loan fundraising requests on Kiva’s website starting on March 31, 2014. Continue reading