MICROCAPITAL STORY: Whole Planet Foundation and Silverton Foundation Team with Triodos Bank to Loan $1m to Timorese Microfinance Institution (MFI) Moris Rasik for Increased Micro-lending

Austin-based Whole Planet Foundation and Silverton Foundation recently announced a collaborative commitment of USD 600,000 to microfinance institution (MFI) Moris Rasik of Timor-Leste for rural micro-lending projects. The Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste (East Timor) is the poorest country in Asia. The funding for Moris Rasik will be augmented by an additional USD 400,000 from Triodos Bank of the Netherlands. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL STORY: Toronto’s MasterCard Foundation Grants $604,473 to Six Global Microfinance Training Institutes

Through the equivalent of USD 604,473 in grants, Toronto-based MasterCard Foundation recently initiated the Scholars Program to provide 200 scholarships for microfinance leaders in developing countries. The Foundation aims to increase access to management and professional development courses via six institutes: the Boulder Institute of Microfinance, the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, the HBS-ACCION Program for Strategic Leadership in Microfinance, the Microfinance Centre, the Microfinance Management Institute and the School of Applied Microfinance. Each organization will receive a grant of the equivalent of USD 100,740. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL STORY: President Arroyo of the Philippines Signs “Magna Carta for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises” to Encourage Microfinance

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo of the Philippines recently signed Republic Act (RA) 9501, an amendment to RA 6977, the “Magna Carta for Small and Medium Enterprises” (SMEs) into law. The amendment was necessitated by the fact that the original “Magna Carta” signed in 1991, did not distinguish micro-enterprises and that its provision (section 13) for all private and public lending institutions to help finance SMEs expired in 2007. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL STORY: Netherlands-based Oikocredit Invests $2.8m in Cambodian Microfinance Institutions Hatha Kaksekar Ltd and AMRET

CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor) recently reported that Dutch-based Oikocredit made investments in two Cambodian microlenders: a  USD 1.28 million loan to HKL (Hatha Kaksekar Ltd) and a USD 1.55 million equity investment in AMRET. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL STORY: For-Profit Equitas Microfinance to Raise $12.5m via Private Equity

A new player to India’s microfinance space, Chennai-based Equitas has announced it will enlist the assistance of private equity firms to secure the organization’s second round of funding. Equitas hopes to raise USD 12.5 million from two private equity firms over a two-month period to establish additional branch offices in India’s southern region. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL STORY: Asian-Pacific Members of World Savings Bank Institute (WSBI) of Belgium and Korea Federation of Savings Banks (KFSB) Commit to Improving Microfinance Services in Korea and Asia-Pacific Region

Asian-Pacific members of the World Savings Bank Institute (WSBI), an association of retail and savings banks located in 92 countries, have committed to improving microfinance services and giving poor people greater access to financial services.  The agreement was part of the Seoul Resolution, adopted at the 14th annual meeting of WSBI members in the Asian-Pacific region.  About 150 delegates from 10 countries and 16 savings banks participated in the meeting. Continue reading