MICROCAPITAL STORY: Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) Projects First Time Drop in Real Value of Remittances to Latin America and the Caribbean in 2008

The Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) recently announced a projection that the value of remittances sent by migrant workers to their families in Latin America and the Caribbean will grow in 2008 by its slowest rate on record.  Migrants sent home about USD 66.5 billion last year but may increase that amount by about 1.5 percent in 2008, bringing the yearly total to USD 67.5 billion.   Despite the nominal increase, remittances in 2008 may for the first time contribute 1.7 percent less (p. 1) to household incomes after accounting for rising Latin-American inflation and the falling U.S. dollar.  Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL STORY: Google Grants $710,000 to Harvard Microfinance Technology Research

Harvard’s Entrepreneurial Finance Laboratory (EFL) received a grant from the philanthropic arm of Google last week. The grant totals $710,000 and will be used by EFL to develop ways to screen loan applicants in developing nations. Professor Asim ljaz Khwaja of the Kennedy School of Government, and Bailey Klinger, a fellow at the School’s Center for International Development, were the recipients of the grant. The two created the EFL in 2007 and have since directed its research. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL STORY: Equity Bank Wins Best Micro Finance Bank in Africa Award at the African Bankers Awards In Washington DC

Equity Bank, the largest Kenyan bank with 48% of the nation’s bank accounts, has won the Best Micro Finance Bank in Africa award at the African Bankers Awards in Washington DC.  Other nominees for the award were ACCION  Microfinance Bank, Barclays, Development Bank of Mauritius, and Swazibank.  The event, the second of its kind, was hosted by London-based IC Publications, publishers of African Banker magazine and endorsed by the World BankSponsors included the African Development Bank3i Infotech, Ecobank, and the Bank of IndustryContinue reading

MICROCAPITAL STORY: Nigeria’s Delta State, Oceanic Bank International and the CBN Partner to Create Microcredit Bank Account

The Nigerian Delta State government is collaborating with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Oceanic Bank International (OBI) to create the Delta Oceanic Micro-Credit Scheme Account (DOMSA), it was revealed on October 15th, 2008. In signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), the Delta State government contributed N50 million (USD 424 thousand) in the form of loans to support the first phase of a microcredit trust fund to OBI, while OBI will commit N200 million (USD 1.7 million) to microcredit finance. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL STORY: Kano State Government in Nigeria to Inject Capital into Microfinance Institutions (MFIs)

In an attempt to further poverty reduction efforts, the Kano State Government in Nigeria will inject capital into area microfinance institutions (MFIs). The announcement was made by the State Deputy Governor at a recent Poverty Day celebration organized by the National Program to Eradicate Poverty (NAPEP). Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL STORY: Madura Micro Finance to receive USD 4.52 Million from Unitus Equity Fund L.P. to expand upon Rural Microcredit Products in India

Unitus Equity Fund L.P., a Seattle-based private equity investment firm announced a funding of Rs 22 Crores (USD 4.52 million) to Madura Micro Finance Limited (MMFL) an Indian microfinance institution. Madura is a non-banking finance company servicing India’s rural poor population. It has credit networks throughout the 182 branches within the rural Tamil Nadue province, and mostly works in association with large commercial banks as sources of credit. Continue reading

MICROFINANCE EVENT: Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) Working Group on Microinsurance, Munich Re Foundation, Fasecolda, FIDES and Colombia’s Finance Superintendant Host Microinsurance Conference 2008.



This event is the fourth international Microinsurance Conference jointly hosted by the CGAP Working Group on Microinsurance and the Munich Re Foundation. It will focus on the four themes of technology, capacity building, regulatory and policy issues, and innovative products and distribution channels. The conference will have plenary panel discussions on key topics addressing an interdisciplinary audience and will have in attendance over 300 experts in key areas relevant to microfinance.

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MICROCAPITAL STORY: Peru and other Andean Countries Ranked Best for Microfinance within Latin America and the Caribbean, according to the IDB, CAF and EIU’s Microscope Index.

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Corporación Andina de Fomento (CAF), a Latin American multilateral institution, and the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), a specialized information service, have partnered together to report on the conditions of microfinance within Latin America and the Caribbean. The report highlights the results of the EIU-developed Microscope index – a tally of weighted factors relevant to the industry, and was presented at the Microenterprise Forum held in Paraguay this past month. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL STORY: BRAC Receives US$ 1.5 million Hilton Humanitarian Prize

The world’s largest humanitarian prize, the USD 1.5 million Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize, was awarded to BRAC, for helping more than 110 million people through microcredit and basic services programs. The prize was awarded on October 20th, the International Day to Eradicate Poverty, in Geneva, Switzerland. CEO of the Hilton Foundation Steven M. Hilton spoke of BRAC’s achievements, saying, “BRAC’s approach to creating self-sufficient and sustainable programmes on a massive scale has blazed a trail for development organizations around the world”. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL STORY: South Africa’s IDC To Invest Up To US$19.4 million for MFI Startup

The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) has expressed an interest in creating a microfinance institution (MFI) designed to fill the void that exists of clients not covered by existing development finance institutions and that are considered too risky by commercial banks. IDC, the South African state run national development finance institution, is anticipating investing between R100 million (USD 9.7 million) and R200 million (USD 19.4 million) to set it up, if the plan for the MFI is to go ahead. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL STORY: Nigerian Government Promotes Public and Private Initiatives to enable Microfinance growth in Lagos

The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry organized a seminar on private sector partnerships titled “Fostering the World Bank and SMEs Partnership in Nigeria to Enhance Economic Growth.” Ismail Radwan, Senior Economist of World Bank Africa spoke at the event and disclosed that worldwide small and medium enterprises have been projected to grow as a sector to USD 250 billion from its present size of USD 17 billion within ten years, further adding that the findings reflect a vast untapped market not only for SMEs, but for microfinance institutions as well. He cited that the potential for microfinance in Africa and Nigeria remains largely unexploited. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL STORY: Blog Action Day 2008 focuses on Poverty, Microfinance

Blog Action Day (BAD08) is an annual nonprofit event focused on uniting the world’s bloggers, podcasters, and videocasters to post about the same issue on the same day. The goal is to raise awareness and generate a global discussion on one issue. The theme this year was poverty and the event took place on October 15th. Beginning this year the organizers will be compiling a selection of the best posts from the day into a short report for distribution to NGOs and the public, to showcase some of the innovative ideas and actions that came out of the dialogue. The event generates a huge influx of web searches on the theme and organizers estimate that 13 million individuals visited over 12 thousand participating blogs. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL STORY: DFID Expands Microfinance Partnerships in Nigeria with US$ 13.9 million in Funding

The UK Department for International Development (DFID) has become increasingly involved in Nigeria’s microfinance sector over the last three months, with recent donations to two separate Nigerian organizations involved in microfinance. In August DFID donated N12 million (USD 102 thousand) to an Abuja Enterprise Agency (AEA) run project entitled AEA FCT-wide Enterpreneurship Campaign (AFEC), and then again in October announced that it would provide GBP 8 million (USD 13.8 million) over five years to Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access (EFINA), a non-governmental organization (NGO) conceived by DFID. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL STORY: Microsoft & IBM Target Microfinance for Social and Capital Returns

Increasingly, some of the world’s largest technology companies are looking toward the developing world for both clients and innovation opportunities. Intellecap, a social business advisory firm, recently published interviews with IBM and Microsoft in its bi-monthly magazine Microfinance Insights; the interviews discuss the companies’ involvement in the microfinance sector. C.K. Prahalad, Professor of Corporate Strategy at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business said “I believe that the companies that are clued in [to this market] will have enormous benefits, and will take that knowledge back to the rest of the world. To me, the base of the pyramid is not just an opportunity for market expansion…it is an opportunity for innovation.” Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL STORY: Micro-Lender Letshego Holdings Limited (Micro Provident) Seeks $137.7m in Capital for Expansion of African Operations

Letshego Holdings Limited, a micro-lending company based in Botswana, announced on October 10 that it intends to raise USD 137.7 million (BWP 1 billion) in debt instruments in order to fund the expansion of its micro-lending operations across Africa. Target countries in the short to medium term include: Ghana, Mozambique and Namibia. Over 80 percent of shareholders—excluding the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation (IFC)—voted to approve the move at a special general meeting in Gaborone, Botswana. Continue reading