MICROFINANCE EVENT: Conscious Media Forum of Nepal Chairs Microfinance Summit Nepal 2008



Calling microfinance “one of the few effective tools for poverty reduction over the past years,” organizations such as Conscious Media Forum of Nepal and US-based charity Save the Children are sponsoring Microfinance Summit Nepal 2008. One of the key goals and expected results of the summit is to increase international recognition of microfinance in Nepal. Also noted is the intent “to unite microfinance stakeholders in Nepal in order to express their collective commitment to building a strong and inclusive microfinance sector.” Continue reading

MICROFINANCE EVENT: European Investment Bank and Sanabel Microfinance Network of Arab Countries To Hold Consecutive Conferences in Tunisia in May

Sanabel Microfinance Network of Arab Countries has announced that it will hold a joint conference with the European Investment Bank (EIB) on the social impact of microfinance on Monday, May 5, 2008. On the following three days, Sanabel will hold its fifth annual conference. These two events will provide attendees with the opportunity to learn about and discuss new trends, challenges and opportunities faced by microfinance in the Arab region. Field trips will be organised for Friday, May 9. Up to 500 microfinance practitioners from the region, as well as major donors, investors and thought leaders are expected from around the world. More details are to follow at the Sanabel conference website and will be covered by MicroCapital.

MICROCAPITAL STORY: IBM Launches 2008 Podcast Series, Features “The Future of Microfinance”

IBM, a multi-national computer technology corporation, announced in a recent press release the launching of its 2008 podcast series, entitled “IBM and the Future of…”. The series, to be updated monthly, presents interviews with thought leaders on the impact of technology on everyday life, as well as on the effects of shifting economics on performance and value. One of the first episodes in the series is “The Future of Microfinance”, hosted by Tim Washer, from IBM’s Corporate Communications, with Jessica Flannery, co-founder of Kiva.org and Kevin Thompson from IBM’s Corporate Citizenship and Corporate Affairs. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL STORY: Swiss Agency for Development and Coorperation (SDC) Sponsors Intellecap’s Quarterly Publication Microfinance Insights

Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), has granted a sponsorship of INR 4,100,000 (USD 103,000) to Microfinance Insights, a quarterly microfinance magazine published by Intellecap, an Indian investment and consulting firm. The sponsorship will enable Microfinance Insights to increase its international reach and content, host events in conjunction with each issue, build a website, and continue to disseminate domain knowledge. According to SDC India’s Deputy Country Director Adrian Marti, SDC’s grant to Microfinance Insights stems from its belief that the knowledge sharing is a key factor in promoting the sustainable growth of the microfinance sector. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL STORY: Planet Rating of Paris, France, Introduces New Microfinance Rating Methodology

In a press release Paris-based Planet Rating, a microfinance rating agency, announced a number of changes in its GIRAFE rating methodology. These changes take effect as of January 14, 2008 and adjust rating factor weightings and evaluation methods with regards to microfinance institution (MFI) governance, capital structure, market/financial risk, and profitability structure. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL STORY: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Signs $700,000 Agreement with Venezuelan Microfinance Institution Banco del Pueblo Soberano

According UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) spokesperson William Spindler at a press briefing at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, the UNHCR has signed an agreement worth USD 700,000 with Venezuelan microfinance institution (MFI), Banco del Pueblo Soberano. The grant will be used by the bank to distribute micro-credits to about 10,000 Colombian refugees and asylum seekers in Venezuelan border states of Zulia, Táchira and Apure, and some 200,000 unregistered Colombians who are seeking international protection in Venezuela from civil conflict. Continue reading

PAPER WRAP-UP: 2007 Microfinance Information eXchange (MIX) Global 100: Rankings of Microfinance Institutions

Published by Microfinance Information eXchange (MIX), 32 pages, available for viewing here.

MIX recently surveyed a global sample of 820 microfinance institutions (MFIs) that had a combined loan portfolio of USD 24 billion with over 53 million borrowers and 64 million savers. In addition to ranking MFIs along single categories (outreach, scale, profitability, efficiency, productivity, and portfolio quality), the 2007 edition of the report also utilizes new composite rankings to highlight the 100 top-performing MFIs that have achieved high outreach and low transaction costs, while maintaining transparency and boosting profitability. The report concludes that leading MFIs broke performance records on all fronts. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL STORY: Google.org of California Announces $3m Grant to Technoserve of Connecticut in Order to Support Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Moving Beyond Microfinance

Google.org, the charitable arm of Google, announced, in a press release, a multi-year grant of USD 3 million to Technoserve, a US based nonprofit organization that provides training and networking opportunities to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in the developing world. This grant will provide general support to expand the organizations private-sector initiatives in Africa. Since 2006 Google.org has awarded Technoserve USD 1.7 million to develop and implement a business plan competition to support entrepreneurs in Ghana and Tanzania. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL STORY: International Finance Corporation (IFC) Makes a $3m Equity Investment in Mongolian Microfinance Institution XacBank

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has signed a partnership agreement with XacBank, one of Mongolia’s leading microfinance institutions. On January 16, 2008, the IFC invested USD 3 million for ten percent of XacBank’s outstanding shares and plans to invest a total of USD 15 million in the next three years. The IFC will have a representative seated on the Board of Directors to consult in the expansion of XacBank’s services throughout the region. Continue reading