MICROCAPITAL STORY: Women Advancing Microfinance (WAM) New York Invites You To Join

Women Advancing Microfinance (WAM) New York invites you to support women working in microfinance and micro-enterprise development by joining or renewing your membership. WAM New York is one of nine worldwide chapters of WAM International. Dues rates and membership requirements vary by chapter. By joining WAM New York, you get the opportunity to: Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL STORY: The Federal Executive Council (FEC) of Nigeria Approves $27.2m Loan from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) for Rural Microfinance

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) of Nigeria, presided over by President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, approved a USD 27.2 million loan from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), as reported by AllAfrica.com. The loan, along with a USD 400,000 grant from IFAD, will constitute the core financing of IFAD’s Rural Finance Institution-Building Programme (RFIBP), a seven-year plan to strengthen rural microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Nigeria as well as establish increased linkages between MFIs and mainstream financial institutions. As stated in the September 2006 submission from the Executive Board of IFAD to the government of Nigeria, the official recipient of the loan is the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the loan terms are for 40 years, including a grace period of ten years, and a service charge of 0.75 percent per year (page vi). The Federal Ministry for Agriculture and Rural Development will implement the RFIBP (page 10). Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL STORY: Evaluating Microfinance’s Performance in Turbulent Markets, Part 1 of a 4-Part Series on the Cracking the Capital Markets III Conference Hosted by ACCION and Credit Suisse

From March 10-11, 2008, ACCION International held the third Cracking the Capital Markets conference on microfinance investment. ACCION is a private, non-profit microfinance organization, specializing in global micro-enterprise loans, business training, and other financial services. The conference was co-hosted by Credit Suisse and brought together hedge fund managers, institutional and private investors, leading rating agencies, and microfinance institutions (MFIs) to discuss the challenges, successes, and future of microfinance investments. The second and third articles of this series can be found on MicroCapital’s website. Continue reading

WHO’S WHO IN MICROFINANCE: 85 Broads and Janet Hanson

85 Broads is a women’s professional network of over 17,000. In 1997, the network started off as a global community for former and current Goldman Sachs employees, but has since expanded to include females in MBA programs and leading undergraduate universities. A play on Goldman Sachs‘ street address in New York City, the network was founded by Janet Hanson after she left Goldman Sachs to start her own institutional money management company. Continue reading

MICROFINANCE EVENT: University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, the Harris School of Public Policy Studies and the Kellogg School of Management Sponsor 2008 Chicago Microfinance Conference

CHICAGO MICROFINANCE CONFERENCE: COMPETITION AND COLLABORATION

APRIL 18, 2008, UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, USA

Brought to you by students from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, the Harris School of Public Policy Studies and the Kellogg School of Management, the fourth annual Chicago Microfinance Conference is themed: “Competition & Collaboration: Expanding the Boundaries of Microfinance.” The organizers describe the conference as a “collaborative effort…that brings together practitioners, academics and emerging industry leaders to advance the strategic debate of the future of microfinance.” Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL STORY: South African Microfinance Institution (MFI) Blue Financial Services and Nigeria’s Intercontinental Bank to Launch $25.9m Microfinance Bank

Blue Financial Services (BFS), a South African microfinance institution (MFI), and Intercontinental Bank Plc, Nigeria’s largest commercial and retail bank by assets, are collaborating to launch a Nigerian microfinance bank capitalized at NGN 3 billion (USD 25.9 million), the largest such institution in the country.

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MICROCAPITAL STORY: Quick Centre Launches Website to Help Microfinance Institutions Handle Disasters, Funded by the German Development Agency (GTZ) and Bank Indonesia

The Quick Centre, a knowledge sharing platform for microfinance practitioners, went live in February 2008 with support from Bank Indonesia and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ), the German development agency. The organizers of the Quick Centre were motivated by the difficulty of responding to the May 2006 earthquake in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Their aim is to serve the larger development community by facilitating the exchange of existing documentation and organizational experiences related to the practice of microfinance in disaster situations. The site advertises best practices on post-disaster microfinance support measures, microfinance as a disaster preparedness tool and disaster management for microfinance institutions.

MICROCAPITAL STORY: European Microfinance Network Releases “Fostering Gender Equality,” Including Country Reports on Hungary, Slovakia and Six Others

The European Microfinance Network (EMN) has published “Fostering Gender Equality – Meeting the Entrepreneurship and Microfinance Challenge,” which documents the environment for female entrepreneurs in eight European countries. This report by Stefanie Lämmermann et al. presents the results of a comparative study conducted by the EMN in cooperation with nine of its members. The study was part of an effort to promote female entrepreneurship and microfinance in Europe. The complete, summary and country-specific reports are available for download. Continue reading

WHO’S WHO IN MICROFINANCE: Ashoka

In the third century B.C., a military leader known as Ashoka the Great traversed the Indian subcontinent with his armies, determined to unify the region. Subsequently horrified at the bloodshed that was involved, Ashoka renounced violence, embraced tolerance, and embarked on a campaign to spread development and social welfare throughout his empire. More than two millennia later, a U.S.-based non-profit organization emerged, bearing his name, to face the modern challenge of raising similar visionaries with sufficient means to achieve their visions.

Ashoka has since grown to become an association of 1,800 “social entrepreneurs” across 60 countries. Founded in 1980, it grants three-year stipends to individuals with ideas for innovative and sustainable ventures that have the potential to effect social change. These individuals become life-long Ashoka Fellows. Through the course of their projects, Fellows are periodically surveyed on the impact of their activities. They are also plugged into a global network of Fellows, collaborating with one other and contributing to an infrastructure of access to capital, academia, and business partnerships. In the end, Ashoka’s goal is the proliferation of a “citizen sector,” a segment of society that is distinct from the governmental and corporate sectors and is motivated to mount social challenges.

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MICROCAPITAL STORY: Reliance Capital Enters First Phase of Microfinance Initiative in India

As posted by MicroCapital on Thursday, Reliance Capital of India, a publicly-traded financial institution offering a wide range of services and reporting March 2007 total assets of USD 1.5 billion, announced a new microfinance initiative on March 3rd beginning with the financing of two microfinance institutions (MFIs) based in Gujarat state. As stated in the press release, MAS Financial Services Limited (MFSL) and Vardan Trust received the first checks and Reliance Capital plans to continue the first phase of the initiative in Maharashtra state before expanding nation-wide at an undetermined date. Mr. K. V. Srinivasan, the Deputy CEO of Reliance Consumer Finance—a division of Reliance Capital offering loans for a variety of products—expressed that the methodology of the initiative will be to lend to MFIs which will then on-lend to individuals, self help groups (SHGs), and other joint liability microfinance structures. SHGs are unions of individuals, usually connected by geographical location, which organize to take advantage of the financial services that can be utilized from their collective assets. Continue reading