MICROCAPITAL EVENT: Women Advancing Microfinance of New York hosts speaker Chagit Rubinstein of the Koret Israel Economic Development Funds (KIEDF) and SAWA

DECEMBER 4, 2008, NEW YORK CITY, USA

The New York chapter of Women Advancing Microfinance (WAM-NY), an international organization dedicated to advancing and supporting women in microfinance, will hold the next installment of its Voices from the Field series: “Microfinance in Israel: Supporting Bedouin Women.”  Chagit Rubinstein will speak about her experiences with two key players in Israeli microfinance—Koret Israel Economic Development Funds (KIEDF) and SAWA microfinance institution—from 6:30pm to 8:00pm at the Microsoft Center located at 1290 Avenue of the Americas, 6th Floor, Studio 54.  Ms. Rubinstein will discuss how and why SAWA has enabled Bedouin women to become micro-entrepreneurs, KIEDF’s challenges in Israel, and the future prospects for Israeli microfinance. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL STORY: MicroCred Receives Capital Increase from Developing World Markets and AXA Belgium

MicroCred, an investment company that creates companies and banks specialized in microfinance, approved a capital increase which includes investments from a new shareholder, Developing World Markets (DWM) and a founding shareholder, AXA Belgium. DWM will take a 22% stake in the company, while AXA Belgium will increase its shareholding to 25%. MicroCred’s total equity capital stood at USD 23.2 million at the end of November 2008. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL STORY: Kenya’s K-Rep Bank Records Loss in Profits, Receives New Capital from IFC, African Development Bank, Shorecap International, Triodos, FMO, K-Rep Group

K-Rep Bank CEO Kimanthi Mutua attributed a recorded loss in profit totalling Sh 209 million (USD 2.6 million) to post-election violence and massive investment in the bank’s information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure. The Daily Nation reported that Kenya’s K-Rep Bank reported a loss in profit according to an unaudited financial report ending September 30, 2008. The majority of K-Rep clients are low-income entrepreneurs located in neighbourhoods that were badly affected by the post-election violence. Shareholders have injected an additional Sh 1 billion (USD 12.7 million), which will be used to diversify and create new products to increase the bank’s market share and further develop ICT infrastructure, such as Temenos 24. In September 2007 K-Rep Bank reported profits of Sh146 million (USD 1.86 million). Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL PAPER WRAP-UP: Microfinance on the Rise, by Arthur D. Little

Written by Arthur D. Little and based on the firm’s previous industry research, released on November 13, 2008 as a “Financial Services INSIGHT,” 4 pages, available on November 26, 2008 at: http://www.adl.com/reports.html?view=329.

Arthur D. Little (ADL), an international management consulting firm, released on November 13 a report entitled “Microfinance on the Rise,” which analyzes the current factors broadly affecting the demand and supply of microfinance and outlines the core operational components of a good microfinance practice. The report is an interesting analysis of the industry’s state of affairs and a strong prediction that microfinance is poised to become a new asset class for traditional investors.

Established in 1886, ADL was founded in Cambridge, Massachussetts, by two MIT chemists and has since grown to become largely a management consulting firm that currently holds the 33rd spot on Vault’s list of the most prestigious management consulting firms. Today, the company employs about 1,000 people in 20 countries, and in fiscal year 2006 the company brought in USD 239 million in revenues. Although ADL does not claim any unique contributions to microfinance, the organization holds at least partial responsibility for developing a number of modern innovations, including operations research, word processing, synthetic penicillin, LexisNexis, and NASDAQ.

What follows is a summary of the report: Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL STORY: Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC) and MasterCard Foundation Establish $19.6m Microfinance Program in Uganda

On November 18, the MasterCard Foundation, a private foundation in Toronto, Canada, and the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC), a Bangladeshi microfinance institution (MFI), targeted two million Ugandans with a USD 19.6 microfinance program.  The need for deeper, more mature microfinance markets in Uganda is strong, implies a recent Business Wire story.  The government made expanding financial services for the rural poor a “top priority” in a country where more than 37 percent of the population live on less than a dollar a day and 62 percent do not have access to financial services. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL STORY: Citibank Grants US$ 23.8 Thousand to Brac Tanzania

Citibank issued a 30 million/- (USD 23.8 thousand) grant to BRAC Tanzania in support of microfinance activities in the Vingunguti area of Tanzania, according to a report in Tanzania’s Daily News Online. This will be the second time in two years that Citibank has provided funds to BRAC Tanzania, the first time was in 2007 and the amount was 24 million/- (USD 19 thousand). The article reported that the CEO for Citibank Africa, Zdenek Turec and CEO of Citibank East Africa, Ade Ayeyemi presented the grant to BRAC Tanzania after visiting the Vingunuti area. The article in the Daily News did not provide further details, and there were no reports from either BRAC or Citibank on the grant. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL STORY: Cisco, SIDBI and TREC-STEP Partner to Create ICT Entrepreneurship Pilot Project in Tamil Nadu, India

A unique information and communications technology (ICT) entrepreneurship development programme will be launched in the Tamil Nadu state in the South-eastern part of India. The project will be run through a partnership between Cisco Systems, the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) and Tiruchirappalli Regional Engineering College-Science and Technology Entrepreneurs Park (TREC-STEP). Each partner will play an active role in the pilot programme, with SIDBI providing finance to small ICT businesses in India which will be run by former and current Cisco Networking Academy students. Cisco will subsidize the interest repayment and guarantee fees on the loans and TREC-STEP will provide customized training and mentoring to participants. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL STORY: Acumen Fund Invests 2.8 Million into Development and Microfinance Programs in Pakistan

Acumen Fund, a venture capital fund that invests in sustainable development operations, announced four new investments in Pakistan. The investments amount to over USD 2.8 million. Acumen Fund began investing in Pakistan in 2002 with a focus on the housing sector, providing slum-dwellers with affordable legal housing and infrastructure alternatives, as well as financial services that allowed low-income clients to improve their homes and supplement their incomes. Acumen Fund has since expanded its focus to address the broader set of critical issues keeping the majority of the population of 160 million people in poverty. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL STORY: UN Chief Says Bangladesh on Its Way to Becoming a Middle Income Country

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon of South Korea, predicted that Bangladesh will become a middle-income country in the next 10 years on a recent visit to Bangladesh.  Addressing the media at a press conference, he reflected on a visit to Bangladesh 33 years ago and lauded the changes and achievements in economic growth, poverty reduction, family planning, educating girls, and reducing the mortality rate.   Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL STORY: Kiva Lenders Loaned a Record USD $3.6m Despite Economic Downturn

Despite the continuing credit crunch, Kiva.org lenders loaned a record USD 3.8 million in October, the highest loan volume for any single month.  Since its inception three years ago, Kiva.org’s 364,153 lenders have lent USD 50.2 million to entrepreneurs in 42 countries.  The company expects to achieve a cumulative loan portfolio of USD 100 million by the end of 2009. Continue reading

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