MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Mutual-Aid Credit Cooperative for Private Farmers of Bulgaria Among Finalists for $69k 6th Giordano Dell’Amore Microfinance Good Practices Europe Awards

Fondazione Giordano Dell’Amore, an Italian foundation that supports microfinance, in partnership with the European Microfinance Network (EMN), a Belgium-based nonprofit organization, recently announced three finalists for the Sixth Annual Giordano Dell’Amore Microfinance Good Practices Europe Award, a series that recognizes initiatives that promote financial inclusion as a tool for development.  Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Saving for Change Reaches 85k Members in Cambodia, 680k Worldwide

Saving for Change (SfC), a saving-group initiative that was established in 2005 by nonprofit organizations Oxfam America, Freedom from Hunger and the Stromme Foundation, has grown to serve approximately 85,000 women in Cambodia as of March 2014 since its launch in that country in 2011. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Luxembourg Fund Labeling Agency (LuxFLAG) Provides Environmental Label to Parvest Green Tigers Fund; Microfinance Label to EU Microfinance Platform, Symbiotics (SICAV) SEB Microfinance Fund

The Luxembourg Fund Labeling Agency (LuxFLAG), a nonprofit organization that certifies the operations of investment vehicles that promote microfinance and environmental initiatives, has approved an environmental label for Parvest Green Tiger Fund, an environmental investment vehicle (EIV) domiciled in Luxembourg, and microfinance labels for the EU Microfinance Platform Fund and Symbiotics (SICAV) SEB (Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken) Microfinance Fund, both microfinance investment vehicles (MIVs). Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: EBRD, EFSE to Loan $16m to FINCA Azerbaijan to Support Micro-, Small, Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs), Agricultural Lending

Through two unrelated transactions, the Azerbaijan-based subsidiary of the Foundation for International Community Assistance (FINCA), a US-based microfinance network, received local-currency loans totaling USD 16 million from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a UK-based multilateral development bank, and the European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE), a government-backed microfinance investment vehicle based in Luxembourg. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: United Nations, Smart Communications, Land Bank of Philippines Use Mobile Money in Recovery from Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda)

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP), in partnership with Smart Communications Incorporated (Smart), a Philippines-based telecommunications company, and the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP), a government bank specializing in serving farmers and fishermen, reportedly have commenced using mobile money to facilitate wage payments under UNDP’s “cash-for-work ” program that was launched for the 12 month period beginning in November 2013 in areas of the Philippines struck by typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda). Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Facebook Seeks Regulatory Approval from Central Bank of Ireland to Provide Remittances, Mobile Money Throughout European Union

Facebook, a US-based social networking company, reportedly is waiting for approval of its application to the Central Bank of Ireland to become an “e-money” institution, which would allow it to provide remittances and mobile money services throughout Europe through a structure known as “passporting”[2]. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Raiffeisen Bank Arranges $60m Loan to Microfinance Institution Access Bank of Azerbaijan

Raiffeisen Bank International, an Austria-based parent organization of financial service providers in 15 countries, has arranged a syndicated loan of USD 60 million with participation from 16 banks to AccessBank, a microfinance institution (MFI) in Azerbaijan. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Kenya Grants Mobile Money Licenses to Finserve Africa, Tangaza Mobile Pay, Zioncell Kenya

The Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK), the regulatory authority for the telecommunications sector of the country, recently granted mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) licenses to Finserve Africa Limited, a subsidiary of Kenya’s Equity Bank, and two Kenyan mobile money transfer services, Tangaza Mobile Pay Limited and Zioncell Kenya Limited. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Call for Proposals for 10th International Microinsurance Conference, Hosted by Munich Re Foundation, Microinsurance Network, Mexico City, November 11-13, 2014

Munich Re Foundation, a German nonprofit organization affiliated with reinsurer Munich Re, and the Microinsurance Network, a Luxembourg-based membership organization that seeks to improve access to insurance for poor people, recently issued a call for proposals for presentations to be made at the 10th International Microinsurance Conference. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Association of Professional Risk Managers in Bosnia and Herzegovina Gains Momentum

The Development Facility of the European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE), a technical assistance facility of the Luxembourg-based microfinance investment vehicle (MIV) EFSE, has provided an undisclosed amount of funding to the Association of Professional Risk Managers in Bosnia and Herzegovina (APRMIBIH). Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Seven International Lending Institutions Launch Council on Smallholder Agricultural Finance (CSAF)

The Council on Smallholder Agricultural Finance (CSAF), an alliance focused on creating a sustainable financial market for small agricultural businesses, recently was launched by seven international lending institutions at the 11th Skoll World Forum on social entrepreneurship in Oxford, United Kingdom. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), World Bank (WB) to Develop National Financial Inclusion Strategy for Pakistan

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), the nation’s central banking authority, and the World Bank (WB), a US-based multilateral institution, reportedly have announced a partnership to develop a National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) for Pakistan. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Student Microfinance Movement Accepting Entries for Competitions to Raise Awareness of Microfinance

The Student Microfinance Movement, a US-based network of student organizations, through a partnership with US-based financial institution Citi and US-based nonprofit organizations AboutMicrofinance and Kiva U, is accepting entries for its student microfinance essay and video competitions, which are aimed at raising awareness of the impact of microfinance on poverty and gender inequality. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Cooperative Rural Development Bank (CRDB) of Tanzania, International Finance Corporation (IFC) Sign $75m Agreement to Support Small, Medium-Sized Businesses Including Those Owned by Women, Involved in Agriculture

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private-investment arm of the US-based World Bank Group, and the Cooperative Rural Development Bank (CRDB), a commercial bank in Tanzania, recently signed an agreement worth USD 75 million to support financing to small businesses in the country, particularly agribusinesses and companies owned by women. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to Loan $6.9m to Elana Agrocredit of Bulgaria to Expand Land Lease Financing

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a UK-based multilateral development bank, recently announced that it will extend a loan of EUR 5 million (USD 6.9 million) to Elana Agrocredit, a Bulgaria-based financial institution that provides lease financing to agricultural producers for farmland purchases. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Loans $8.3m to Tutunska Banka of Macedonia for Small, Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), Energy Efficiency

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a UK-based multilateral financial institution, has approved a loan of EUR 6 million (USD 8.3 million) to be disbursed to Macedonian commercial bank Tutunska Banka for on-lending to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Continue reading