Intesa Sanpaolo Bank Albania, a subsidiary of Italy-based Intesa Sanpaolo, recently partnered with the Albania Agribusiness Support Facility (AASF), a funding vehicle established by
Myanmar’s Internet Wallet Limited reportedly has received a mobile financial services license from the Central Bank of Myanmar to cover the operations of its subsidiary, OK Dollar,
MicroCapital: What is your perspective on the theme of SAM (Semaine Africaine de la Microfinance) this year, “Creating Value for SMEs: A New Frontier for Inclusive Finance”?
Saleh Usman Gashua: Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Africa are facing numerous challenges, especially in accessing finance. SMEs, particularly those in the “missing middle,” comprise a segment whose growth and development will go a long way in generating jobs for young Africans. With 11 million youth entering Africa’s labour market each year, we cannot ignore SMEs. Microfinance institutions (MFIs) and other organizations serving these enterprises therefore have a major role to play in the future of Africa. I hope this edition of SAM will generate a range of concrete solutions for this segment.
MC: Your organization, the African Rural & Agricultural Credit Association (AFRACA), is one of several networks that collaborated to create SAM.
SUG: Organizing a forum of this magnitude is by no means an easy task! Given the experience of AFRACA organizing similar forums in the past, we know that a partnership approach is necessary. The coordination process so far has been seamless, with the lead institution, ADA, facilitating
VisionFund Myanmar, a microfinance institution serving rural Myanmar, recently received a two-year loan of USD 4 million from
ResponsAbility Investments, a Swiss for-profit investor in developing countries, recently informed MicroCapital that it has disbursed a five-year loan of
Moeda, a cooperative funded by Brazil-based Cresol, Green Cross Brazil and Unicafes, recently announced the launch
Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), a telecommunications company owned by the government of India, and Indian “mobile wallet platform provider” Mobikwik recently announced a
Event Name: Seventh Global Islamic Microfinance Forum: “Evidence of Impact – Financial Inclusion”
Event Dates: Conference: November 24 – November 25, 2017; Post-conference workshop: November 27 – November 28, 2017
Event Location: Istanbul Lütfi K?rdar International Convention and Exhibition Center; Istanbul, Turkey
Summary of Event: The primary objective of this event is to “create awareness of Islamic microfinance for the benefit of humankind.” Islamic microfinance consists of services conducted according to Shariah law, which includes a prohibition on charging interest in favor of concepts such as the sharing of profit and loss. The event will feature approximately 40 speakers from 30 countries covering topics including: the potential of Islamic microfinance; funding challenges faced by Islamic microfinance institutions (MFIs); the “Qarz-e-Hasan” model of Islamic microfinance; and “Micro Takaful, Waqf and Zakat – Supportive elements for Islamic microfinance.” AlHuda will also host a two day post-conference workshop called “Islamic Agriculture and Rural Finance.”
The Philippine’s Cantilan Bank recently received grant funds of USD 150,000 from the Manila-based Asian Development Bank to migrate its operations to Instafin, a cloud-based software product from Croatia-based Oradian. The migration is expected to help Cantilan carry out its “day-to-day operations more effectively and serve their clients more efficiently.” Cantilan Executive Vice President Tanya Hotchkiss said, “This has given Cantilan more capacity to focus on our core business and financial inclusion
Entrepreneurs Financial Centre (EFC) Tunisia, a for-profit microfinance institution based in Tunis, recently arranged to receive advisory services from the International Finance
Fundación Paraguaya, a Paraguay-based non-governmental organization, recently introduced a credit product intended to facilitate “the purchase of environmentally friendly technology,” particularly induction stoves, which run on electricity rather than gas or charcoal. In a pilot program, 383 women who purchased induction stoves
Two firms based in Hong Kong, alternative investor Pacific Alliance Group (PAG) and China-focused Primavera Capital Group, led a recent Series C funding round
The Calvert Social Investment Foundation, a US-based institution supporting the “social and environmental impact sectors,” recently invested USD 5 million in the Eco.Business Fund, a lender to financial institutions in Latin America that seek to mitigate climate change. The financing is in the form of subordinated notes, the first time the Eco.Business Fund has borrowed in this manner.
Event Name: Alternative Finance Forum
Event Location: Copernicus Conference Centre; Warsaw, Poland
Summary of Event: This forum aims to “introduce new forms of financial services” while covering topics including equity-based crowdfunding, social impact bonds, online lenders to small businesses and peer-to-peer lending platforms. The event has support from the European Union and its European Investment Bank Institute.
Humaniq, a London-based technology company, recently announced the launch of its “blockchain-powered financial inclusion app,” which allows users to send and receive money. Humaniq has
Acleda Bank, a commercial bank in Cambodia, recently launched a digital wallet app called Acleda Unity ToanChet
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a UK-based multilateral development institution, recently announced it has provided a loan
UangTeman, an Indonesian firm offering online loans of up to USD 350, recently announced it has secured USD 12 million in Series A funding from