MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: India’s West Bengal State Offers MSMEs $8k via Unsecured “Micro Business Credit Cards,” Funded by $32m from State Bank of India

The government of the Indian state of West Bengal recently secured INR 2 billion (USD 32 million) from the government-owned State Bank of India to fund “Micro Business Credit Cards” for micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises. Continue reading

MICROFINANCE EVENT: Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment (US SIF) to Host “Sustainable Investing: Risk, Value, Impact!” Conference, May 4-6, 2015, Chicago, Illinois, USA

Event Name: Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment (US SIF) 2015 Conference, “Sustainable Investing: Risk, Value, Impact!”

Event Date: May 4-6, 2015

Event Location: The Westin Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois, USA

Summary of Event: This conference will focus on trends and emerging issues in sustainable and responsible investing. Topics of discussion will include shareholder advocacy, serving Latino and immigrant communities, addressing the need for low carbon energy sources, “place-based” investing, water investment risks and opportunities, and corporate governance structures. Continue reading

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Maize Insurance in Burkina Faso, Risks to Microfinance in Pakistan, Claims Analysis in Health Microinsurance

“Loan Protection for Maize Farmers in Burkina Faso;” by Barbara Magnoni and Danielle Sobol; published by The MicroInsurance Centre; 2014; 13 pages; available at http://www.microinsurancecentre.org/resources/documents/milk-brief-35-doing-the-math-loan-protection-for-maize-farmers-in-burkina-faso/download.html

This paper presents the findings of a study focusing on the impact of droughts, specifically the costs to maize farmers in Burkina Faso. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: USAID-Funded Lebanon Investment in Microfinance (LIM) Program Establishes Microfinance Association

Lebanon’s Ministry of Interior and Municipalities officially has approved the establishment of a microfinance association, whose membership will consist of the following Lebanese microfinance institutions (MFIs): Association for the Development of Rural Capacities, Association d’Entraide Professionnelle, Al Majmoua, Entrepreneurial Development Foundation, Emkan, Ibdaai Lebanon, Makhzoumi Foundation and Vitas. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Advans SA Purchases 8.4% of Shares of Cambodian MFI Amret, Becomes Majority Shareholder; FMO Increases Stake to 19.9%

Advans SA, a Luxembourg-based venture capital company, has become the majority shareholder of Amret, a Cambodian microfinance institution (MFI), upon approval by The National Bank of Cambodia of its purchase of 8.4 percent of the shares of Amret. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) Increases Presence in Cameroon, Indonesia with $22m Equity Investment in Bank Mayora, Advisory Agreement with Advans Cameroun

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group focused on private sector development, recently made an equity investment of USD 22 million in Indonesia-based Bank Mayora to support its services for micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Triodos Sustainable Trade Fund Loans $800k to Organic Sesame Exporter Bioexport of Paraguay

The Triodos Sustainable Trade Fund, an investment vehicle managed by a unit of the Netherlands-based Triodos Bank, recently announced that it has invested in Bioexport, a Paraguayan firm that purchases sesame and other crops directly from farmers and cooperatives for export. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Nigeria’s Grooming Centre to Issue Microloans on MasterCard Pre-Paid Cards

The Grooming Centre, a nonprofit provider of loans and deposit services to women in Nigeria for micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), has partnered with MasterCard, a US-based payments company, to replace the NGO’s cash- and check-based loan disbursals with prepaid MasterCard-branded payment cards. Continue reading

MICROFINANCE EVENT: 9th Annual Penn Microfinance Conference, “Adapt and React,” March 28, 2015, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Event Name: 9th Annual Penn Microfinance Conference

Event Date: March 28, 2015

Event Location: Jon M. Huntsman Hall, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Summary of Event: This conference will focus on how the microfinance industry has adapted its product offerings and lending methods in the wake of increased government regulation and concern about over-indebtedness. The event will feature a keynote address by Dennis Ripley, the chief business development officer for Opportunity International, a US-based nonprofit providing microfinance services in 22 countries.

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MICROFINANCE EVENT: International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), World Bank to Host Global Forum on Remittances, June 16-19, 2015, Milan, Italy

Event Name: Global Forum on Remittances 2015

Event Date: June 16-19, 2015

Event Location: Centro Congressi Stella Polare Conference Centre, Milan, Italy

Summary of Event: This event is intended to promote awareness of remittances sent by migrants to their home countries. Session topics will include trends in remittances sent from Europe, best practices in regulation, opportunities for financial inclusion, competition and transaction costs, new technologies, opportunities for public-private partnerships and strategies for developing public-private partnerships to further financial inclusion.

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MICROFINANCE EVENT: Triple Bottom Line Investing Presents “TBLI Conference Nordic 2015;” June 15-16, 2015; Copenhagen, Denmark

Event Name: TBLI Conference Nordic 2015

Event Date: June 15-16, 2015

Event Location: Ovnhallen Porcelænshaven 20, Copenhagen Business School; Copenhagen, Denmark

Summary of Event: This conference will include panels on topics such as low-carbon investment strategies, how asset owners can address climate change, investing in sustainable agriculture and food production, and social impact strategies for banks.

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