MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Muhammad Yunus, Grameen Foundation, Grameen Bank, Brazil Foods (BRF) to Invest in Small Businesses, Genetically-Modified Organisms (GMOs) in Haiti

Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr Muhammad Yunus reportedly announced in June 2013 a new partnership between the Grameen Foundation, a US-based nonprofit of which Yunus serves is a board member, the Grameen Bank, a Bangladesh-based microfinance institution (MFI) founded by Dr Yunus, and Brazil Foods (BRF), a Brazil-based food production and processing company, to offer an unspecified amount of money through microfinance loans to small businesses in Haiti that are engaged in the production of genetically-modified organisms (GMOs), particularly in the poultry industry [1,2]. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: WorldRemit Launches Direct Worldwide Money Transfer Service through Telesom’s Zaad Service

WorldRemit Limited, a UK-based online money transfer service that enables customers to send remittances to family and friends in approximately 100 receiving countries, reportedly has partnered with Somaliland-based communications company Telesom’s Zaad, a mobile banking service that allows customers to use their mobile phones for money transfers and purchases, to launch a mobile money transfer program. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Money Lenders Association of Ghana Signs Memorandum of Understanding to Provide Members with Microinsurance Products

The Money Lenders Association of Ghana (MLAG), an umbrella organization for 350 money-lending organizations in the country, and Star Microinsurance Services Limited, a company that provides microinsurance products to low-income households in Ghana, reportedly have signed a memorandum of understanding to provide MLAG’s clients with microinsurance products, including a funeral policy, micro-healthcare policy and a child education policy [1]. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) Announces Regulations on Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) in Nepal to Increase Financial Inclusion of the Unbanked

The Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB), Nepal’s central banking authority, recently announced new regulations for microfinance institutions (MFIs) that aim to increase the financial inclusion of unbanked districts in the country. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Banco De La Gente Emprendedora (BanGente) Hosts Fifth International Microfinance Forum in Caracas, Venezuela to Review “Universal Standards for Social Performance Management”

Banco De La Gente Emprendedora (BanGente), a Venezuela-based financial services organization, recently hosted the Fifth International Microfinance Forum in Caracas, Venezuela, to study the enforcement and monitoring of the Universal Standards for Social Performance Management (USSPM), a manual designed in June 2012 by the US- and Switzerland-based working group Social Performance Task Force (SPTF) that lists six practices microfinance institutions (MFIs) may adopt in order to expand their focus from financial to social goals [1]. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Jamaica National Small Business Loans Limited (JNSBL) Launches “I Support Jamaica” Website to Fund Microentrepreneurs

Jamaica National Small Business Loans Limited (JNSBL), a microfinance institution established in 2000, in partnership with the Jamaica National (JN) Foundation, a Jamaica-based social development organization, recently announced the launch of “I Support Jamaica,” a fundraising website that provides money for entrepreneurs in the country to start micro- and small businesses [1]. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: National Association of Microfinance Banks (NAMB), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Propose Unified Software System for Microfinance Banks (MFB) in Nigeria

The National Association of Microfinance Banks (NAMB), a trade group of 820 microfinance banks (MFBs) in Nigeria, recently partnered with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the country’s main financial regulator, to propose a unified software system for all of NAMB’s member institutions. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Association of Microfinance Institutions in Rwanda (AMIR), Child Savings International (Aflatoun), United Kingdom’s Department for International Development Inaugurate Youth Educational Program in Rwanda

The Association of Microfinance Institutions in Rwanda (AMIR), an umbrella organization for Rwandan microfinance institutions (MFIs) and related organizations, recently partnered with Child Savings International (referred to as Aflatoun), a Netherlands-based nonprofit, and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (UKDID) to launch an educational program in Rwanda that will teach entrepreneurial, savings and financial skills to youth. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: World Bank Group (WBG) Announces “Financial Infrastructure Development Project” in Yemen; International Development Association (IDA) Provides Grant of $20m

The World Bank Group (WBG), a US-based development bank, recently announced a new initiative called the “Financial Infrastructure Development Project” that aims to improve the transparency and efficiency of Yemen’s financial system as well as increase the financial inclusion of low-income people in the country. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: “Financial Diaries Project” Preliminary Readings: Low-Income People in Papua New Guinea Travel Long Distances for Financial Transactions

The “Financial Diaries Project,” an initiative launched in September 2012 by the Bank of Papua New Guinea (BPNG), the nation’s central banking authority, and the Pacific Financial Inclusion Program (PFIP), a project designed by the United Nations to increase access to financial services for low-income Pacific Islanders, recently released a preliminary report that found that low-income people in Papua New Guinea often travel “unusually long” distances to urban centers to carry out financial transactions [1,2]. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Aeon Financial Service Company Limited Launches Consumer Credit Services Subsidiary Aeon Microfinance (Myanmar) Company

Aeon Financial Service Company Limited (Aeon), a Japanese-based credit and financial services provider, recently announced that it has launched Aeon Microfinance (Myanmar) Company, a consumer credit services subsidiary based in the Myanmar State of Yangon. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Tanzania Postal Bank (TPB), World Savings Banks Institute (WSBI), Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to Launch “TPB Popote” to Reach Unbanked Tanzanians

The Tanzania Postal Bank (TPB), a Tanzania-based financial services organization, recently partnered with the World Savings Banks Institute (WSBI), a Switzerland-based international banking association, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), a US-based nonprofit organization, to launch a new mobile banking service called “TPB Popote” that aims to increase the financial inclusion of low-income people in rural regions of Tanzania. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: German KfW Bank Invests $3.28m in Equity in Invest India Micro Pension Services

Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau Entwicklungsbank (KfW), a German state-owned development bank, has invested USD 3.28 million in equity in Invest India Micro Pension Services (IIMPS), a New Delhi-based regulator of micro-pension and long-term micro-savings products for poor people, in order to expand pension services to the working poor [1]. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: African Insurance Organization (AIO) Inaugurates Microinsurance Committee

The African Insurance Organization (AIO), a Cameroon-based nonprofit that seeks to promote intra-African cooperation in developing Africa’s insurance and reinsurance industry, recently inaugurated a Microinsurance Committee to oversee the growth of microinsurance on the continent. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Ecobank, Lonestar Cell MTN Launch “Mobile Money School Fees Payment Service” in Liberia

Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI), a pan-African banking conglomerate that operates in 33 African countries, and Lonestar Cell Mobile Telecommunications Network (MTN), a member of the multinational telecommunications company MTN Group that has services in 21 countries in Africa, Europe and Middle East, reportedly have launched a partnership in Liberia that will alleviate the costs of waiting to pay for students’ school fees [1]. Continue reading