MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Commission, European Investment Bank Launch Small, Medium-Sized Enterprise Financing Website

The European Commission (EC), the legislative body of the European Union (EU), recently introduced an online portal featuring small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) stock prices and providing SMEs with information on the following EC programs: the Competitiveness and Innovation Program (CIP), which offers business support services; European Progress Microfinance Facility, which supports microcredit providers; Risk Sharing Instrument Facility (RSI), which supports debt financing to SMEs for research, development and innovation projects; and the Joint European Resources for Micro to Medium Enterprises (JEREMIE), which allows EU member states to use EU structural funds to finance SMEs via equity, loans or guarantees [1]. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to Loan $10m to KazMicroFinance of Kazakhstan for Micro-, Small, Medium-Sized Enterprises in Rural Areas

The UK-based European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will loan the local-currency equivalent of USD 10 million to KazMicroFinance (KMF), a Kazakhstan non-banking financial institution, in an effort to increase access to credit for micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises in rural areas of the country [1]. Continue reading

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Financing Africa, Social Performance Indicators for Microinsurance, Segmentation of Agricultural Households

“Financing Africa Through the Crisis and Beyond;” by Thorsten Beck, Samuel Munzele Maimbo, Issa Faye and Thouraya Triki; published by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), World Bank Group, African Development Bank; 2013; 322 pages; available at: http://www.afdb.org/fileadmin/uploads/afdb/Documents/Publications/Financing%20Africa%20Through%20the%20Crisis%20and%20Beyond.pdf

This book presents a review of trends in Africa’s financial sector in the context of Africa’s past economic development trends and broader historical background. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Australia Donates $6m to Laos-Focused “Making Access to Finance More Inclusive for Poor People” Programme of the United Nations

The government of Australia has committed a donation of USD 6.15 million to support the United Nations Development Cooperation Forum (UNDCF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in their joint programme titled “Making Access to Finance More Inclusive for Poor People” (MAFIPP), which is implemented by the Bank of Lao People’s Democratic Republic (BLPDR), the central bank of Laos, with the aim of improving poor rural household access to a variety of financial services. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Azerbaijan Microfinance Association Considers Credit Bureau for Microlenders

Teymur Heybatov, a representative of the Azerbaijan-Central Asia Financial Markets Infrastructure (ACAFI) advisory services project of the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation (IFC), reportedly has announced that a meeting will be held with the leadership of the Azerbaijan Microfinance Association (AMA) to discuss establishing a credit bureau for microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Azerbaijan. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Grameen Crédit Agricole Microfinance Foundation Loans $800k to Soro Yiriwaso of Mali, Viator of Azerbaijan

The Grameen Credit Agricole Microfinance Foundation (GCAMF), a Luxembourg-based nonprofit that provides financial services to microfinance institutions, recently notified MicroCapital that it has disbursed a one-year loan of USD 396,000 to Mali-based microfinance institution (MFI) Soro Yiriwaso, its third loan to Soro Yiriwaso to date. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Kenya-based Gulf African Bank, African Guarantee Fund Partner to Lend $1.2m to Small, Medium-Sized Businesses

The African Guarantee Fund (AGF), a Kenya-based organization backed by the African Development Bank (AfDB) that aims to increase financial access in Africa by underwriting commercial bank lending to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), reportedly has agreed to guarantee an unspecified portion of KES 100 million (USD 1.2 million) to be loaned by Gulf African Bank (GAB), a Kenya-based bank offering Shari’ah-compliant products and services, to SMEs in Kenya. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Star Microinsurance Company of Ghana Pays Insurance Claims to Kantamanto Fire Victims through MicroEnsure, Advans Ghana

Ghana-based Star Microinsurance Company Limited reportedly has paid some of the victims of the Kantamanto and Agbogbloshie markets fire outbreak in the Ghanian city of Accra a total insurance claim of GHS 115,000 (USD 57,629) through its partners MicroEnsure Ghana, an insurance intermediary and subsidiary of US-based nonprofit Opportunity International, and Advans Ghana Savings and Loans, a non-bank financial institution that focuses on micro enterprise. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Ahon sa Hirap Incorporated, Philippine Social Security System to Expand Coverage to 25,000 Women Entrepreneurs

The Social Security System (SSS), the Philippines’ state-owned pension fund for private sector employees, reportedly has announced a new agreement with Philippines-based microfinance institution (MFI) Ahon Sa Hirap Incorporated (ASHI) to expand SSS coverage to 25,000 female ASHI borrowers. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Making Finance Work for Africa (MFW4A) Announces the Launching of the Stakeholder Engagement Web Portal

Making Finance Work for Africa (MFW4A), a partnership based in Tunisia between 13 development institutions launched in 2007 that focuses on promoting financial sector development in all of Africa, has launched the Stakeholder Engagement Web Portal, a web-based doorway to all the organization’s stakeholder’s activities across continent. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Nine Indian Impact Investment Companies Forming “Indian Impact Investor Council”

Nine companies that specialize in impact investment reportedly will be establishing the “Indian Impact Investor Council” (IIIC) to establish guidelines helping investment companies in India regulate their efforts to meet social goals. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Agricultural Mobile Applications in Kenya Increase Market Information for Farmers

Kenyan farmers are using mobile agriculture applications to improve market information such as M-Farm, iCow, Kilimo Salama, M-Pesa and M-Shwari. These agri-technological innovations aim to offer either increased transparency or the extension of financial services to farmers. Continue reading