MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Considering $78m Facility for Sekerbank of Turkey for Micro-, Small, Medium-Sized Enterprises

The UK-based European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) recently revealed the pending approval of a EUR 60 million (USD 78 million) finance facility for Sekerbank T.A.S., a Turkish commercial bank. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: University of Texas, El Centro para la Promoción de la Micro y Pequeña Empresa en Centroamérica (CENPROMYPE), US Department of State Launch Small Business Development Center in Honduras

The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) International Trade Center, a US-based trade assistance organization; El Centro para la Promoción de la Micro y Pequeña Empresa en Centroamérica (CENPROMYPE), a Central American institution focused on small-business development; and the US Department of State Pathways for Prosperity Initiative, a policy dialogue effort linking 12 Western Hemisphere countries, has launched a Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in the city of Choluteca, Honduras. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: UT Bank Ghana Receives $20m Credit Line from African Development Bank to Support Small, Medium-Sized Enterprises

The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB), a multilateral institution that provides loans and grants to governments and private companies in Africa, recently approved a 3.5-year line of credit in the amount of USD 20 million to UT Bank Ghana Limited (UT Bank), a commercial bank based in Ghana with 26 branches in Ghana and an unavailable number of subsidiary branches in West Africa and Europe. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Tigo Ghana, EB Accion, Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, USAID to Help Women Become Mobile Money Agents

The Ghanaian branch of Luxembourg-based telecommunication firm Millicom International Cellular, which is also known as Tigo and has operations in 15 African and Latin American countries; EB Accion, a Ghana-based microfinance institution (MFI) affiliated with Togo-based Ecobank Group and US-based non-governmental organization (NGO) Accion; Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, a London-based charity focused on technology and access to finance; and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), a government agency that provides international economic and humanitarian assistance, reportedly have partnered on a mobile money project that is expected to involve hundreds of women in Ghana. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Loans $2.6m to Mobiasbanca – Groupe Société Générale of Moldova for Residential Energy Efficiency

In an effort to boost residential energy efficiency in Moldova, the UK-based European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) recently loaned EUR 2 million (USD 2.6 million) to Mobiasbanca, a Moldovan commercial bank and subsidiary of France-based Groupe Société Générale SA, to be on-lent to individual households, housing associations, management companies, condominiums and energy service companies. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) May Back $50m Foundations Fund 1.0 for Small, Medium-Sized Enterprises in Romania

The UK-based European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) recently revealed its expected approval of an equity investment of up to EUR 15 million (USD 19.5 million) in The Foundations Fund 1.0, a Luxembourg-based corporate partnership fund, in an effort to foster capital equity investments in Romanian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that lead to multi-sector growth. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Equity Bank, Google Announce BebaPay Card for Paying Bus Fares in Kenya

In partnership with Google, a US-based provider of technology products and services, Equity Bank, a private bank based in Kenya, has announced that the bank will be offering a new cashless payment card system called BebaPay, which is expected to enable users to pay bus fares without the use of cash. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Finance Corporation (IFC), Advans Ghana to Expand Business Edge Training Program to Ghana

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the US-based World Bank Group, has formed an agreement with Advans Ghana Savings and Loans, a non-bank financial institution and member of Luxembourg’s Advans Group, to improve access to the Business Edge training program in Ghana. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) of India Proposes Microinsurance Firms Provide Maturity Benefit Policies to Boost Sales

In an effort to boost sales of microinsurance in India, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA), the country’s regulatory body for the insurance industry, reportedly has proposed that microinsurance firms offer policies with maturity benefits [1]. Continue reading

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