MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: MasterCard Foundation Donates $23m to Opportunity International for Agricultural Financing in Sub-Saharan Africa

The MasterCard Foundation, which was founded by US-based global payment processing company MasterCard and aims to promote youth learning and financial inclusion in emerging markets, has donated USD 22.7 million to Opportunity International, a US-based non-profit microfinance organization, to launch the “Africa Growth and Innovation Initiative” to deliver agricultural financial services to 7 million low-income people in the Sub-Saharan African countries Ghana, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Manappuram of India Acquires Milestone Home Finance

Manappuram Finance Limited, an India-based non-banking finance company, recently signed an agreement to acquire Milestone Home Finance Company, an organization licensed to provide housing finance in India, from Jaypee Hotels, an India-based hospitality company, Continue reading

MICROFINANCE EVENT: EBRD, National Association of Business Women of Tajikistan (NABWT), Government of Tajikistan to Host “Symposium of Women Entrepreneurs of Central Asia and Afghanistan”, Dushanbe, March 27 – 28, 2014

Event Name: Symposium of Women Entrepreneurs of Central Asia and Afghanistan

Event Date: March 27 – 28, 2014

Event Location: National Library, Dushanbe, Tajikistan Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Entrepreneurial Finance Lab Offers Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) Credit Scores for Micro-, Small Enterprises (MSEs) Based on Psychometric Tests

In an effort to promote financing to self-employed entrepreneurs and micro- and small enterprises (MSEs) in emerging economies, Entrepreneurial Finance Lab (EFL), a US-based company, is employing psychometric analyses to assess the creditworthiness of loan applicants. Continue reading

Written by Comments Off on MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Entrepreneurial Finance Lab Offers Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) Credit Scores for Micro-, Small Enterprises (MSEs) Based on Psychometric Tests Posted in Risks, Technology

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Finance Corporation (IFC) Capitalization Fund Invests $170m in Banco CorpBanca Colombia

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) Capitalization Fund, an investment fund managed by an arm of the World Bank Group’s IFC, has announced a USD 170 million subordinated bond investment in Banco CorpBanca Colombia (CBC), a subsidiary of CorpBanca, a Chile-based commercial bank that is a subsidiary of Brazil’s Itau Unibanco. Continue reading

MICROFINANCE EVENT: Dvk to Host “5th Annual Impact Conference at Sustainatopia 2014,” April 16 – 18, 2014, Miami Beach, Florida, USA

Event Name: 5th Annual Impact Conference at Sustainatopia 2014

Event Date: April 16 – 18, 2014

Event Location: Miami Beach Convention Center, Miami Beach, Florida, USA Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to Loan $7m to Enda Inter-Arabe for On-Lending to Micro-, Small Enterprises (MSEs) in Tunisia

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a UK-based multilateral financial institution, is lending TND 11 million (USD 7 million) to Enda Inter-Arabe, a Tunisian financial services provider and arm of Senegal-based non-governmental organization Enda Third-World. Continue reading

Written by Comments Off on MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to Loan $7m to Enda Inter-Arabe for On-Lending to Micro-, Small Enterprises (MSEs) in Tunisia Posted in Africa, Deals, Key Players

OPINION: No Silver Bullet: While Microfinance Alone Won’t End Poverty, It Is Making an Impact – So Let’s Re-focus It to Serve the Poor

The debate about the contributions that microfinance is making to global poverty alleviation is an interesting one. But it’s also getting a little tedious.

We are all disappointed that microfinance has not, as the popular culture has promoted it, proven to be the “silver bullet” for poverty alleviation. If, however, we challenge ourselves to really understand (and be transparent about) the strengths and limitations of microfinance, and begin to think about it as just one part of a more comprehensive package of development services, the debate (and potential for impact) becomes much more interesting. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bank of Ghana Licenses 394 Microfinance Institutions (MFIs), Donates Equipment to Trade Associations

The Bank of Ghana, the country’s central banking authority, has issued licenses to 394 microfinance institutions (MFIs), including 344 classified as microfinance companies, 45 as money-lending companies and five as financial non-governmental organizations. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: CGAP Branchless Banking Challenge Fund for West Africa Accepting Entries through March 31, 2014

CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor), a US-based nonprofit policy and research center that aims to facilitate the provision of financial access to poor people, is accepting applications for the Branchless Banking Challenge Fund, a contest to encourage development of innovative solutions to challenges faced by the branchless banking market in West Africa. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) Lends $45m to FINCA Microfinance Holding to Increase Outreach, Range of Services

The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), a development finance institution of the US government, is lending USD 45 million to the Foundation for International Community Assistance (FINCA) Microfinance Holding (FMH), a for-profit investment vehicle controlled by US-based NGO FINCA International [1]. Continue reading

Written by Comments Off on MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) Lends $45m to FINCA Microfinance Holding to Increase Outreach, Range of Services Posted in Deals, Key Players

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: By December, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) May Issue First New Banking Licenses Since 2004

The Indian Express, a provider of business news in India, recently speculated that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the country’s central banking authority, will issue at least three new banking licenses either in the second quarter of 2014 or near the end of the year. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: MoneyGram, Vodafone Partner to Enable Global Mobile Money Transfers Via M-Pesa

Vodafone Group, a British multinational telecommunications company, has partnered with MoneyGram, a US-based money transfer company with outlets in 200 countries, to allow MoneyGram’s customers to transfer funds to account holders of M-Pesa, a mobile money service developed by Vodafone that operates in six countries in Asia and Africa. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Allocates 60% of $1.3b Micro-, Small, Medium-Sized Enterprises Development Fund to Promote Women’s Empowerment, Gender Equality

In a publication outlining guidelines for the operation of its Micro-, Small, and Medium-Sized Enterprises Development Fund (MSMEDF), the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the country’s central banking authority, included a mandate to allocate 60 percent of the fund, or NGN 132 billion (USD 802 million), for on-lending to women-owned enterprises in an effort to promote the empowerment of women and to reduce gender inequality. Continue reading

Written by Comments Off on MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Allocates 60% of $1.3b Micro-, Small, Medium-Sized Enterprises Development Fund to Promote Women’s Empowerment, Gender Equality Posted in Africa, Regulation

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Government of Jamaica Introduces SIPP Registry of Collateral, “Super Form” for Business Registration to Support Micro-, Small, Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs)

The government of Jamaica has initiated the implementation of the Security Interests in Personal Property (SIPP) Registry to facilitate financial access for micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) by supporting the use of non-real estate assets, including movable items, as collateral [1][2]. Continue reading

Written by Comments Off on MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Government of Jamaica Introduces SIPP Registry of Collateral, “Super Form” for Business Registration to Support Micro-, Small, Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs) Posted in Latin America, Regulation, Trends/Challenges

MICROFINANCE EVENT: Financial Times (FT), International Finance Corporation (IFC) to Host “Transformational Business Conference and Awards”, London, June 12, 2014

Event Name: Financial Times/International Finance Corporation (FT/IFC) Transformational Business Conference and Awards 2014

Event Date: June 12, 2014

Event Location: The Intercontinental Park Lane, London, United Kingdom Continue reading

Written by Comments Off on MICROFINANCE EVENT: Financial Times (FT), International Finance Corporation (IFC) to Host “Transformational Business Conference and Awards”, London, June 12, 2014 Posted in Events

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: US-based Startups First Access, Cignifi Analyze Mobile Phone Usage to Measure Creditworthiness of Unbanked

A number of startup companies are employing analytical techniques based on “big data” to interpret the mobile phone usage of poor people to assess the creditworthiness of those applying for loans in developing economies. Continue reading

Written by Comments Off on MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: US-based Startups First Access, Cignifi Analyze Mobile Phone Usage to Measure Creditworthiness of Unbanked Posted in Risks, Technology

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Grama Vidiyal Microfinance of India Borrows from World Business Capital

Grama Vidiyal Microfinance, a microfinance institution (MFI) operating in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, has raised an undisclosed amount of financing through both senior and subordinate loans from World Business Capital, a US-based lender to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Continue reading