MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Shell Foundation, GroFin to Provide $100m in Risk Capital, Business Support to Small, Medium-Sized Enterprises in Middle East, Africa

The Shell Foundation, a social investment initiative of Netherlands-based petroleum firm Royal Dutch Shell Private Limited Company, reportedly has partnered with GroFin, a South African small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) financier, to launch a program to provide USD 100 million in risk capital and unspecified business support to SMEs in the Middle East and Africa. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Launches Online Environmental, Social Training Program for Clients

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a UK-based multilateral institution that finances development projects, recently launched an online environmental and social training program that aims to help its clients manage the environmental and social risks that arise from their lending operations. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Former JP Morgan Asset Management Chairman Unveils $40m Impact Investment Fund, Charioteer-Fund I, to Support Skill Development, Microenterprises in India

Krishnamurthy Vijayan, the former executive chairman of JP Morgan Asset Management India, a Mumbai-based subsidiary of international investment and commercial bank JP Morgan Chase, reportedly has created Charioteer Fund-I, an INR 2.5 billion (USD 40 million) impact investment fund that will seek to place with investments in 25 ventures. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: 9th Annual Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Participants Commit to Advancing 15,000 Women-owned Businesses by 2018

The 2013 Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), an annual meeting that brings together global leaders in an effort to address international problems, was held September 23-26 and focused on ways that CGI members can mobilize people to action to solve world problems [1]. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: PlaNet Finance Partners with Thaneakea Phum Cambodia (TPC), China Foundation of Poverty Alleviation (CFPA) to Implement Microfinance Risk Management System

PlaNet Finance, a France-based nongovernmental organization, recently partnered with Thaneakea Phum Cambodia (TPC), a Cambodia-based microfinance institution (MFI), and the China Foundation of Poverty Alleviation (CFPA), a China-based microfinance lender, to integrate PlaNet Finance’s new risk management system into the two Asian MFIs’ operations. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Philippines-based Cebuana Lhuillier Insurance Solutions (CLIS) Launches “Microinsurance on Wheels”

Cebuana Lhuillier Insurance Solutions (CLIS), a Philippines-based insurance provider, reportedly has launched a “Microinsurance on Wheels” campaign in an effort to increase financial literacy including awareness of the benefits of microinsurance products in low-income rural areas of the Philippines. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Cambodian Microbank Sathapana, ElectraCard Partner to Provide ATM, Debit Card Services

Sathapana Limited, a Cambodia-based microfinance institution (MFI), reportedly has partnered with ElectraCard Services (ECS), a subsidiary of India-based Opus Software Solutions that provides electronic payment services, to provide automated teller machine (ATM) and debit card services to Sathapana customers. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Microfinance Companies in Ghana Allegedly “Reaping Heavily” from Small Businesses via High Interest Rates

Microfinance companies in Ghana reportedly are “reaping heavily” from high interest rates charged to consumers, who are often unaware of the flat-rate interest calculation method used by most microfinance companies that forces borrowers to pay interest on the initial loan amount rather than on their remaining balance. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Indian Government Seeks Parliamentary Approval for $859m in Spending for Women’s Bank; Women’s Safety; Skills Training; Micro-, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs); International Monetary Fund (IMF)

The Indian government reportedly is awaiting the Parliament’s approval to spend an additional INR 54.3 billion (USD 859 million) for several institutions including an additional INR 10 billion (USD 159 million) for each of the following: Nirbhaya Fund, a fund supporting women’s safety in India; National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), which is backed by the Indian Ministry of Finance and provides skill training programs to India’s workforce; and to establish a women’s bank in India. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (NOI) Poll Reveals Mobile Money Not Widely Adopted in Nigeria

A recent survey in Nigeria on the adoption of mobile money services, conducted by the Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (NOI) Polls, an opinion polling and research organization based in Nigeria, concluded that sixty percent of Nigerians do not know what mobile money is or that it is offered in their country. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Central Bank of Liberia Loans $483k to Three Counties in Western Liberia to Promote Financial Inclusion

The Central Bank of Liberia (CBL), the country’s central bank, reportedly has granted loans totaling LRD 38 million (USD 483,000) to 106 financial institutions located in the Liberian counties of Bomi, Grand Cape Mount and Gbarpolu in an effort to “empower” rural businesses and increase the financial inclusion of rural people [1]. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: MasterCard Foundation Scholarship Applications for Sustainable Microenterprise and Development Program (SMDP) in Tanzania Due by October 4, 2013

MasterCard Foundation, a Canadian organization founded by the US-based payments firm MasterCard, is offering an undisclosed number of full and partial scholarships for African women who have experience in the microenterprise development field to attend the Sustainable Microenterprise and Development Program (SMDP), an educational workshop that will be held in the Tanzanian city of Arusha from November 11-22 of 2013. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bank of Ghana Increases Liquidity Requirement for Microfinance Financial Institutions

The Bank of Ghana, a regulatory and supervisory authority over banking and financial institutions in Ghana, recently increased the minimum capital requirements of microfinance institutions (MFIs) to GHS 300,000 (USD 138,000) for MFIs that do not accept deposits and GHS 500,000 (USD 230,000) for deposit-taking MFIs [1]. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Luxembourg-based Appui au Developpement Autonome (ADA) Appoints Arnaud Servais Executive Director

Appui au Développement Autonome (ADA), a nonprofit organization based in Luxembourg that supports microfinance institutions with product development, capacity building and information dissemination, has appointed Arnaud Servais to serve as its executive director. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bangladesh Bank Asks Commercial Banks to Provide Services to Readymade Garment (RMG) Workers

The Bangladesh Bank (BB), the country’s central bank, recently asked commercial banks to provide readymade garment (RMG) workers with bank accounts so they can receive wages through direct deposit. BB requested commercial banks not to require a minimum balance or charge for banking services. Continue reading