MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Opportunity International Hires Temenos to Customize its Insight Software to Document Social Impact

Opportunity International, a US-based nonprofit that focuses on microfinance in emerging markets, has recently agreed to license Insight, a business analytics product developed by Temenos, a software company based in Switzerland. The organization will hire Temenos to customize the software to produce reports that measure the social impact of lending on borrowers and their communities. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: AccessBank of Azerbaijan Borrows $4.2m from European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) for Energy Efficient Remodel of Headquarters

AccessBank, a for-profit microfinance institution based in Azerbaijan, recently received a loan of USD 4.2 million from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a multilateral institution headquartered in London, that will provide 30 percent of the financing required to renovate its new headquarters in Baku.  Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Boston University, CGAP Partner on Financial Inclusion Regulation Website, Request Submissions of Material from Microfinance Stakeholders

The US-based Center for Finance, Law and Policy at Boston University (BU Center) has partnered with CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor), a US-based nonprofit research and policy center, to create an online repository of materials relating to the regulation of financial inclusion around the world. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Microfinance Institutions in the Philippines Urged to Harness Remittances as Source of Funding

The National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), an agency of the government of the Philippines responsible for development and planning, is reportedly urging microfinance institutions (MFIs) in the country to tap into remittances from overseas Filipino workers as a source of funding.  Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Women’s World Banking (WWB), Citi Foundation Launch Women in Leadership Program

US-based microfinance network Women’s World Banking (WWB), with financial support from Citi Foundation, the charitable arm of US-based financial firm Citigroup, recently launched the “Women in Leadership Program,” an initiative aimed at increasing the number of women in leadership positions in microfinance. Continue reading

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Microfinance Handbook; Evolution of Microfinance; Impact of Private Sector Investment on Job Creation

The New Microfinance Handbook: A Financial Market System Perspective;” edited by Joanna Ledgerwood, Julie Earne and Candace Nelson; published by the World Bank Group; February 2013; 504 pages; available at: https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/12272 Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD) to Guarantee Grameen Credit Agricole Microfinance Foundation (GCAMF) Loans, Largely in Sub-Saharan Africa

The Grameen Credit Agricole Microfinance Foundation (GCAMF), a Luxembourg-based nonprofit that provides financial services to microfinance institutions, recently signed a risk and technical assistance agreement with the Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD), a bi-lateral development finance institution of the French government, to further GCAMF’s microfinance efforts, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa.  Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Women’s World Banking (WWB) Partners with Australia’s AusAID on Microinsurance, 90k Jordanians Reached by Microfund for Women

The Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), an agency of the federal government of Australia, reportedly has pledged its support to Women’s World Banking (WWB), a US-based nonprofit microfinance network, to assist with the expansion of international microinsurance services. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Grameen Koota of India Receives $9.8m in Equity from Incofin, MicroVentures, Aavishkaar Goodwell, Creation Investments; $4m in Debt Funding from Deutsche Bank Microfinance Fund

Indian non-banking financial company (NBFC) Grameen Financial Services Private Limited, also known as Grameen Koota, recently received INR 532 million (USD 9.8 million) in its third round equity funding from Beligium-based investment company Incofin, Italy-based private equity firm MicroVentures, Indian-Dutch joint venture Aavishkaar Goodwell, and US-based for-profit company Creation Investments. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Norway’s Telenor Group Expresses Concern over Claim of Bangladeshi Government to Grameen Business

Telenor Group, a Norwegian mobile services provider, reportedly expressed concerns about the ongoing dispute over the ownership of social businesses historically linked with Grameen Bank, a Bangladeshi microfinance institution (MFI). Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Deputy Prime Minister Mutambara of Zimbabwe Urges Banks to Stop Seeking Legal Action Against Econet’s Ecocash Mobile Banking Service and Start Competing

Zimbabwe’s Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara reportedly is urging banks in the country to “develop competing products” that will allow them to match or surpass Ecocash, the mobile banking service of South Africa-based telecommunications group Econet, instead of engaging in what he described as “fighting against technology”.  Continue reading

MICROFINANCE PAPER WRAP-UP: “Unlocking the Potential: Women and Mobile Financial Services in Emerging Markets;” published by mWomen Global Development Alliance of the Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA), Visa, Bankable Frontier Associates

Published by Global System for Mobile Communications Association’s mWomen Global Development Alliance, Visa and Bankable Frontier Associates; 2013; 40 pages; available at: http://www.gsma.com/mobilefordevelopment/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/GSMA-mWomen-Visa_Unlocking-the-Potential_Feb-2013.pdf

This report analyzes connections between mobile financial services and women’s financial inclusion in the developing world. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Asian Development Bank, Standard Chartered Bank Commit $150m to Microfinance in Asia

The Asian Development Bank (ADB), a multilateral finance institution based in the Philippines, reportedly has partnered with Standard Chartered Bank, a financial services company based in the United Kingdom, to increase access to financial services for poor people in Asia. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: EBRD Loan of $39m to UniCredit Bank Serbia for On-lending to Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Pending Final Approval

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a London-based multilateral financial institution, intends to loan EUR 30 million (USD 39 million) to the Serbian branch of UniCredit Bank, an Italy-based financial group with operations in 22 countries, for on-lending to private small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Serbia. Continue reading