MICROFINANCE PAPER WRAP-UP: “The International Bank of Bob,” by Bob Harris; published by Walker Publishing

“The International Bank of Bob;” by Bob Harris; published by the Walker Publishing Company, Inc.; March 2013; 400 pages, http://www.bloomsbury.com/us/the-international-bank-of-bob-9781620405222/

This book stems from the moment that US-based author Bob Harris met a group of South Asian day laborers while on assignment for ForbesTraveler.com in Dubai. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Grameen Credit Agricole Microfinance Foundation (GCAMF) Disburses $515k of $872k in Loans to Mec Fadec of Senegal, Réseau National des Caisses Villageoises d’Épargne et de Crédit Autogérées (RENACA) of Benin

The Grameen Credit Agricole Microfinance Foundation (GCAMF), a Luxembourg-based investor in microfinance institutions (MFIs) and other social businesses, recently notified MicroCapital that it has disbursed the first half of a 30-month loan of EUR 152,000 (USD 207,000) to Mec Fadec, a Senegalese microfinance institution (MFI) [1]. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Développement International Desjardins (DID) Invests in Microfinance Currency Hedging Company MFX Solutions

Développement International Desjardins (DID), a nonprofit organization based in Canada that provides technical support and investment for development finance in emerging economies, has invested an unspecified amount in US-based MFX Solutions, a company that provides currency hedging solutions for microfinance institutions (MFIs) and microfinance investment vehicles (MIVs) [1]. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: UN’s Principles of Responsible Investment (PRI) Initiative Launches New Reporting Framework Seeking to Increase Transparency

The Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) Initiative, the United Nations-backed network of international investors seeking to integrate environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) issues into their investment strategies, has announced the launch of a new reporting framework for its signatories that is aimed to increase the transparency of their investment activities [1]. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Triple Jump Innovation Fund Attracts $22m to Promote Financial Access in Emerging Markets

Achmea, a Netherlands-based insurance provider; KCD Mikrofinanzfonds, a German microfinance fund managed by Bank Im Bistum Essen eG; and Netherlands-based nonprofit organizations Cordaid and Oxfam Novib have invested a total of USD 22 million in Triple Jump, a Netherlands-based microfinance fund manager, for its new Triple Jump Innovation Fund [1]. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE) Loans $31m to Komercijalna banka Beograd of Serbia, Microfinance Institution Patria Credit of Romania

The European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE), a Luxembourg-based microfinance investment vehicle (MIV) backed by multiple governments, has loaned EUR 20 million (USD 27.6 million) to Komercijalna banka Beograd, a bank based in Serbia, and EUR 2.5 million (USD 3.4 million) loan to Patria Credit, a non-banking microfinance institution (MFI) in Romania that seeks to provide increased financial access to micro- and small enterprises [1]. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Airtel, Tanzania Postal Bank (TPB) Partner to Offer Mobile Banking Services

Airtel Tanzania, a subsidiary of Indian telecommunications company Bharti Airtel, and Tanzania Postal Bank (TPB), a Tanzania-based bank that provides financial services to people in rural areas who do not have access to traditional banks, reportedly are partnering to offer free mobile financial services to their customers. Continue reading

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Lessons Learned from Morocco’s Microcredit Crisis; Using Microinsurance to Promote Universal Coverage; Remittances and Post-Conflict Economic Growth

“Lessons Learned from the Moroccan Crisis;” by Nadine Chehade and Alice Negre; published by CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor); 2013; 4 pages; available at http://www.cgap.org/sites/default/files/Brief-Lessons-Learned-from-the-Moroccan-Crisis-July-2013_0.pdf

This report presents the results of a study conducted by US-based NGO CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor) that explored the Moroccan microcredit downturn, focusing on outlining “lessons learned from the rise, fall, and ongoing recovery of the Moroccan microcredit sector that may be useful when adapted in other countries in similar situations.” Continue reading

MICROFINANCE EVENT: 2013 Sustainable Finance Week, 14th Global Roundtable of United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), Beijing, China, November 10-15

Event Name: 2013 Sustainable Finance Week (SFW), 14th Global Roundtable: “Financing the Future We Want: China, Emerging Markets and the World Economy”

Event Date: November 10 – November 15, 2013

Event Location: Beijing, China Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Majority of Ghanaian Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) Allegedly Lack Operating Licenses, Bank of Ghana to Increase Surveillance

Ghanaian Radio XYZ Online, an online news publication, reportedly has discovered from an undisclosed source that of approximately 550 operating microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Ghana, only an estimated 200 are licensed. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: 3k Moldovan Remittance Recipients Save $7m After European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Financial Education Program

The UK-based European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, a multilateral institution that finances development projects, has initiated a financial education project in Moldova that is aimed at providing recipients of remittances with improved financial skills to manage the money they receive as well as to encourage them to open bank accounts [1]. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Habitat for Humanity International, MasterCard Foundation Partner to Support Housing Microfinance in Kenya

Habitat for Humanity, a US-based nonprofit that seeks to provide poor people with clean, safe and affordable housing, and MasterCard Foundation, a Canadian organization founded by the US-based payments firm MasterCard, reportedly are partnering to build the capacity of three unidentified Kenyan financial institutions to expand housing microfinance products over the next five years [1] [2]. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Members of Développement International Desjardins’ Proxfin Issue “Lusaka Declaration” Pledging Increased Access to Finance for Micro-, Small, Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs)

Proxfin, a network of the 29 community finance institution partners of Canada’s corporation Développement International Desjardins (DID), recently released the “Lusaka Declaration on the Contribution of Community Finance Institutions towards Increasing Access to Adequate Financing for Small Entrepreneurs” [1]. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Sekerbank Borrows $146m from European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE), European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), International Finance Corporation (IFC) to Fund Agricultural, Women-owned Businesses in Turkey

Sekerbank, a Turkish private bank, has borrowed EUR 59.5 million (USD 82 million) from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a UK-based multilateral institution; EUR 36.3 million  (USD 50 million) from the International Finance Corporation, a member of the US-based World Bank Group; and EUR 10 million (USD 13.7 million) from the European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE), a Luxembourg-based, EU-backed microfinance investment vehicle [1] [2]. Continue reading