MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: IFC Buys $9m in Local-currency Bonds from CRRH-UEMOA to Support Housing Finance in West Africa

The World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation has purchased the equivalent of USD 9 million in bonds issued by the mortgage refinancier Caisse Regionale de Refinancement Hypothecaire de l’UEMOA (Union Economique et Monétaire Ouest Africaine). The goal of the investment is to catalyze USD 500 million in

MICROFINANCE PAPER ROUND-UP: Index of Women Entrepreneurs; Investing in Affordable Housing; Comparing Impact, Traditional Investment Returns

“Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs 2017,” published by Mastercard, March 2017, 31 pages, available at https://newsroom.mastercard.com/eu/files/2017/03/Report-Mastercard-Index-of-Women-Entrepreneurs-2017-Mar-3.pdf

This tool is intended to measure the evolution of women’s participation in business around the world. The authors apply a set of 37 indicators to data from 54 economies to explore the variations in: (1) women’s advancement; (2) knowledge assets and financial access; and (3) supporting entrepreneurial conditions. One of the primary women’s-advancement indicators is the percentage of CEOs and managers that are women in a given country. Six of the top 10 performers are upper-middle-income countries, with Canada and New Zealand being the only

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Erste Group Pilots Roma Housing Microfinance Project in Slovakia

The Erste Group Bank, an Austria-based institution with 16 million clients in Central and Southeast Europe, recently completed the pilot phase of a homeownership program for members of the Roma community in Slovakia. The program begins with financial education and a savings program. Of the 100 families that enrolled, 60 completed 12 months of savings, making them eligible to