MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: World Bank Lending $15m to Jamaica for Microfinance Credit Guarantees, SME Fund

The World Bank recently agreed to lend USD 15 million to the Development Bank of Jamaica to support micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises via partial credit guarantees and an SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) fund. Galina Sotirova, the World Bank country manager for Jamaica, described the program as an effort to “…diversify and expand financing mechanisms for small businesses to promote entrepreneurship and job creation.” The objectives includes raising USD 10 million from private funders and guaranteeing

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: MFIs in Bolivia, Vietnam Borrow $11.5m from C-Quadrat Dual Return Vision Microfinance Fund

Two microfinance institutions (MFIs) – one in Bolivia and one in Vietnam – recently borrowed a total of USD 11.5 million from the Dual Return Vision Microfinance fund, an offering of C-Quadrat Asset Management, which is a unit of Austrian fund manager C-Quadrat. The identities of the MFIs and the amount each borrowed remain confidential. C-Quadrat Asset Management did tell MicroCapital that

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Fundacion BBVA MicroFinanzas Continues Buying Equity in Microfinance Institution Financiera Confianza of Peru with responsAbility Transaction

Fundacion BBVA MicroFinanzas, which was launched by Spain’s Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) in 1998, recently added to its shareholding in Financiera Confianza, a Peruvian microfinance institution (MFI) by purchasing the stake held by Switzerland-based responsAbility Investments. Although the size and price of the holding, which responsAbility began building in 2008, remains confidential, responsAbility reports that it earned “over three

MICROFINANCE PAPER ROUND-UP: Achieving SDGs by Supporting SMEs, Engaging Youth in Financial Services via Social Media, Effects of Financial Education on Credit Card Usage

“SMEs and SDGs: Supporting Small and Medium Enterprises to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals,” by Maria Teresa Zappia and Lisa Sherk, published by BlueOrchard, November 2017, 28 pages, available at http://www.blueorchard.com/smes-sdgs-supporting-small-medium-enterprises-achieve-sustainable-development-goals-insights-blueorchard-survey/

In this report, the authors explore how improving the business climate for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), may help achieve many of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), 17 guiding principles intended to help combat poverty, protect the environment, and encourage economic and political stability.

Ms Zappia and Ms Sherk surveyed financial institutions that lend to SMEs in the Caucasus, Central and South America, East Asia and

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: C-Quadrat Dual Return Vision Microfinance Funds Invest in Ecuador, 13 Other Countries

C-Quadrat Asset Management, a unit of Austrian fund manager C-Quadrat, disbursed the equivalent of USD 40 million during December to 15 microfinance institutions (MFIs) from its Dual Return Vision Microfinance funds. The MFIs, whose identities remain confidential, span 14 countries. One is a cooperative located in

MICROFINANCE EVENT: Cracking the Nut Conference; June 12 – 13, 2018; Antigua, Guatemala

Event Name: Cracking the Nut Conference 2018

Event Date: June 12 – June 13, 2018

Event Location: Antigua, Guatemala

Summary of Event: This conference will focus on how technology can improve agricultural microfinance for poor people in rural areas. It includes a technology fair as well as sessions on the themes “Introducing Technologies

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Mexico’s Adobe Capital Raises $21m to Finance Small, Medium-sized Enterprises in Latin America

Adobe Capital, the venture-capital unit of Mexico-based New Ventures, recently raised USD 21 million for its second investment vehicle, Adobe Mezzanine Fund (AMF) II, which is intended to finance

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: MFI in Bosnia and Herzegovina Borrows from Dual Return Vision Microfinance Fund

A microfinance institution (MFI) in Bosnia and Herzegovina borrowed a portion of the equivalent of USD 47 million that C-Quadrat Asset Management, a unit of Austrian fund manager C-Quadrat, disbursed during November via the Dual Return Vision Microfinance funds. The other borrowers are located elsewhere in Europe as well as Latin America and

SPECIAL REPORT: Finding Markets First, Adding Value Post-harvest to Engage Youth in Agriculture

At European Microfinance Week on Thursday,European Microfinance Week 2017 Ken Lohento of the Netherlands-based Technical Center for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation described successes engaging youth in agriculture through technology, even those with limited literacy. This can take the form of business tools to track spending or marketing as well as apps that help with pest management, for example. Even older “feature phones” can be used to receive information on markets and tips to optimize production. Among other efforts, Mr Lohento cited Agribusiness TV, which provides mobile-optimized video examples of youth profiting from agriculture, and a service in Senegal that connects owners of underused land with young people looking for acreage to till.

Dr Jonathan Agwe of the UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) stated that youth rarely are motivated to engage in the planting and weeding of primary agriculture. “Certain elements of the value chain are more interesting to youth than others,” he said. Youth are more interested in secondary activities that are less labor-intensive, such as using machinery to process crops or vehicles to get products to market. Dr Agwe suggests first “locating a market that is paying premium prices” and then

SPECIAL REPORT: Cooperativa de Ahorro y Préstamo Tosepantomin (Mexico), Winner of the 2017 European Microfinance Award

From the European Investment Bank: The 2017 European Microfinance Award honours a microfinance institution, based in a developing country, that implemented innovative solutions to support access to better quality residential housing for low income, vulnerable and excluded groups, with no or limited access to housing finance in the mainstream sector.

The Cooperativa de Ahorro y Préstamo Tosepantomin helps marginalised rural Mexican communities with their residential housing building projects by offering savings and home loan products paired with technical support. The cooperative is also recognised for its promotion of eco-friendly building techniques.

This award, a EUR 100,000 prize from the Directorate for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs of Luxembourg’s Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, was given at a ceremony held at the European Investment Bank, in the presence of Their Royal Highnesses the Grand Duchess and the Hereditary

SPECIAL REPORT: European Microfinance Week Opens: Microfinance and Environment Action Group Celebrates Rollout of Solar Products in Central America, Ethiopia, Philippines; Turns Eye to Scaling Up

On European Microfinance Week 2017the opening day of European Microfinance Week, the European Microfinance Platform’s (e-MFP’s) Microfinance and Environment Action Group met to review its successes and make plans for the next two years.

Carla Palomares of ADA, the Luxembourgish nonprofit formerly known as Appui au Développement Autonome, explained her organization’s work with the 60-member Microfinance Council of the Philippines (MCPI) and Red Centroamericana y del Caribe de Microfinanzas (REDCAMIF), a network of networks serving 139 microfinance institutions (MFIs) in the Dominican Republic and six Central American countries. ADA helped MCPI develop a team dedicated to supporting its member MFIs in offering loans for clients to buy solar lamps. MCPI is now working with six additional MFIs to roll out solar loans. The program with REDCAMIF is similar, but involves microleasing for agricultural equipment and support regarding environmentally sustainable farming practices as well as

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Le Levier, Développement international Desjardins (DiD) Open Entrepreneur Financial Centre (EFC) Owned by Cooperatives in Grand Nord Region of Haiti

Le Levier, a federation of cooperatives in Haiti, and Développement international Desjardins (DiD), a unit of Canadian cooperative Desjardins Group, recently inaugurated an Entrepreneur Financial Centre (EFC) owned by six cooperatives in Haiti. Based in the city of Cap-Haitien, the EFC will focus on serving the 400 entrepreneur

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Nicaraguan MFI Among Those Borrowing $12m from C-Quadrat’s Dual Return Vision Microfinance Funds

A unit of Austrian fund manager C-Quadrat, C-Quadrat Asset Management, recently informed MicroCapital that a Nicaraguan microfinance institution (MFI) was among the beneficiaries of the equivalent of USD 12 million that its Dual Return Vision Microfinance funds lent during October. The other borrowers are located elsewhere in Central and South America as well as

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: FMO, Triodos, Accion Invest Equity in Nicaraguan Microfinance Institution Financiera FAMA

Entities of two Dutch institutions, the government-controlled development bank FMO and the foundation-controlled Triodos Bank, recently invested equity in Nicaragua’s Financiera FAMA for the first time. In addition,

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: MicroFinanza Rating Issues 27 Rating Updates, New Reports for Microfinance Institutions in the Philippines, Latin America

During October 2017, MicroFinanza Rating (MFR) issued a Micro­finance Institutional Rating (MIR) of BB with a Stable outlook to Rangtay sa Pagrang-ay Microfinance of the Philippines. MFR also updated the MIRs of three affiliates of US-based Pro Mujer Incor­porated: Pro Mujer Argentina’s was confirmed at BB+ with a Positive outlook; Pro Mujer Nicaragua’s was confirmed at BBB+ with a Stable outlook; and Pro Mujer Mexico’s was upgraded

SPECIAL REPORT: MFIs in Afghanistan, Peru, Mexico Shortlisted for $118k “Microfinance for Housing” Award

The European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP) recently announced the following finalists for the European Microfinance Award, which in 2017 is focused on housing: First Microfinance Bank Afghanistan, Peru’s Mibanco and Mexico’s Cooperative Tosepantomin. The award, with a cash prize of EUR 100,000 (USD 118,000), will be presented during European Microfinance Week in