MICROFINANCE EVENT: InsurTech: Rising to the Regulatory Challenge; March 20, 2018; Colombo, Sri Lanka

Summary of Event: The goal of this twelfth consultative forum of its kind is to explore how regulators can adjust to working with the hundreds of start-up firms leveraging technology to enter the insurance market. In particular, sessions will address how “to strike a balance between facilitating innovation, increasing the inclusiveness of the insurance sector, and maintaining the conditions for a fair, safe and stable insurance sector…”. Topics will include digitizing applications, premium collection, payouts and other processes as well as

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Tanzania’s Second National Financial Inclusion Framework Calls for Radio Broadcasts, ID Cards, Credit Bureaux, Mobile Banking to Grow Economy to Middle Income

The government of Tanzania recently launched its second five-year National Financial Inclusion Framework with the aim of helping boost the country to middle-income status by 2025 by shifting focus from access to financial services to the usage of those services, especially by youth and women. By 2022, benchmarks include increasing the usage of formal financial services from 65 percent to 75 percent of the population and the usage of insurance from 15 percent to

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Global Parametrics, 6 VisionFund Microfinance Institutions Prepare for Climate Disasters Under African and Asian Resilience in Disaster Insurance Scheme (ARDIS)

Global Parametrics, a for-profit risk manager funded by UK-based and German development institutions, and the UK-based NGO VisionFund International recently established the African and Asian Resilience in Disaster Insurance Scheme (ARDIS), to protect six VisionFund microfinance institutions (MFIs). In case of drought or extreme storm, the MFIs can access up to USD 10 million to manage delays in client repayments and

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Equator Raises $62m for ShoreCap III from AfDB, CDC, EIB, KfW, OeEB to Invest in Financial Inclusion in Africa

Equator Capital Partners, a US-based manager of “impact” funds, recently announced the first close of its third ShoreCap fund, which will invest in African firms offering services such as microcredit, microinsurance, leasing, housing finance, and banking for small and medium-sized enterprises. Equator is seeking to raise a total of USD 150 million for ShoreCap III to invest over 10 years in about

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Sri Lanka’s SANASA Installing 35 Weather Stations, Expanding Index Insurance for Rice Farmers to Pepper, Cinnamon Growers

SANASA Insurance Company Limited, a member of Sri Lanka’s cooperative SANASA group, recently installed the first of 35 weather stations funded by a donation from Desjardins Financial Security, an insurer within the Canadian cooperative Desjardins Group. The stations expand an existing network supporting SANASA Insurance’s provision of index insurance to rice farmers, whereby the farmers are paid when weather conditions are not conducive to healthy crops rather than based on individual insurance claims. The new stations are intended to improve the provision of insurance for rice farmers as well as allowing SANASA Insurance to expand to serving pepper and

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: “Microinsurance Master” Program Offers 10 Weeks of Immersion, Coaching on Scaling Up Insurance Services for Poor People

A new program called Microinsurance Master is offering two weeks of training at Pioneer Microinsurance, a Philippines-based firm with 18 million customers, followed by eight weeks of remote coaching intended to help participants “focus on client-centric solutions that reduce the vulnerability of low-income people and

SPECIAL REPORT: Clients Come Clean on Sneaking Contraception, Practitioners Move from Serving Women to Empowering Households as European Microfinance Week Closes

During the closing day of European Microfinance WeekEuropean Microfinance Week 2017, Imran Matin of the US-based nonprofit Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) stressed the importance of not just whether women will use financial services, but “what account ownership will translate into in terms of achievement.” Foreshadowing a theme of the session, he added that “intra-household dynamics is very important and also particularly difficult to measure.”

Bdour Al-Hyari of Jordan’s Microfund for Women (MFW) described a long-running insurance product offered by her microfinance institution (MFI). The coverage provides cash to clients who are hospitalized or have a family member who is. While health issues were a major cause of default in the past, women who got “hospital cash” from MFW reportedly repaid their loans at a rate of

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Visa Foundation Issues Inaugural Grant of $20m to Women’s World Banking for Microinsurance, Financial Training, Leadership Development

Visa, a “global payments technology” company headquartered in the US state of California, recently announced that the first grant from its newly initiated Visa Foundation will benefit Women’s World Banking, a nonprofit organization based in the US city of New York that works through a network of 49 financial institutions across 31 countries to help

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Milliman Acquires MicroInsurance Centre in Effort to Boost Services Benefiting Poor People

Milliman Inc., an international consulting and actuarial firm headquartered in the US city of Seattle, recently acquired the MicroInsurance Centre (MIC), a for-profit consulting firm based in the US state of Wisconsin that provides “product development, research, and advocacy” services relating to insurance services to poor people. The terms of the agreement have

MICROFINANCE EVENT: 14th Annual Global Microfinance Forum; March 15-16, 2018; Munich, Germany

Event Name: 14th Annual Global Microfinance Forum

Event Date: March 15 – March 16, 2018

Event Location: Munich, Germany

Summary of Event: This conference will include sessions on microleasing, “green” microcredit, managing foreign exchange risk, crowdfunding, serving small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), technology, leveraging guarantees

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: 11th Symbiotics MIV Survey, Very Small Businesses in Ethiopia, Climate-shock Recovery Lending in Africa

“2017 Symbiotics MIV Survey,” published by the Symbiotics Group, September 2017, 55 pages, available at:
http://symbioticsgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Symbiotics-2017-MIV-Survey.pdf

This 11th annual survey of microfinance investment vehicles (MIV) offers data from 93 microfinance funds managed by “44 specialized asset management companies located in 17 countries.” The responding firms’ funds comprise 94 percent of the estimated market size of USD 13.5 billion. The MIV’s assets allocated to microfinance total USD 9.6 billion, of which 73 percent is in fixed-income funds, 16 percent in mixed funds and

SPECIAL REPORT: Public Solutions at SAM: Collateral Registries, Business Training, Higher Microinsurance Uptake Can Promote Entrepreneurship in Africa

At SAM Conference 2017, Addis Ababa, Ethiopiathe SAM (Semaine Africaine de la Microfinance) plenary on “Public Solutions to Promote Entrepreneurship in Africa,” Kennedy Komba of the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) explained that his institution’s SME (Small and Medium-sized Enterprise) Working Group comprises 53 regulatory and policy-making bodies. To facilitate the growth of entrepreneurship, these agencies have created collateral registries, adjusted lender liquidity ratios, updated know-your-customer frameworks and established rules for digital financial services. Trainers in Zambia used a financial education game to reach 5,000 people, of whom 80 percent were able to improve their businesses as a result. In Ghana, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Bank of Ghana collaborated to boost local value chains in an effort to reduce costly

SPECIAL REPORT: At SAM, a “Moral Obligation” to Include More People in the Financial System, Harvesting Wins $12k FMO Fintech for Microfinance Prize for Use of Satellite Data to Boost Agricultural Lending

At the gala dinner at SAM Conference 2017, Addis Ababa, Ethiopiathe SAM (Semaine Africaine de la Microfinance) conference, Olivier Massart, the General Manager of ADA, argued that the attendees of the event have incurred a “moral obligation” to increase financial inclusion. The 650+ attendees spent an estimated total of USD 1 million to USD 2 million on travel and registration fees. Because they elected not to spend this money directly on serving poor people, Mr Massart challenged each delegate to bring at least one additional person in to the financial system for each

SPECIAL REPORT: At SAM, Calls for Alternatives to Collateral, Acquiring Insurance, Technical Assistance, Cheaper Loans for SMEs

During SAM Conference 2017, Addis Ababa, Ethiopiathe SAM (Semaine Africaine de la Microfinance) conference today, Willie Mzumala of Malawi’s Tapika Food Products described how he has grown his business over 13 years to employ 9 people year-round plus additional seasonal staff. However, he still is offered loans at interest rates as high as 45 percent. In addition to affordable financing, he sees a need for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to get help with marketing, getting international exposure and standardizing quality.

Richard Muteti of the Kenya National Federation of Jua Kali Associations repeated Mr Mzumala’s call for help with standardization and more affordable financing. Among other barriers to SME success, he cited lack of appropriately

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: CGAP, Pula Announce Microinsurance Partnership for Farmers in Nigeria

CGAP (the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor), a US-based, nonprofit research center that aims to facilitate the expansion of financial access, and Pula, a Kenya-based, agricultural insurance intermediary that serves small-scale farmers by leveraging satellite technology, recently announced that they are partnering to deliver “satellite-based agricultural insurance” to farmers in Nigeria.

MICROFINANCE EVENT: Munich Re Foundation, Microinsurance Network, APESEG to Host 13th International Microinsurance Conference, November 7-9, 2017, Lima, Peru

Event Name: 13th International Microinsurance Conference: Inclusive Insurance for the Mass Market

Event Date: November 7 – November 9, 2017

Event Location: Swissotel; Lima, Peru

Cost: The maximum fee to attend the conference is USD 1,390, with a range of discounts available, including tiered reductions for those registering by September 1 and October 31. There is no fee for representatives of regulatory and supervisory authorities.

Summary of Event: This conference aims to engage stakeholders on “accelerating growth and economic viability in microinsurance.” It will feature roughly 80 speakers covering topics including: microinsurance across Latin America and the Caribbean; the role of microinsurance in economic development; digital technologies for microinsurance; and the relationships among data, analytics and the future of microinsurance.

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Free-riding vs Group Insurance; “Responsible” Microfinance Pricing; State of Microinsurance

“The Social Dilemma of Microinsurance: Free-riding in a Framed Field Experiment;” by Wendy Janssens and Berber Kramer; published by Elsevier; March 2016; 15 pages; available at:
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167268116300166

This paper analyzes the incentives for individuals to buy health microinsurance while active in borrowing groups. Health issues are consistently among the top reasons people become unable to repay loans.