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.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Sri Lankans Urge Government to Allow Microfinance Institutions to Offer Microinsurance, Access Credit Information Bureau

M M Attanayake, the president of the 71-member Lanka Microfinance Practitioners’ Association (LMFPA), recently urged policymakers to amend existing law to allow microfinance institutions (MFIs) to offer microinsurance.

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Sectoral Migration Among Microenterprises in Madagascar, Tanzania Postal Bank’s Popote Digital Financial Services, Insurance Regulation in the Philippines

“Financial Constraint, Entrepreneurship and Sectoral Migrations: Evidence from Madagascar,” by Pierrick Baraton and Florian Léon, published by Making Finance Work for Africa, July 2016, 50 pages, available at https://www.mfw4a.org/nc/knowledge-center/resources/documents/documents-details/file/financial-constraint-entrepreneurship-and-sectoral-migrations-evidence-from-madagascar.html

The authors of this paper analysed data from 3,017 micro- and small enterprises that were clients of a microfinance institution (MFI) in Madagascar between 2008 and 2014.

MICROFINANCE EVENT: 9th Consultative Forum on Microinsurance Regulation; March 14, 2017; Singapore

Event Name: Ninth Consultative Forum on Microinsurance Regulation

Event Date: March 14, 2017

Event Location: Theatrette, MAS Building, 10 Shenton Way, Singapore

Summary of Event: The theme of this year’s event is “Exploring challenges in scaling up insurance as a disaster resilience strategy for smallholder

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Impact of M-Pesa Mobile Money; Microinsurance in Sri Lanka; Women’s Financial Diaries in India, Kenya, Mexico

“The Long-run Poverty and Gender Impacts of Mobile Money”; by Tavneet Suri and William Jack; published in Science; December 8, 2016, 4 pages; available at http://science.sciencemag.org/content/354/6317/1288.full/

This article reviews a study that assessed the impact of the M-Pesa mobile payment service in Kenya.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: AYo Offers Free Mobile Health, Life Insurance to MTN Phone Subscribers in Uganda: “Recharge with Care” & “Send with Care”

AYo, which is a joint venture between two South African firms, insurer MMI Holdings and the MTN (Mobile Telecommunications Network) Group, recently launched its first two products, both in Uganda: (1) Recharge with Care, which provides life and/or hospitalization insurance when an MTN phone subscriber buys airtime; and (2) Send with Care, which

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Solar Financier PEG Africa Offers Customers in Ghana Free Hospitalization Insurance via Bima

PEG Africa, which offers “rent-to-own” financing for solar products in Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana, recently arranged to offer select customers no-cost insurance cover via Bima, a microinsurance service of Sweden’s Milvik. The rollout across Ghana follows a pilot project that served 2,000 families. PEG will enroll customers that meet certain criteria relating to loyalty and timeliness of repayment. The insurnace will pay out for