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
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
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
“2017 Symbiotics MIV Survey,” published by the Symbiotics Group, September 2017, 55 pages, available at:
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
At the 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
At the gala dinner at the 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
During the 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
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.
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.
“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:
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.
FINCA Armenia, a microfinance institution based in Yerevan, recently issued bonds worth USD 4 million and AMD 1.5 billion (USD 3 million) listed on the NASDAQ OMX Armenia stock exchange.
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.
Ghana-based AgroCenta recently won USD 20,000 in the Fincluders Startup Challenge, which was created to support new companies seeking to increase financial inclusion.
“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.
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
“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.
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
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