The Whole Planet Foundation, an affiliate of US-based grocer Whole Foods Market, announced it has secured donations of USD 2.2 million (as of March 17) towards its goal of raising USD 3.2 million by the end of March 2017 to grant for microlending through
The Palestine Monetary Authority (PMA), with assistance from Ramallah-based Al-Andalus Software Development, recently released a “credit reports handling system” that allows financial institutions to access to individual’s credit histories electronically. Previously, credit report requests had to be filed in person
During February 2017, Italy-based MicroFinanza Rating issued “microfinance institutional ratings” to the following institutions, all with stable outlooks: Indonesia’s Komida, which was assigned a grade of BB; Albania’s NOA, which earned a BBB; Haiti’s ACME, which was assigned a BB+; Vietnam’s Anh Chi Em (ACE), which got a BB-; and two institutions that each received an A-,
Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden (FMO), a Dutch development bank, recently announced that it will place equity of USD 15 million in the debt sub-fund of the Sanad Fund for MSME (Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprise), which disburses “medium- and long-term” loans to financial institutions that serve MSMEs
Asian University for Women (AUW), which was created in 2008 in Chittagong, Bangladesh, is in the process of bringing on additional partners through which it will recruit bachelor’s degree candidates from low-income regions of Asia and the Middle East. The mission of AUW is to offer talented young women from families with minimal educational and financial resources the opportunity to earn an undergraduate
The Sanad Fund for MSME (Micro Small and Medium Enterprise), a provider of loans and equity to financial institutions in the Middle East and North Africa, recently announced that it will lend USD 1.5 million to the Asala for Credit and Development Company, a microfinance institution in Palestine, for on-lending to female entrepreneurs. The microlender operates nine offices in the West Bank and Gaza, focusing on serving micro- and small enterprises owned by women in rural areas. Asala, a for-profit successor to the Palestinian Businesswomen’s Association, was launched in 2014 with support from the Sharakat
Event Name: MENA Governance and Strategic Leadership Seminar
Event Date: March 7 – March 9, 2017
Event Location: Sheraton Amman Al Nabil Hotel, Fifth Circle, Amman, 11184, Jordan
Summary of Event: The goal of this event is to strengthen boards of directors of microfinance institutions in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region
Event Name: 12th Biennial Conference on Entrepreneurship
Event Date: February 22 – 24, 2017
Event Location: Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India
Summary of Event: This event offers researchers, educators and practitioners opportunities to discuss their work with the goal of advancing research in entrepreneurship. In past
The Central Bank of Jordan recently announced a strategy to increase financial inclusion in the country during the years 2018 through 2020. The document calls for increased financial education, client protection and
The US-based multilateral World Bank Group (WBG) recently announced that 16 additional financial institutions have committed to partner to work toward “universal financial access” (UFA) by 2020, bringing the size of the group to 30 organizations. The new partners, which have committed to helping a total of 168 million people open new transaction accounts by 2020, are:
(1) the Aga Khan Agency for Microfinance, which operates in Africa, Asia and the Middle East;
(2) Ant Financial (Ali Baba Group) of China;
The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), a development finance institution of the Saudi Arabia-based Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), and the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations Deposit (CDC), a financial institution backed by the government of Gabon, recently announced that they have signed a memorandum of understanding for the creation of a private equity fund to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Gabon and elsewhere in Central Africa.
The European Investment Bank (EIB), the Luxembourg-based long-term lender of the European Union (EU), and the US-based multilateral World Bank Group (WBG) recently announced a joint initiative, Boost MENA, to support “first-time entrepreneurs”, particularly women and young people, in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).
The Kashf Foundation, a Pakistani nonprofit providing microfinance services and advocacy on social issues, won the seventh European Microfinance Award last night for its support of private schools that serve students from low-income families. In addition to financing the schools, Kashf provides training in areas ranging from classroom management to human resources. The organization also assists
Among today’s opening meetings of European Microfinance Week was a working session on the financial inclusion of refugees that was organized by the US-based nonprofit Social Performance Task Force (SPTF) and the Luxembourgish nonprofit European Microfinance Platform (e-EMP). Lene Hansen, a consultant to SPTF, offered evidence to counter some of the common misconceptions discouraging microfinance institutions (MFIs) and their funders from serving refugees. Key among these is
The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the US-based World Bank Group, and Agence Française de Développement (AFD), the international development arm of the French government, recently launched the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) SME Risk Sharing Facility, through which the organizations will guarantee loans for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), 20 percent of which are to be issued to enterprises owned and operated by women.
JazzCash, a mobile money service of Pakistan-based cellular phone network Mobilink, and Visa, a US-based payment technology company, recently announced that JazzCash Mobile Account customers will be able to make purchases from the millions of merchants worldwide that accept Visa payment cards, including approximately 50,000 retail outlets in Pakistan.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a multilateral institution headquartered in London, England, and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), a government agency that provides international economic and humanitarian assistance, recently signed a “Framework for Cooperation” detailing a plan to boost private sector development in regions in which both organizations operate.
The European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP), a network of European microfinance stakeholders working in developing countries, recently announced that three finalists for the 7th European Microfinance Award have been selected from 30 applicants: (1) Fundación Génesis Empresarial of Guatemala; (2) Kashf Foundation of Pakistan; and (3) Opportunity Bank of Uganda.