Somalia’s Kaah International Microfinance Services (KIMS) recently won the USD 100,000 Ethical Finance Innovation Challenge and Award (EFICA), part of a group of awards sponsored annually by Thomson Reuters, a media firm traded on the New York and Toronto stock exchanges, and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, which is based in the United Arab Emirates.
KIMS was recognized for two products it offers in the city of Kismayo, a “start-up micro-credit product for youth returnees…coupled with financial literacy and business training” and “growth financing for fisheries cooperatives in Kismayo, enabling them expand activities including boat building, fish processing, packing and distribution.”
Since its inception in 2014, KIMS has loaned USD 7 million to 8,000 clients. In addition to Shariah-compliant lending, it offers savings, insurance and training services. Shariah-compliant lending complies with Islamic law through mechanisms such as the sharing of profit and loss in lieu of conventional interest payments.
The other two EFICA finalists, which each won USD 20,000, are Arabesque, whose S-Ray tool uses big data to assess the social responsibility of large corporations, and Malaysia’s Employees Provident Fund (EPF), whose Shariah-compliant retirement plan was launched in January with an initial fund size of MYR 100 billion (USD 23 billion).
Sources and additional resources
Innovest Advisory press release
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