MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Fundacion BBVA MicroFinanzas Continues Buying Equity in Microfinance Institution Financiera Confianza of Peru with responsAbility Transaction

Fundacion BBVA MicroFinanzas, which was launched by Spain’s Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) in 1998, recently added to its shareholding in Financiera Confianza, a Peruvian microfinance institution (MFI) by purchasing the stake held by Switzerland-based responsAbility Investments. Although the size and price of the holding, which responsAbility began building in 2008, remains confidential, responsAbility reports that it earned “over three

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Pride Uganda, Harvesting, CGAP Partner to Develop Alternative Credit Scoring Model to Boost Microfinance, Crop Yields for Small-scale Coffee Farmers

With support from US-based nonprofit CGAP (the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor), US-based social enterprise Harvesting Incorporated is partnering with Pride Microfinance, which is owned by the government of Uganda, to devise a new model for lending to small-scale coffee farmers in Uganda. Greta Bull, the CEO of CGAP, states that “limited access to timely credit products for agricultural inputs [is detrimental to farmers’] crop yields and productivity.” This project will combine traditional data sources with “alternative” ones, such as

MICROFINANCE EVENT: Mondato Summit Africa; April 17 – 18, 2018; Johannesburg, South Africa

Summary of Event: The goal of the fifth iteration of this event is to help executives in the digital finance and commerce sectors share information and solve problems. Provisional agenda items include data analytics, case studies, reaching young people, measuring financial inclusion, cryptocurrencies, investment

MICROFINANCE PAPER ROUND-UP: Achieving SDGs by Supporting SMEs, Engaging Youth in Financial Services via Social Media, Effects of Financial Education on Credit Card Usage

“SMEs and SDGs: Supporting Small and Medium Enterprises to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals,” by Maria Teresa Zappia and Lisa Sherk, published by BlueOrchard, November 2017, 28 pages, available at http://www.blueorchard.com/smes-sdgs-supporting-small-medium-enterprises-achieve-sustainable-development-goals-insights-blueorchard-survey/

In this report, the authors explore how improving the business climate for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), may help achieve many of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), 17 guiding principles intended to help combat poverty, protect the environment, and encourage economic and political stability.

Ms Zappia and Ms Sherk surveyed financial institutions that lend to SMEs in the Caucasus, Central and South America, East Asia and

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Grameen America Achieves Close of Social Business Fund for Microfinance Lending to Women Entrepreneurs in US

Grameen America, a US-based NGO founded by Muhammad Yunus, recently raised an undisclosed sum via a Social Business Fund for on-lending to women with low-incomes in regions of the US that are underserved by traditional financial institutions. Investors in the fund receive

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Grameen Credit Agricole Foundation Lends $1.2m to DR Congo’s Hekima; Burkina Faso’s SOFIPE, ACFIME

The Grameen Credit Agricole Foundation (GCAF), whose head office is in Luxembourg, recently informed MicroCapital that it has disbursed three-year loans to three microfinance institutions in Africa.

Hekima of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) borrowed USD 530,000 from GCAF. As of 2015, Hekima reports to the US-based nonprofit Microfinance Information Exchange (MIX) total assets of USD 3.6 million, loans of USD 2.3 million outstanding to 10,000 borrowers, and deposits of 890,000 held for 12,000 clients. The MFI’s mission includes “contributing to the economic, social and spiritual lives” of DRC’s people.

The Société de Financement de la Petite Entreprise (SOFIPE) of Burkina Faso borrowed the local-currency equivalent of

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: As China Tightens Online Lending Market, Ant Financial Pauses $37b in Annual Sales of Asset-backed Securities; Nexgo, Zhejiang Busen Garments Cancel Plans to Offer Loans

Amid criticism of China’s online lending industry as having “sometimes high interest rates and underhand lending practices,” the nation’s government has taken steps to slow the sector. It has urged local regulators to cease granting approvals to new microloan firms, citing the risk of over-indebtedness. It reportedly has also stopped approving the sales of asset-backed securities by Zhejiang Ant Small & Micro Financial Services Group (Ant Financial), which is controlled by Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma. Anonymous sources indicate that such sales could continue for

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: India’s Odisha State Encouraging Banks, Microfinance Institutions to Open 656 “Banking Outlets” in Unserved Rural Areas

By March 2019, the eastern Indian state of Odisha is encouraging financial institutions to open “banking outlets” in 656 gram panchayats (villages) that are at least

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Microfinance Organization Crystal of Georgia, VisionFund’s Monte Credit of Montenegro Borrow $3.6m from Grameen Credit Agricole Foundation

The Grameen Credit Agricole Foundation (GCAF), whose head office is in Luxembourg, recently informed MicroCapital that it has disbursed three-year loans denominated in euros to two microfinance institutions. Crystal Microfinance Organization, a joint stock company in Georgia, borrowed the equivalent of

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: Grameen Credit Agricole Foundation Lends $3.6m in Local Currency to Microfinance Institutions in Indonesia

The Luxembourg-based Grameen Credit Agricole Foundation (GCAF) recently informed MicroCapital that it has disbursed three-year loans denominated in local-currency to two microfinance institutions in Indonesia. Koperasi Mitra Dhuafa (Komida), a cooperative providing savings, loans and training services to women, borrowed the equivalent of

MICROFINANCE PAPER ROUND-UP: Index of Women Entrepreneurs; Investing in Affordable Housing; Comparing Impact, Traditional Investment Returns

“Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs 2017,” published by Mastercard, March 2017, 31 pages, available at https://newsroom.mastercard.com/eu/files/2017/03/Report-Mastercard-Index-of-Women-Entrepreneurs-2017-Mar-3.pdf

This tool is intended to measure the evolution of women’s participation in business around the world. The authors apply a set of 37 indicators to data from 54 economies to explore the variations in: (1) women’s advancement; (2) knowledge assets and financial access; and (3) supporting entrepreneurial conditions. One of the primary women’s-advancement indicators is the percentage of CEOs and managers that are women in a given country. Six of the top 10 performers are upper-middle-income countries, with Canada and New Zealand being the only

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Untu Capital of Zimbabwe Selling $1m in Bonds in Increments of $50 via Mobile Money to Support Microfinance, SME Lending

Untu Capital, a microlender in Zimbabwe, is looking to raise up to USD 1 million to support its lending to micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises by selling “U-Gain” bonds in increments of USD 50. Individuals may buy the bonds on Zimbabwe’s Financial Securities Exchange (FINSEC) via EcoCash, the mobile money service of South Africa’s Econet Group. Although the bonds have a term of one year

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: responsAbility Agriculture I Fund Takes Equity Stake in Indian Value-chain Lender Samunnati

Switzerland-based responsAbility Investments recently disbursed the first investment from its private equity fund responsAbility Agriculture I, acquiring a “significant” minority stake in Samunnati, a non-banking financial company in India that provides loans and advisory services to players in agricultural value chains. Although the price and size of the stake remain confidential, responsAbility Agriculture I generally places investments of

MICROFINANCE EVENT: International Conference on Responsible Inclusive Finance; March 21 – 22, 2018; Kigali, Rwanda

Summary of Event: As related to delivering “responsible” financial services, this conference will cover client protection, enabling environments, client perspectives and digital payments, including serving the

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