MICROFINANCE PAPER ROUND-UP: Measurement: from Financial Access to Economic Empowerment; Savings Groups’ Impact; MFIs’ Role with Startups

“Advancing Financial Inclusion Metrics: Shifting from Access to Economic Empowerment,” by Matthew Blake and Drew Propson, published by the World Economic Forum, January 2018, 24 pages, available at

The authors of this report address how to improve the measurement of financial inclusion and ultimately how to bridge financial inclusion with financial health. They identify the following mechanisms as critical to successful financial inclusion: (1) payments; (2) savings; (3) credit; and (4) regulation and policy. Regarding the connection of financial inclusion to financial health, the authors consider three case studies: (1) Insight2Impact, a data-analysis company seeking to measure financial inclusion based on the needs of consumers rather than on the products they are offered; (2) the nonprofit Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI), which measures “long-term” consumer outcomes in the US; and (3) the application of CFSI’s model to other countries by

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

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

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Digital Wallets for Illiterate Customers in India, Agency Banking in Africa, Gender Equality in Financial Services

“Digital Wallet Adoption for the Oral Segment in India: Concept Development for MoWo (Mobile Wallet for Oral);” by Brett Hudson Matthews, Richa Valechha, Vivek Anand, Avantika Kushwaha, Saborni Poddar and Rachit Ohri; published by MicroSave; May 2017; 50 pages, available at:


The authors describe a project conducted during 2016 in India on the Mobile Wallet for Oral (MoWo), a mobile-money service designed for the “oral” market segment, which includes 264 million people in the country who have low reading-skill levels. A group of 310 participants from various communities were subjected to “signing, reading and numeracy” tests. Thereafter, 138 people of varying literacy levels participated in focus groups on the user interface of the mobile wallet. Finally, 29 participants performed usability testing.

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:

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

MICROFINANCE EVENT: Metrics from the Ground Up; NEW DATES: February 27 – 28, 2018; Nairobi, Kenya

Event Name: Metrics from the Ground Up

Event Date: NEW DATES -> February 27 – February 28, 2018

Event Location: Radisson Blu Nairobi; Nairobi, Kenya

Summary of Event: The ninth iteration of this conference will center on “aligning impact” by addressing variations in the definitions of impact, which depend on “context, country, and culture of origin.” The organizers hope to generate collaboration on defining “the African impact agenda.” The previous “Metrics” events were held in the US city of Washington DC.

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Unrealistic Expectations in Impact Investing, Valuing Microfinance Institutions (MFIs), Banking Costs in Kenya

“Marginalized Returns,” by Mara Bolis and Chris West, published by the Stanford Social Innovation Review, Fall 2017, 3 pages, available at:

The authors of this article cite the Global Impact Investing Network’s (GIIN’s) “2016 Annual Impact Investor Survey,” which reports that 84 percent of 158 investors who seek “measurable social and environmental impact alongside a financial return” in particular are expecting “risk-adjusted market-rate returns.” Ms Bolis and Dr West state that netting annual returns of 10 to 15 percent would

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Offshore Financial Centers for Impact Investing; Financial Inclusion in 2025; Microfinance in India

“Offshore Financial Centers for Financial Inclusion: A Marriage of Convenience;” by Sam Mendelson and Daniel Rozas; published by the Center for Financial Inclusion (CFI) at Accion; June 2017; 14 pages; available at:

This paper explores the use of offshore financial centers (OFCs) based on interviews with 13 equity impact investors.

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:

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.

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Financial Literacy, Gender Disparity in the Solomon Islands; Savings Groups’ Impact in Ghana, Malawi, Uganda; Financial Inclusion Survey in Vanuatu

“Case Study: SolTuna – Tuna Processing, Solomon Islands;” published by the International Finance Corporation; September 2016; 20 pages; available at:

This case study investigates the connections between financial literacy and the reduction of absenteeism and other problems at SolTuna, a tuna processing plant in the Solomon Islands.

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: GIIN Impact Investor Survey; Financial Inclusion in Humanitarian Emergencies; Green Index 2.0

Annual Impact Investor Survey 2017, The Seventh Edition;” by Abhilash Mudaliar, Hannah Schiff, Rachel Bass, Hannah Dithrich; published by the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), May 2017, 84 pages, available at https://thegiin.org/knowledge/publication/annualsurvey2017

The authors of this paper discuss the results of primary and secondary research on the latest trends and challenges of the impact investment sector, which they define as investments that “target social and / or environmental impact objectives”[1].

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 PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Alternative Financing in Africa, Middle East; Interoperability of Digital Financial Systems; Financial Inclusion in Kerala, India

“The Africa and Middle East Alternative Finance Benchmarking Report”; by The Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF) and Energy4Impact; published by CCAF; February 2017; 64 pages; available at https://www.scribd.com/document/338995486/CCAF-Africa-and-Middle-East-Alternative-Finance-Report-2017#download&from_embed/

This report focuses on assessing the types and prevalence of alternative financing in Africa and the Middle East.

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.

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: UN Digital Financial Services Toolkits; 7th IMF Financial Access Survey; IFC, The MasterCard Foundation Mobile Money Handbook

“How to Succeed in Your Digital Journey: a Series of Toolkits for Financial Service Providers”; Published by the United Nations Capital Development Fund’s MicroLead Program; October 2016; available upon request via: https://uncdf.wufoo.com/forms/q4pnwh31pqtp7r/

This first portion of a six-part digital toolkit, which is available in English and French, was designed to benefit microfinance institutions (MFIs) and other financial services providers that aim to offer digital financial services to unbanked populations residing in remote locations.

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Lessons on IPOs from Indian MFIs; Growth In Impact Investing; 10-Year Survey of Microfinance Investment Vehicles

“How to IPO Successfully and Responsibly: Lessons From Indian Financial Inclusion Institutions”; by Anna Kanze; published by the Center for Financial Inclusion (CFI) at Accion; Fall 2016; 25 pages; available at: http://www.centerforfinancialinclusion.org/storage/documents/How_to_IPO_Final.pdf

This report draws upon two recent initial public offerings (IPOs) in the financial inclusion industry – those of Equitas and Ujjivan, both microfinance lenders in India – to make the case that institutions can use IPOs to strengthen their capital base while remaining committed to their social missions.

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: How the Private Sector Can Boost Economic Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa; the Role of Impact Investing in Achieving SDGs in Africa; Documenting Reforms to “Doing Business”

Entreprenante Afrique; by Jean-Michel Severino and Jérémy Hajdenberg; published in French by Odile Jacob; September 2016; 288 pages; available for purchase at: https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=_vslDQAAQBAJ&rdid=book-_vslDQAAQBAJ&rdot=1&source=gbs_vpt_buy&pcampaignid=books_booksearch_atb

Jean-Michel Severino and Jérémy Hajdenberg argue that the 5-percent average annual growth rate Sub-Saharan Africa has experienced since 2000 is being driven significantly by the region’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Correlations Between Financial, Social MFI Performance; Banking for a Better World; A Case for Partnerships Among Corporations, Social Enterprises

“Where Good Intentions Meet Good Business Practice”; by Meraj Husain and Micol Pistelli; published by the Microfinance Information Exchange (MIX); August 2016; 16 pages; available at: https://www.themix.org/sites/default/files/publications/where_good_intentions_meet_good_business_practice_mix_august_2016_final.pdf

Drawing upon Microfinance Information Exchange (MIX)’s database of financial service provider (FSP) performance indicators, the authors examine the relationship between the social and financial performance of 780 FSPs in 98 countries.