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Mar 2015
The 169 Commandments
March, 28 2015
Global - MOSES brought ten commandments down from Mount Sinai. If only the UN’s proposed list of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were as concise ...
India: Microfinance Institutions Want RBI, Not Mudra Bank, as Regulator
March, 27 2015
India - MFIs suggested this to the finance ministry at a closed-door meeting in New Delhi on Tuesday amid concerns that a new regulator may weaken an industry that has just emerged from turmoil. ...
India’s Illicit Moneylenders Aren’t Going Away
March, 25 2015
India - Greater access to banking system doesn’t resolve needs of India’s massive informal econom ...
Funding for Financial Inclusion Rises to $31 Billion in 2013 - TRFN
March, 25 2015
Global - The annual Funders Survey by the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), which analyses trends in international funding for financial inclusion, found that donors had allocated at least $31 billion (20.9 billion pounds) in 2013, up from $29 billion (19.5 billion pounds) the previous year ...
Nigeria: Imperatives of MSMEs’ Development for Nation’s Growth
March, 25 2015
Nigeria - The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has reiterated the need to strategically position the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to enhance the growth of the nation’s economy ...
Tania Carnegie, KPMG Impact Ventures: Impact Investing - Three Factors to Consider
March, 24 2015
Global - KPMG interviewed a select group of leaders in venture capital, wealth management, banking and capital markets, and other areas of traditional finance. We wanted to understand their perspectives on impact investing and opportunities for government policy to stimulate the investment of more private capital in achieving positive social outcomes ...
Deepening Financial Inclusion in East Africa
March, 24 2015
East Africa - According to reports, Kenya has greater access to financial points than its neighbours. In addition, the country boasts of one of the continent leaders in financial inclusion largely driven by convergence of the telecommunication sector ...
Somaliland: Barwaqo Bank Signs Landmark Agreement with MoneyTrans, Europe's Largest Money Transfer Company
March, 24 2015
Somalia - This landmark agreement between Barwaqo Microfinance Bank and the multinational MoneyTrans is the first of its kind and represents a paradigm shift in the money remittances scene ...
India: Grameen Capital Taps Ratan Tata to Invest in Debt Finance Unit
March, 24 2015
India - Grameen Capital India (GCI) that advises and arranges finance for microfinance institutions on Tuesday said it has raised money from Tata Group chairman emeritus Ratan Tata and others for its business that will provide debt finance for social enterprises ...
Give Women Credit for Work to Strengthen Families
March, 23 2015
Global - The adage -- "a woman's work is never done" -- exists for a reason. Whether it's inside or outside the home, women's labor sustains families. How we assess women's work has long been a contested issue. In the developing world, it's especially important. ...
Metropol Corporation Enters Ugandan Credit Reference Market Ending Compuscan Monopoly
March, 23 2015
Uganda - Metropol comes on board with a strong capacity having operations in Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda and further south in Zimbabwe ...
Micro-credit Pioneer Gives Hope to Future Bosnia Entrepreneurs
March, 23 2015
Bosnia and Herzegovina - The kind of experience gathered in Bangladesh doing social business, which has been very helpful to poor people, brought Yunus’s Social Business to Albania, Brasil, Columbia, Haiti, Tunisia, Uganda, India and now Bosnia and Herzegovina ...
Michel Hanouch, Financial Sector Specialist, CGAP: The ‘Uberification’ of Financial Inclusion - What’s Possible?
March, 23 2015
Global - What Uber is achieving in the transportation sector is fascinating for most of us. Some are angered by the approach (surge pricing) and the implications for regulated businesses, but most seem intrigued. At CGAP, we want to understand what Uber and other socially interactive business models could mean for financial inclusion. ...
Table-banking Bridges the Financial Inclusion Gap in Kenya
March, 23 2015
Kenya - Whichever way you look at it, Kenya and by extension the East African region is undergoing a major transformation as far as financial inclusion goes ...
Facebook Money Transfer to Benefit African Users
March, 23 2015
Africa - Digital finance experts in Kenya say African users will increasingly benefit from the introduction of a money transfer service onto Facebook's instant messaging platform ...
Everybody Loves M-Shwari: So Why Isn't Everybody Using the Mobile Banking Service?
March, 23 2015
Kenya - Despite high user satisfaction, M-Shwari is not the only, or the primary, financial tool for its users: 10 percent of users store at least half of their savings on M-Shwari and 20 percent receive at least half of their loans from M-Shwari. Most users reported relying on another financial service, such as SACCO, for example, for day-to-day cash-flow management with M-Shwari playing a complementary role ...
28M Filipinos Covered by Micro-insurance as of 2014
March, 22 2015
Philippines - As of 2014, 28 million Filipinos have micro-insurance coverage, according to the Insurance Commission (IC). The agency sees a continued growth in this segment as more Filipinos turn to micro-insurance for protection and financial security, especially for calamities ...
Kazakhs Bore into Microcredits Amid Shortage of Tenge in Banks
March, 21 2015
Kazakhstan - Kazakhstani banks are experiencing tenge shortages because many of their clients have been transferring their tenge deposits into dollars-denominated ones after the February 2014 devaluation of the national currency ...
Micro-lender Ujjivan Raises $96M from CX Partners, CDC, NewQuest, Bajaj & Others
March, 20 2015
India - Bangalore-based Ujjivan Financial Services Pvt Ltd, one of the top-tier microfinance institutions in the country, has raised Rs 600 crore ($96 million) from CX Partners, CDC, NewQuest Asia Investments and Bajaj Holdings ...
Ghana: Microfinance Companies to Be Hit by Mergers and Acquisitions
March, 20 2015
Ghana - Ghana’s microfinance industry is expected to be hit by mergers and acquisitions as the regulator demands recapitalization of companies in the sector ...
Pakistan: Financial Moves - HBL Looking to Acquire First Microfinance Bank
March, 20 2015
Pakistan - Habib Bank (HBL) is expected to enter the microfinance banking segment by acquiring Pakistan’s second largest microfinance bank in terms of the value of savings, according to a regulatory filing by the country’s biggest commercial bank on Thursday ...
The World Bank Okays $200m Credit for Poor Bangladeshis
March, 19 2015
Bangladesh - The World Bank today approved $200 million in interest-free credit to improve livelihoods of approximately five million poor people in the rural areas of Bangladesh ...
Pakistan: Credit Guarantee Scheme for Small Farmers Approved
March, 18 2015
Pakistan - A credit guarantee scheme for small and marginalised farmers is being introduced to encourage banks to finance small farmers who previously did not have access to banking facilities. ...
CSD Report Offers Insights into How Young People Save in Developing Countries
March, 18 2015
Global - Younger youth save more than older; parental involvement is key. A new project from the Center for Social Development (CSD) at Washington University in St. Louis shows, among other findings, that girls in developing countries, given equal opportunities, will save as much or more in formal financial institutions than boys ...
Capital Impact for SME Fund Managers
March, 17 2015
Global - Over two-thirds of SMEs in emerging markets lack sufficient access to capital. Specialised SME investment funds are increasingly stepping in to fill this financing gap ...
Deutsche Bank Closes USD 50 Million Essential Capital Consortium Fund
March, 16 2015
Global - Deutsche Bank’s Global Social Finance Group today announced the closing of the Essential Capital Consortium (ECC), a five-year USD 50 million social enterprise fund, which is part of its family of social impact funds first launched in 2005 ...
Sierra Leone: 70% Economically Active Salone Women Are Market People – IFC
March, 16 2015
Sierra Leone - A study launched in Freetown on Friday 13th March 2015 by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) reveals that an estimated 1.5 million Sierra Leonean business women are in the micro or small business sector. Yet, according to the study, most of these market women struggle to access finance and training they need to develop, including saving, credit, leasing and pension facilities ...
Dean Karlan, Professor of Economics, Yale University: This Isn’t what We Had Once Hoped it Would Be ... So what Should We Do?
March, 16 2015
Global - As the six recent randomized evaluations on microcredit continue to reverberate in the global development sector and beyond, discussion has tended to follow two general tracks. ...
Nigeria: New Research Unveils Path for Women Entrepreneurs
March, 15 2015
Nigeria - A new research by an international funded economic empowerment and poverty reduction programme, the Partnership for Economic Policy (PEP) has recommended direct disbursement of credit to women entrepreneurs for the purposes of setting up or expansion of their businesses ...
Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development Announces Activation of USD 200 Million Development Loan Agreement for Egypt
March, 14 2015
Egypt - " Khalifa Fund will soon disburse loan payments in favor of the Egyptian Social Fund for Development, with the expectation that this organization will contribute to creating more than 200 thousand enterprises around the coming six years, and providing more than 200 thousand job opportunities for the Egyptian citizens", said Al Nowais ...
Seeding the Market
March, 14 2015
Global - Root’s business is lending to the owners of small farms in poor countries. An estimated 450m of these smallholdings exist worldwide, typically providing a subsistence-at-best income for more than 2 billion of the poorest people on the planet. ...
Ghana: BoG to Implement GH¢1m Capital Requirement for Microfinance
March, 13 2015
Ghana - The Bank of Ghana (BoG) says it is set to implement a new capital requirement of GH¢1 million for microfinance companies from the second quarter of this year ...
Pakistan: SBP to Increase M-wallets to 50m in Five Years - Wathra
March, 13 2015
Pakistan - The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has developed a strategy, in collaboration with the World Bank, to bring the total number of mobile bank accountholders to over 50 million in the next five years, said its Governor Ashraf Mahmood Wathra on Thursday ...
Agent Network Expansion: What Can We Learn from Cote d’Ivoire?
March, 13 2015
Ivory Coast - More than 1,500 new agents were deployed during the project. Starting from a pool of about 4,000 airtime resellers and small shops, the agent selection process was designed to recruit those demonstrating the greatest potential for mobile money activity ...
IFC Acquires 19.9 Percent Stake of Cambodia's Leading Microfinance Institution
March, 13 2015
Cambodia - The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has acquired 19.9 percent of the share capital of Amret, the third-largest microfinance institution in Cambodia, according to its media statement on Friday ...
The Unbanked ‘CFO’
March, 12 2015
Global - There are 2.5 billion in the world without a bank account. That number is familiar and been reported widely. What’s lesser known is that a majority of those 2.5 billion unbanked people are women ...
Arun Jaitley, India Minister of Finance: Next Phase of Jan Dhan Yojana to Mobilise Financial Savings
March, 12 2015
India - The finance ministry on Wednesday said the next phase of the government's ambitious financial inclusion scheme, Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), will be focused on mobilisation of financial savings to reverse the decline in the savings rate ...
Dr. Mirza Azizul Islam, Visiting Professor, BRAC University: Bangladesh - Poverty Alleviation: Where We Go from Here?
March, 12 2015
Bangladesh - In spite of reasonably satisfactory progress, Bangladesh cannot afford to dilute its focus on poverty alleviation. One reason is that, given a very large size of our population, the number of people below the national poverty line remains huge ...
India: Sa-Dhan Gets Self-regulatory Organization Status After MFIN
March, 12 2015
India - Sa-Dhan, an association of microfinance institutions (MFIs), said on Thursday that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had accorded it the status of a self-regulatory organization (SRO), which will give it the powers to monitor MFIs and ensure the lenders are in compliance with the rules. ...
Morocco’s Microfinance Market, ‘Stable, Primed for Growth’: IFC
March, 11 2015
Morocco - The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, conducted a study on the crisis that befell Morocco’s microfinance sector from 2009 to 2011 which showed that the Kingdom’s microfinance is “stable and primed for growth. ...
The 100% Club
March, 10 2015
Global - A growing number of high-net-worth individuals, family offices and private foundations are placing their entire portfolios into impact investments that attempt to drive positive and measurable social or environmental outcomes with various levels of financial returns ...
India: SME Contribution to Employment Increased Threefold
March, 10 2015
India - The total employment in the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) sector has increased over three times to 805.24 lakh in the Fourth All India Census of Small Scale Industries as compared to 249.33 lakh in the Third MSME Census ...
Indonesia: World Bank’s IFC to Inject $22m in Bank Mayora
March, 10 2015
Indonesia - The International Finance Corporation, the World Bank’s financing arm, is said to be planning to invest Rp 290 billion ($22 million) in mid-sized lender Bank Mayora to help finance micro, small and medium enterprises in Indonesia ...
China's Leading Alternative Lenders Adopt FICO Risk Management Technology to Strengthen Viability and Profits Amid Rapid Growth
March, 09 2015
China - FICO, the predictive analytics and decision management software company, has announced that 11 of China's leading alternative lending companies have signed to the new FICO Alternative Lending Platform as part of industry-wide efforts to upgrade risk management across China's booming P2P (peer-to-peer) and micro-loan sector. ...
The (Financial) Wisdom of the Crowd: How a Group of Non-experts Outperformed Traditional Credit Ratings at Identifying Good and Bad Borrowers
March, 09 2015
Global - A new study shows that individual peer-to peer lenders using the information given them through online loan applications can predict borrower default much better than traditional credit scoring ...
TriLinc Global Impact Fund Makes Impact Investments in Africa and Latin America
March, 09 2015
Africa and Latin America - TriLinc Global Impact Fund announced today that it has approved a total of $15.5 million in trade finance facilities to companies in South Africa, Zambia, and Argentina, bringing total financing commitments as of February 28, 2015 to $74.7 million for business expansion and socioeconomic development through its holdings in Africa and Latin America. ...
Africa: M-Pesa Takes on Cross-border Approach to Financial Transactions
March, 09 2015
Africa - Customers of Kenya’s leading telecommunication firm, Safaricom will now be able to transact money to and from Tanzania ...
Global Sustainable Investing Pegged at US$21 Trillion
March, 08 2015
Global - The global sustainable investment market has grown substantially in both absolute and relative terms, according to The Global Sustainable Investment Review 2014, a report released by the Global Sustainable Investment Alliance (GSIA) ...
Pakistan: Number of Micro-savers Increases 43%
March, 08 2015
Pakistan - Registering an increase of 43% on a year-on-year basis, the number of micro-savers in Pakistan reached 8.5 million at the end of 2014. ...
MasterCard and Microsoft Partner to Promote Financial Inclusion in Mexico
March, 06 2015
Mexico - MasterCard and Microsoft announced a partnership to promote economic development in Mexico by supporting the base of the economy, the micro merchant, through comprehensive projects and innovative solutions in information technology, communication and payments ...
How Impact Philanthropy is Shape-shifting
March, 06 2015
Global - A study by Exponent Philanthropy suggests philanthropists and family foundations are becoming more impact-oriented, doling out fewer grants but with larger dollar amounts given to only the top-performing nonprofits ...
Anton Simanowitz and Katherine Knotts: Drowning in Debt - The Growing Threat to Cambodia's Poor?
March, 06 2015
Cambodia - In a growing microfinance market, some Cambodians are juggling as many as six separate loans. How can MFIs balance ethical concerns with commercial interest ...
Global Impact Assets Expected to Hit $12.7 Billion for 2014
March, 05 2015
Global - Global impact investing — investments designed to generate a social or environmental impact as well as often targeting a competitive investment return — were expected to grow to $12.7 billion last year, up 20% from the previous year, according to a report released Thursday by Global Impact Investing Network ...
Funding the Unfunded: India Helps Small Business Borrow to Grow
March, 05 2015
India - MUDRA bank - to be set up with $3.2 billion of capital to help microfinancing firms to lend more - should help leverage up firms which account for 40 percent of India's exports, just as India tries to rekindle growth, lenders and entrepreneurs say ...
Indonesia: State Lenders to Resume Govt-backed Micro Loan Project
March, 05 2015
Indonesia - Major state-owned lenders Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI), Bank Negara Indonesia (BNI) and Bank Mandiri are set to resume the disbursement of micro loans (KUR), which was suspended in January following reports of rising non-performing loans (NPLs) ...
India: Funding Costs of NBFC-MFIs Likely to Come Down - Icra
March, 05 2015
India - The cost of funds of NBFC-MFIs (Non-Banking Finance Company-Micro Finance Institutions) could come down by 100-400 basis points depending on the share of funding they are able to receive from the proposed Mudra (Micro Units Development and Refinance Agency) Bank, according to Icra. ...
Egypt and MasterCard to Partner on Digital ID Programme
March, 04 2015
Egypt - Egypt’s government has signed an agreement with MasterCard on a national ID programme that aims to see financial services made available to 54 million Egyptians ...
Indonesia: BTPN Secures 300mn USD Loan from IFC, SMBC
March, 04 2015
Indonesia - International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) will lend PT Bank Tabungan Pensiunan Nasional Tbk (BTPN) another 300 million USD to facilitate lending to low-income families, micro and small businesses, and women entrepreneurs, Antara News reported ...
Smart Digital Unit and Cash Credit to Offer Mobile-based Microfinance in the Philippines
March, 03 2015
Philippines - “Cash Credit’s pioneering expertise in aggregating, analyzing and applying data to offer innovative microfinance solutions will further promote electronic financial access among the underbanked and unbanked segments of the Philippine’s population. ...
Mobile Money Goes Global in 2015 Reports GSMA
March, 03 2015
Global - In its 2014 State of the Industry: Mobile Financial Services for the Unbanked report, the GSMA highlighted the “dizzying growth” of the sector over the last few years and noted that there are now 250 mobile money services in 89 countries ...
India: Equitas Finance Raises $16M from Franklin Templeton Mutual Fund via NCDs
March, 02 2015
India - This is one of the biggest NCD placements by the company since its inception in 2011 and Franklin Templeton subscribed on a private placement basis. It did not provide more details on the price and number of NCDs it issued ...
New Microfinance Bank Licensed in Kenya
March, 01 2015
Kenya - The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has granted a licence to Daraja Microfinance Bank Limited (Daraja MFB), making it the tenth microfinance bank in the country. ...

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