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Jan 2008
Study: Perception of permissiveness of legal and regulatory environment in ECA
January, 31 2008
Warsaw, Poland - The MFC in its 2007 annual mapping study surveyed the MFIs on their perception of legal and regulatory environment as a conducive factor for microfinance industry development ...
Microfinance for gender equality: A dilemma?
January, 31 2008
Brazil - The discussion on empowering women in microfinance often attracts opposing views. The debate tends to crystallise at the point of clearly attributing impacts to microfinance and in particular women's empowerment. ...
IDB fund approves US $1.9 million for capacity building in Caribbean microfinance
January, 31 2008
Washington D.C., United States - The Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) today approved a US$1.9 million grant to further the development of the microfinance industry in the Caribbea ...
The first Islamic microinsurance products
January, 31 2008
Germany - After an 18-month pilot, microinsurance products are now an established product line of Allianz in Indonesia. New features, such as policies compliant with Islamic law and co-insurance for spouses, as well as a new distribution concept make the products more flexible and accessible for customers ...
India: Fast Expansion of Reach Educates Thousands More Women's Groups
January, 31 2008
United States - Freedom from Hunger's Reach initiative, which gathers the most effective self-help services from around the world and makes them available to a wide variety of local organizations serving the rural poor, is expanding rapidly in India. In just two years of operation, Freedom from Hunger has trained 190 such local organizations to deliver non-formal education to self-help groups of women across the poorest states of India. ...
Branchless Banking - Innovations Create Opportunity to Serve the Poor
January, 31 2008
Washington D.C., United States - Mobile banking and other technologies need a balanced regulatory approach ...
AfDB supports microfinance institutions in DRC
January, 30 2008
Tunis, Tunisia - Micro-enterprises and SMEs in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) will benefit from an equity investment of US$ 1.1 million in Advans Bank of Congo (ABC) and a technical assistance grant of Euros 650,000, approved by the Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB). ...
Cadbury, UNDP team up for sustainable cocoa farming
January, 28 2008
Accra, Ghana - Cadbury, the world's leading confectionery company, announced in Accra, Ghana, today the establishment of the Cadbury Cocoa Partnership together with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Ghanaian Government and other partners, in an initiative designed to secure the sustainable livelihoods of a million farmers in cocoa-growing communities across Ghana, India, Indonesia and the Caribbean ...
India: Microfinance business to touch $2 bn by 2009
January, 28 2008
India - Microfinance is fast emerging as a hot opportunity for global players with an estimated $20 billion to be invested globally and around $3 billion in India, by 2010 ...
IFC Supports Creation of Microfinance Banking Institution in Honduras
January, 27 2008
Washington, D.C, United States - IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today announced the successful completion of a financing package that helped create Banco Popular Covelo (Bancovelo), which will be the leading microfinance institution in Honduras. ...
UK backs lessons in banking to help Africa’s poor
January, 25 2008
United Kingdom - A new fund to increase financial know-how amongst the world’s poorest people was launched by International Development Secretary, Douglas Alexander ...
Kenya: Loan Defaults Imminent
January, 23 2008
Nairobi, Kenya - Thousands of small business people who lost property in post-election violence early this month have yet to resume operations exposing lenders to the risk of massive defaults ...
Azerbaijani Micro Finance Bank Re-distributes Shareholder’s Stocks
January, 23 2008
Baku, Azerbaijan - AccessHolding, a strategic investor in microfinance, has increased its share in MFBA to 16.53%, from the previous shares of 9.95%. The shares were acquired from the two existing share holders: with 545,000 coming from KfW and 177,779 from LFS Consulting (each share has a nominal value of 1 AZN). As a result of this transfer, KfW has reduced its stake from 24.95% to 20% and LFS has reduced their shares from 5.09% to 3.47%. ...
The growing influence of social entrepreneurs
January, 22 2008
United Kingdom - Ten years ago, few people had heard the term “social entrepreneur”. Now, to be a social entrepreneur is to be sought after by politicians and businessmen alike for your potential to solve big social challenges in innovative ways. Governments, increasingly struggling to meet society’s demands, are desperate for help from someone more creative than the typical bureaucrat ...
IFC Convertible Loan to Zhong An Credit Supports Microlending in China
January, 22 2008
Hong Kong - IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today signed an agreement to support Zhong An Credit, a Cayman Islands holding company with microlending operations in China. The company will use the proceeds of IFC’s $2.5 million convertible loan to grow its business and extend loans to underserved segments of the market, including microentrepreneurs, small businesses, and other small cash-generation activities that find it difficult to obtain access to finance. ...
SDC gives 100,000 dollars sponsorship to Microfinance Magazine
January, 22 2008
Mumbai, India/Bern, Switzerland - Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and Microfinance Insights, the quarterly flagship publication of the Indian investment and consulting firm Intellecap, have entered into a partnership to build an inclusive and sustainable financial sector through the development and dissemination of domain knowledge ...
India: Third World first
January, 20 2008
New Delhi, India - The rise of cellphone banking in India highlights a new trend: technology developed in the Third World is flowing back to the First ...
UNHCR signs agreement with Venezuelan "Banco del Pueblo Soberano"
January, 18 2008
Geneva, Switzerland - UNHCR has signed an agreement with the Venezuelan "Banco del Pueblo Soberano" – one of the largest micro-finance institutions of the Venezuelan government – to grant micro-credits to Colombian refugees and asylum seekers in the Venezuelan border states of Zulia, Táchira and Apure ...
Standard Chartered and China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation Sign Loan and Co-operation Agreements
January, 18 2008
United Kingdom - Standard Chartered Bank (China) Limited today signed loan and co-operation agreements with China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation (CFPA) in the Great Hall of the People, witnessed by Premier Wen Jiabao of the People's Republic of China and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. This is the first time an international bank will provide credit loan facilities to an organisation dedicated to Microfinance projects in China ...
Nigeria: CBN Licenses 107 New Micro Finance Banks
January, 18 2008
Abuja, Nigeria - Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Professor Chukwuma Soludo, has said CBN has licenced 107 newly established Micro Finance Banks (MFBs), in addition to the 600 community banks that has already been promoted to that status ...
Yemen to establish micro-finance banks
January, 17 2008
Yemen - Governor of Central Bank of Yemen (CBY) Ahmed al-Samawi said that the bank management is currently discussing a draft law related with establishing banks for microfinance in the country. ...
Social Investment Options on the Rise
January, 17 2008
United States - A flurry of new socially responsible mutual funds and products makes it easier then ever to invest in a double bottom line. Maybe it is Al Gore and the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change winning the Nobel Prize. Maybe it is the cost of gas at the pump. Maybe the Enron scandal opened investors' eyes. Perhaps the news from the Sudan has pushed investors. Whatever the reasons, more people are investing with social responsible mutual funds. Over the last year and a half, more SRI mutual funds and products have been launched, meeting consumer demands. No longer can the argument be made that SRI funds offer investors limited choices. ...
Book: Building Inclusive Financial Systems
January, 16 2008
Washington, DC, United States - Broad-based and inclusive financial systems can significantly aid financial development, reduce poverty, and expand economic opportunity in developing countries. Poor households and individuals often have difficulty obtaining financial services for a multitude of reasons, including transaction costs, perceived risk, inadequate legal and financial infrastructure, and information barriers. Yet many financial institutions have begun making profitable inroads into these underserved markets through the continuing expansion of financial access and microfinance ...
Uganda: Government to set up law for SACCOS
January, 15 2008
Kampala, Uganda - Following recent public outcry over exploitation by unlicensed micro-finance institutions, the government is in advanced stages to set up a regulatory framework to bring order in the industry. ...
U.S. Govt. Gives $20 Million As Micro-Credit To Bangladesh's BRAC
January, 15 2008
Dhaka, Bangladesh - The private investment arm of the United States government has come forward for the first time with micro-finance credit support for Bangladesh after providing credit support for the power and telecom sectors in the South Asian country, officials said in the capital, Dhaka on Tuesday. ...
Grameen Capital India Launched
January, 14 2008
India - Grameen Capital India Limited (GCI), a company formed to increase the number of poor clients reached by MFIs and livelihoods finance providers in India by integrating them into the formal financial markets, was launched today in Mumbai ...
IBM and the Future of Microfinance
January, 11 2008
United States - Two thirds of the world's population earns less than $5 a day. Among the many efforts to alleviate global poverty, one of the most promising is microfinance. As of last year, there were 3,100 microfinance institutions providing services to over 100 million people with a gross loan portfolio exceeding US$23 billion. Listen to a discussion on how these $100 loans are driving entrepreneurship and helping to build a new economy ...
SIFEM invests $6m into Azerbaijani MFBA
January, 11 2008
Baku, Azerbaijan - The Swiss Investment Fund for Emerging Markets (SIFEM), on behalf of the Swiss Confederation, allocated $6mln for the six years term to the finance micro, small and agricultural business of the country, to the Azerbaijani Micro Financing Bank (AMFB), the bank reports on 11 January. ...
Kenya: Kisumu’s economy in trouble
January, 11 2008
Kenya - A group of financial experts are casting doubts on the economic recovery of Kisumu, after protesters destroyed several businesses rendering thousands of people jobless. As a result, micro-finance and enterprise development institutions have appealed for international aid to bring the town’s battered economy back on track. ...
The Micromagic of Microcredit
January, 09 2008
United States - Microcredit has star power. In 2006, the Nobel Committee called it “an important liberating force” and awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to Muhammad Yunus, the “godfather of microcredit.” The actress Natalie Portman is a believer too; she advocates support for the Village Banking Campaign on its MySpace page. The end of poverty is “just a mouse click away,” she promises. A button on the site swiftly redirects you to paypal.com, where you can make a contribution to microcredit ­initiatives. ...
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Développement international Desjardins enter into agreement to develop financial cooperative interconnectivity in West Africa, Haiti and Vietnam
January, 09 2008
Levis, Canada - Over the next three years Développement international Desjardins (DID), a component of the Desjardins Group, will carry out a major project aimed at increasing interconnectivity among nearly 250 financial cooperatives within developing countries. The project, funded through a $9.1 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will span three continents and will initially allow 830,000 people to gain access to interconnected services, such as banking and electronic fund transfers among the financial cooperatives, with the goal of ultimately expanding into the extended DID network of partners ...
Obopay makes entry into India
January, 08 2008
Bangalore, India - US–based P2P payment and remittance service provider Obopay today formally announced its entry into India. “India is the second market where we have started our operations. Therefore, it is strategic for us,” said Aditya Menon, executive director, Obopay. ...
Afghanistan: World Bank grant seeks to ensure sustainability for microfinance
January, 08 2008
Washington, United States - The World Bank today approved a US$30 million grant to scale up the outreach of financial services from Afghanistan's successful microfinance service providers which have already provided for the financial needs and demands of many poor Afghans, especially women, in most of the provinces of Afghanistan. ...
Effect of Microfinance on Vulnerability, Poverty and Risk in Low Income Households
January, 08 2008
India - Instability and unpredictability faced by low-income households increase their vulnerability making poverty even more unbearable. Self-Help Group (SHG) program, which is the largest and fastest growing microfinance program in the developing world, has been aggressively promoted as a way of combating poverty. The paper investigates whether SHG participation does result in declining poverty and vulnerability. ...
India: UTI MF- REPCO Bank “Micro-Pension” Initiative
January, 08 2008
India - UTI Mutual Fund (UTI MF) has today entered into a customised arrangement with The Repatriates Co-op. Finance & Development Bank Ltd. (REPCO Bank) for providing the members of Self Help Groups associated with REPCO Foundation for Micro Credit, an investment opportunity through a Micro-Pension initiative under UTI-Retirement Benefit Pension Fun ...
Conference: Frankfurt Forum on Development Finance 2008
January, 07 2008
Frankfurt, Germany - The last years´ development has shown an increasing interest in discussing the topic of responsible finance. While the formal financial institutions show an increasing awareness of social responsibility, the development finance institutions are getting closer to the commercial banks in their operations. These developments can be captured under the term "responsibility", standing for social, developmental and/or environmental aspects that relate to ethical standards, or aspects of public goods – or both. ...
Nigeria: Microfinance Banks Take Centre Stage
January, 07 2008
Lagos, Nigeria - The much-awaited Microfinance Policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) formally took off on Jan. 1, 2008 to give teeth to microfinance institutions as new sources of development finance in the country ...
In Microfinance, Clients Must Come First
January, 07 2008
United States - In the debate over whether microfinance works, few microfinance institutions articulate what, exactly, their ultimate goals are and how, exactly, they will achieve them. The authors cut through the confusion by mapping a clear theory of change for microfinance. If the goal of microfinance is to alleviate poverty, they say, then MFIs should focus on helping their clients build successful enterprises, rather than on making more and bigger loans. ...
India: Tap fledgling microfinance business
January, 06 2008
India - In India, microfinance is increasingly seen to be providing a platform for the banking industry to reach out to the financially excluded sections in the country, which is around half of India’s population. ...
Kenya: Banks face risk of loans default amid business stalemate
January, 04 2008
Kenya - The risk of loan default loomed large as political violence persisted for the sixth consecutive day interfering with operations of small businesses that account for much of the recent bank lending, analysts warned ...
Smart Technology Will Help Microfinance
January, 03 2008
Mumbai, India - Independent research and advisory firm, Financial Insights, has announced the release of a new report examining the growing use and effectiveness of innovative technology solutions in microfinance initiatives. ...
Canadian financial firms offer investors role in global microfinance lending
January, 03 2008
Vancouver, Canada - The Vancity credit union and Citizens Bank of Canada offer investors a chance to support international microfinance programs and earn a return ...

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