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Fairtrade Makes Long-Term Loans a Reality
May, 30 2012
Global - Fairtrade is launching a new fund which will meet producers’ demand for long term loans. The Fairtrade Access Fund will launch in Latin America later in the year and expand into Africa and Asia in a second phase ...
Ethiopia: World Bank Provides Funding to Unleash the Economic Potential of Women Entrepreneurs
May, 24 2012
Washington D.C. - The World Bank's Board of Executive Directors today approved a US$50 million credit from the International Development Association (IDA*) for the Women Entrepreneur Development Project to help open doors for female entrepreneurs in Ethiopia and give them access to appropriate skills and employment opportunities to contribute to the country's economic growth ...
Yes, Microfinance Does Work. Here's How...
May, 24 2012
London, UK - By now, anyone with an interest in microfinance or poverty alleviation has read the criticism. There are tragic crises in Andhra Pradesh, the regrettable stepping-down of Muhammad Yunus from Grameen, and provocative headlines in the media claiming to refute microcredit's effectiveness. However, I feel strongly that if readers listen only to the white noise, they'll do themselves and the microfinance industry a disservice and, more to the point, they'll be misled ...
Measuring Success: Microcredit in Perspective
May, 23 2012
Global - We’ve always known that microcredit is not a panacea.
During the heady days of the microcredit revolution in the 1980s and 90s, I was part of a veritable village of practitioners. It was a remarkable group of driven, passionate, and often iconoclastic individuals. We lived in our own Utopia, defining and inventing the concept of social enterprise. But even then we knew that our microcredit efforts weren’t perfect ...
India: Microfinance Bill introduced in Lok Sabha
May, 22 2012
India - The government on Tuesday introduced the much-awaited legislation governing microfinance institutions (MFIs) in the Lok Sabha, seeking to empower the central bank to regulate the sector and provide an overarching legislative framework for it ...
Sri Lanka: Unregulated Microfinance
May, 22 2012
Sri Lanka - Microfinance seems the flavour of choice among financial service providers today in Sri Lanka. Almost all financial service providers ranging from licensed commercial banks, finance companies, Non-Government Organisations, cooperatives, money lenders, pawn brokers, cheetu schemes (Rotating Savings and Credit Associations – ROSCAs), registered voluntary social service organisations, registered societies, etc. are all promoting themselves as providers of microfinance to the poor and the marginalised ...
Sustainable Development Is The Only Way Forward
May, 21 2012
Global - Development co-operation needs to shift focus from poverty eradication to a broader, more inclusive framework. The term "sustainable development" emerged in the 1970s and 80s as awareness grew of the natural limits within which human development takes place. Despite near-universal recognition that it is a powerful unifying concept, bringing together social, economic and environmental factors, it has spent the 20 years since the first Rio Earth summit languishing in environment ministries ...
South Africa: Poverty - How the Other Half Live
May, 17 2012
South Africa - Loan sharks and micro-finance offices have mushroomed in South Africa's inner-city centres. The lure is attractive - borrow R10,000 and create your dream life by growing your business. But in a country where half the population lives in poverty and much more live in debt, a greater understanding of how they use money could lead to more appropriate financial services ...
Bangladesh to Probe Grameen Bank and Linked Firms
May, 17 2012
Bangladesh - Bangladesh on Wednesday set up a commission on the future of pioneering microfinance institution Grameen Bank and 54 related businesses headed by Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus.
Yunus was sacked as the head of Grameen Bank last year and the new commission is likely to raise fears about further interference in his anti-poverty work, which has earned plaudits around the world ...
Investing For Global Impact: Be Early Be Patient
May, 16 2012
Global - Over the last several years, the world has woken up to the enormous market potential of serving 2-3 billion people at the base of the economic pyramid. A growing cadre of investors recognizes that we can create new ways to meet the needs of this huge population in a sustainable, business-like way. A new wave of socially responsible funds, institutional investors, microfinance investment vehicles, banks and even conventional venture and private equity funds collectively have raised billions to invest in social enterprises ...
The Audacity of Hope
May, 14 2012
West Bengal, India - Why is poverty so hard to escape? For entire societies, and at the level of the individual, this must be one of the most basic questions that development economists seek to answer. Esther Duflo, MIT professor and one of the authors of the book “Poor Economics” is probably the best-known development economist working today. ...
Can the Microfinance Sector Help Deliver Clean Energy?
May, 14 2012
Global - Offering financial products that enable poor clients to purchase clean, low-carbon alternatives to kerosene, firewood and other conventional fuels is perhaps the most direct way in which microfinance can be mobilized to combat climate change and preserve ecological resources ...
India: Hope Springs a Trap
May, 12 2012
West Bengal, India - The idea that an infusion of hope can make a big difference to the lives of wretchedly poor people sounds like something dreamed up by a well-meaning activist or a tub-thumping politician. Yet this was the central thrust of a lecture at Harvard University on May 3rd by Esther Duflo, an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology known for her data-driven analysis of poverty. Ms Duflo argued that the effects of some anti-poverty programmes go beyond the direct impact of the resources they provide. These programmes also make it possible for the very poor to hope for more than mere survival ...
Luxembourg: Luxembourg Has 28% Responsible Investing Fund Share
May, 11 2012
Luxembourg - The European Responsible Investing Fund Survey published by ALFI, the Association of the Luxembourg Fund Industry, suggests that close to a third, 28%, of the 1,236 products identified are domiciled in the country.These funds total assets under management of €129.49bn, which compares favourably with the €5.5bn under management in specific microfinance vehicles worldwide, ALFI said ...
India Cabinet Approves Microfinance Regulation Bill
May, 10 2012
New Dehli, India - The Indian cabinet has approved a bill aimed to bring microlenders under the central bank's oversight, a minister, who declined to be named as the parliament is in session, said on Thursday. ...
What’s a Microfinance Institution Worth? The Latest News on Valuations
May, 10 2012
Washington, DC - For publically traded retail banks, valuations are at historic lows. In the microfinance industry, 2011 also saw the continued compression of valuation multiples from 2009 highs, according to the recently released Global Microfinance Equity Valuation Survey, Volume Growth and Valuation Contraction. CGAP and J.P. Morgan, with support from the Council of Microfinance Equity Funds (CMEF), publish this report annually to address the scarcity of valuation data available in the public domain ...
Updated Progress out of Poverty Index (PPI) Tool Based on 2009 NSSO Survey Data
May, 09 2012
Global - Grameen Foundation India (GFI) has launched the latest version of the Progress out of Poverty Index (PPI). The PPI is used by grass-root organizations, NGOs, social enterprises, microfinance institutions (MFIs), social investors, funders and donors to measure poverty levels, design appropriate products and solutions, and track changes over time. This tool is said to enable organizations serving the poor to understand their clients better and serve them appropriately ...
Let's Not Kid Ourselves That Financial Inclusion Will Help The Poor
May, 08 2012
Global - Funds for microfinance should not displace development spending on healthcare, education or infrastructure. Looking at the latest high-profile World Bank output promoting financial inclusion, as well as reflecting upon recent passionate comments in support of "universal financial inclusion" by the head of the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor, Tilman Ehrbeck, I couldn't stop myself from thinking "here we go again". ...
Mexico: Mexico's Credit Card
May, 07 2012
Mexico - Grupo Elektra's Ricardo Salinas Pliego makes his billions the old-fashioned way: by charging the poor usurious interest rates. In Mexico that's not a bad thing. In a country where 52% of people live on less than $80 a month, Salinas has become one of the world’s wealthiest people by selling goods--and credit--to Mexico’s working poor ...
Pakistan: A Microfinance Tool For an Entire Society
May, 07 2012
Pakistan - Microfinance in general involves providing credit to the poor, mostly located in rural areas amid focus on women. The objective is to bring them into the financial net to allow them to develop sustainable sources of livelihood, with an ultimate objective of lifting their standard of living. While perceived as a successful model of development, it has attracted its share of criticism in recent past ...
China: Nonprofit Microfinance Platform Wokai to Close
May, 02 2012
China - Microfinance platform Wokai announced today via an email to contributors and a public letter on its official site that the non-profit company is “starting the process of winding down Wokai and concluding operations.” ...
Asia: ADB Secures More Than $12 Billion to Help Asia's Poorest
May, 02 2012
Asia - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has secured Special Drawing Rights 7.9 billion ($12.4 billion) for the next four-year phase of its concessional development fund that will provide critical financial support to fight poverty in the Asia and Pacific region ...
Tapping the Next Big Thing in Emerging-Market Banking
May, 01 2012
London, United Kingdom - Over the next ten years, an estimated 60 percent of the growth in global banking revenues will come from emerging markets. New McKinsey research shows that a particularly attractive segment will be micro-, small, and medium-sized enterprises: the revenues they generate for banks could jump from $150 billion in 2010 to more than $350 billion by 2015 ...
Bridging the Gap in Microfinance
May, 01 2012
Mumbai, India - Many microfinance institutions—realising the strength in numbers—are using the much-maligned credit derivative to tide over the severe credit crunch that has hit the sector ...