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Apr 2014
Linda Jones and Katie Turner, Mennonite Economic Development Associates: Big Challenges for Small Business
April, 30 2014
Global - Small and medium-sized enterprises, or SMEs, are vital to development. A subset of SMEs known as small and growing businesses, or SGBs, is particularly important. Yet, too often, such businesses fail to attract the investment capital or support services necessary to their continued growth ...
Tilman Ehrbeck, CEO, CGAP: Microcredit Impact Revisited
April, 29 2014
Global - While the "does microfinance work" debate might continue between proponents and skeptics, the emerging bigger picture around impact is quite clear. We are seeing more and more examples of how appropriate financial services can help improve individual and household welfare and spur small enterprise activity. ...
Paraguay: Putting Poverty Alleviation in the Hands of the Impoverished
April, 29 2014
Paraguay - Located in the middle of South America, landlocked Paraguay has been experiencing dramatic economic growth as well as significant reduction in poverty levels. The government recently reported that in the past three years, the percentage of people living below the poverty line has been reduced from 32 to 24 percent ...
India: Lok Capital Makes Partial Exit from RuralShores Business
April, 29 2014
India - Lok Capital, an India-focused venture capital fund concentrating on microfinance, education and healthcare, on Tuesday said it has exited from the investment made in Bangalore-based RuralShores Business Services Pvt. Ltd from Lok Capital Fund I in 2009 ...
SMEs in Developing World Need N320trn - IFC
April, 28 2014
Global - The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank Group has estimated the financial needs of small and medium scale enterprises in Africa and other developing countries at more than $2 trillion (about N320 trillion) ...
Jamaica: Micro-financiers Welcome Collateral Registry
April, 27 2014
Jamaica - The Jamaica Micro Financing Association (JaMFA) has expressed support for the Companies Office of Jamaica’s (COJ) efforts to get the full participation of microfinance institutions (MFIs) in the functioning of the new National Collateral Registry ...
Diana Taylor and Michael Schlein, Accion: How Big Data Can Expand Financial Opportunities for The World's Poor
April, 25 2014
Global - In the developed world, many on the margins are rejected by banks, not because they have a bad credit history but because they have no credit history at all – or at least, none that was easily discernable. Big data can increasingly make the invisible visible, which will benefit everyone involved ...
Brigit Helms, Director, Speed Project: We Need Disruption in Financial Inclusion
April, 23 2014
Global - Microcredit was a business model disruption in the banking sector. Today, to offer the full range of high-quality financial services required by the majority of the world's people, we need to find the next major business model to disrupt microcredit ...
Danielle Piskadlo, Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion: Passing the Baton, but to Whom? Considerations for Investors
April, 23 2014
Global - You may have noticed an uptick in headlines over the past few months announcing the selling of microfinance equity shares. Here are a few examples: Accion sells 15 percent stake in Paraguay’s El Comercio to Incofin’s Rural Impulse Fund; Grupo ACP sells its 60.68 percent stake in Peru’s MiBanco to Edyficar; Triodos sells stake in Cambodia’s ACLEDA Bank to ORIX Corporation ...
Tanzania Set to Relax Its Rules On Capital Controls
April, 22 2014
Tanzania - The Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange (DSE) is set for thriving business and huge expansion as the government plans to increase participation of foreign investors in the listed equities and allow them to buy government bonds ...
Lender to Women Leads Push to Get Poor to Banks in India
April, 22 2014
India - Bandhan Financial Services Pvt., India’s first microlender to get a banking permit, said deposits will help lower funding costs as it expands into credit for companies to sustain profits as a bank. ...
Paul Polak and Mal Warwick: Who Will Grab the Fortune at the Base of the Pyramid?
April, 21 2014
Global - In a recent post on NextBillion, Stuart Hart, who coauthored The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid with C.K. Prahalad, wrote with concern about the potential of creating disruptive innovations for poor customers that can trickle up to Western markets. ...
Azerbaijan`s Postal Office Prepares for Granting Micro Loans
April, 20 2014
Azerbaijan - The Azerbaijani postal operator, "Azerpoct" LLC is preparing for provision of micro-credit services. The postal operator intends to apply to the Central Bank of Azerbaijan for obtaining a license in this regard. ...
India: Bandhan Sees 37% Growth in Gross Loan Portfolio
April, 19 2014
India - For 2013-14, Bandhan, India's largest microfinance institution (MFI), has registered 37 per cent annual growth in its gross loan portfolio at Rs 6,200 crore, about a fifth of India's MFI sector ...
Bangladesh: Rehabilitation and Attack
April, 19 2014
Bangladesh - The biggest study so far finds that microcredit helps the poor after all ...
Maria A. May, Senior Program Manager, BRAC Social Innovation Lab: The Challenge of Scaling Digitally
April, 18 2014
Global - Consequently, like many community-based organizations in Bangladesh, BRAC is deeply skeptical about emerging technologies: They seem to lack the critical human dimension of grassroots interaction that has proven instrumental for decades ...
An Interview with Brazil's Financial Pioneer
April, 17 2014
Brazil - Joaquim de Melo's strategy is simple: use social currencies (the sharing of information and human support) along with community networks to foster financial inclusion in remote communities. ...
The Startup Providing Solar Lighting to India's Poorest Communities
April, 17 2014
India - Bottom-of-the-pyramid customers are 'the most ruthless on the face of this Earth' says cleantech entrepreneur Ajaita Shah ...
Tanzania: Postal Bank Focuses on Financial Inclusion
April, 16 2014
Tanzania - Briefing a news conference in Dar es Salaam, the TPB Chief Executive Officer, Mr Sabasaba Moshingi, said despite the competitive banking environment, TPB has continued to register outstanding performance having an end goal of achieving financial inclusion ...
Kenya Shakes Up Mobile Money by Licensing Three MVNOs
April, 15 2014
Kenya - The Communications Commission of Kenya has licensed three new MVNOs – Mobile Pay, Finserve Africa and Zioncell Kenya – with the potential to disrupt the country’s mobile money market, currently dominated by Safaricom’s M-Pesa ...
Africa: Sub-Saharan Africa World's Second Fastest Economy - IMF
April, 14 2014
Africa - Sub-Saharan Africa is still the second fastest growing region in the world, growing at a rate of about 6.5 percent, IMF Managing Director, Christine Lagarde, has said ...
Gary Carrier, University of California, Berkeley: Better Loans for Better Housing
April, 14 2014
Global - Strategic partnerships that create and generate market-based opportunities should be increasingly recognized as a viable approach to alleviating the low-income housing deficit in Latin America and across the developing world. ...
Firms Investing in Social Sector Have Deployed $1.6 bn in India Since 2000
April, 14 2014
India - Sectors like microfinance institutions (MFIs), financial inclusion (non-MFI) and healthcare together received 82% of the investment. The microfinance sector got 54%, followed by financial inclusion and healthcare at 17% and 11% respectively. ...
Social Impact Funds Make an Impression
April, 13 2014
Global - While a number of impact investment management companies have been in existence for a while, such as the UK’s Bridges Ventures, French insurer and investment manager Axa Group believes it is breaking new ground with its €150m social impact fund ...
India: Bandhan Signals Competition for Rural Microfinance
April, 12 2014
India - One big implication of the grant of a banking licence to Bandhan Financial Services on the basis of its 13-year record in micro-lending to the poor and disadvantaged is the likely impact on the nascent market for deposits in rural areas. ...
IFC Finance and CRDB Bank Commit to Support SME and Agribusiness Sectors in Tanzania
April, 11 2014
Tanzania - The investment will promote financing for women-owned businesses, as well for farmers, capitalizing on CRDB Bank's position as a leader in financial inclusion in Tanzania. ...
Azerbaijan: AccessBank Obtained $60 Million Syndicated Credit for Microcredits Financing
April, 11 2014
Azerbaijan - Today AccessBank OJSC has signed the agreement on taking out the largest syndicated credit in amount of $60 million ...
Increasing Financial Inclusion to the Unbanked in Africa
April, 11 2014
Africa - In terms of financial growth, Africa is a region ripe with potential – and concrete demand. Building the strong infrastructure needed for full financial inclusion – from innovative technologies to an informed clientele – will require patience, expertise, and support from investors, practitioners, and clients alike ...
Digital Finance: Empowering the Poor via New Technologies
April, 10 2014
Global - Delivering financial services through technological innovations, including via mobile money, can be a catalyst for the provision and use of a diverse set of other financial services – including credit, insurance, savings, and financial education ...
Can Social Enterprises Really Solve Poverty?
April, 08 2014
Global - In the fight against poverty, one of the most exciting developments in recent years has come in the form of a new kind of business. It goes by many names: social enterprises, inclusive businesses, market-based solutions to poverty, among others. ...
China Commercial Credit Launches Pride Lending Club Online Loan Portal
April, 08 2014
China - China Commercial Credit, Inc. CCCR +4.05% , a microfinance company whose current major business is providing microcredit loans and loan guarantees to small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs), farmers and individuals in Jiangsu Province, today said it has launched Pride Lending Club, an online loan portal subsidiary pairing prospective borrowers with willing lenders and qualified loan guarantors throughout China. ...
Rwanda: Only New Products Will Keep MFIs Growing
April, 08 2014
Rwanda - It's only through intensified advocacy and product innovation that the micro finance institutions will deliver on the country's economic objectives, experts have said ...
Paraguay: Incofin Investment Management’s Rural Impulse Fund Acquires 15% Equity Stake in Financiera El Comercio
April, 07 2014
Paraguay - Rural Impulse Fund II (RIF II), which is managed by Belgian microfinance fund manager Incofin Investment Management (Incofin IM), recently announced that it has acquired a 15.3-percent stake in Financiera El Comercio (FIELCO), a microfinance institution focused on rural and agricultural markets in Paraguay ...
Miriam Bruhn, the World Bank: How are Financial Capability and Financial Access Linked? Insights from Colombia and Mexico
April, 07 2014
Mexico & Colombia - These results suggest that the increase in access points through banking correspondents has not been sufficient ...
Calvert Foundation and Bank of America Partner to Invest in Women
April, 03 2014
Global - Bank of America's $10 million investment will support the economic and social advancement of women in developing countries. ...
Microlender Trumps Billionaires to Win India Bank Permit
April, 03 2014
India - A banking permit “validates the microfinance business model” in India, C.S. Ghosh, Bandhan’s chairman and managing director, told Bloomberg TV India yesterday. The microlender will continue to focus on rural areas, he said. ...
Kenya: Old Mutual Completes Faulu Acquisition
April, 01 2014
Kenya - Life insurer, Old Mutual, says it has completed the deal to acquire a majority stake in Kenya’s financial services firm, Faulu Microfinance Bank ...
Sri Lanka: NDB Raises US $ 125 Mn with IFC
April, 01 2014
Sri Lanka - National Development Bank has been provided with a US$125 million financing package by IFC, a member of the World Bank Group to expand access to finance for over 50,000 micro, small and medium enterprises over the next four years, an official statement by IFC said ...

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