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Oct 2016
B. P. Lagua: Improving the Microfinance Model
October, 31 2016
Global - Micro lending and microfinance are not perfect solutions but cannot be overlooked in the war against poverty. What is important is to address its weaknesses and shortcomings and to move forward with solutions that will ensure that the impact to a bigger portion of participants will be positive by way of a better quality of life. ...
Fintech Holds the Key to Myanmar's Future
October, 31 2016
Myanmar - The circumstances are changing, thanks to Wave Money and other financial tech platforms that are democratizing financial services in the country. Access to online services has skyrocketed in Myanmar in recent years, with mobile phone penetration reaching at least 50% and 80% of first-time phone buyers choosing smartphones. Mobile phone penetration was roughly 10% in 2014 ...
India: an Initiative for Empowerment of Tribal Women
October, 29 2016
India - A project has been launched to improve livelihood, capacity building and popularise thrift among 1,000 tribal women in Anantagiri mandal ...
GGF Partners with AFK to Support Green Financing in Kosovo
October, 28 2016
Kosovo - The Green for Growth Fund announced a EUR 1 million senior loan to Agency for Finance in Kosovo in a deal that further expands and diversifies the fund’s geographic and operational scope with financing for Kosovo’s developing energy efficiency market, according to GGF’s press release ...
Colombia, Peru Tied for First Place in New Report on Global Financial Inclusion
October, 27 2016
Peru, Colombia - Peru earned the top spot in the overall ranking of enabling environments for financial inclusion for the tenth year in a row, but for the first time shares its number one position with another country, Colombia, the Multilateral Investment Fund revealed ...
Easypaisa Service Removes Account Restrictions for Money Transfer in Pakistan
October, 27 2016
Pakistan - Pakistan’s first and largest branchless banking service Easypaisa has introduced money transfer from Easypaisa Account to any mobile number ...
Nigeria: How Housewives Ended Poverty with Agro Credit
October, 27 2016
Nigeria - The federal government and the International Fund for Agricultural Development-a specialized agency of the United Nations dedicated to eradicating rural poverty in developing countries, implemented Rural Finance Institution Building Programme(RUFIN) ...
Global Bodies Advance Dialogue on Supervision of Digital Finance at the Third GPFI/FSI Conference
October, 26 2016
Switzerland - Innovative digital technologies play a key role in advancing financial inclusion worldwide, and the rapid growth of ‘mobile money’ is an entry point for providing broader financial services to many low-income families. These opportunities and the new regulatory challenges were the theme of the Third GPFI/FSI Conference on Standard-Setting Bodies and Innovative Financial Inclusion, held in Basel, in 26-27 October ...
DFS Readiness and Interest: Critical Components for Market Uptake in Benin
October, 26 2016
Benin - In actuality, a consumer’s choice could be extremely limited due to non-financial factors that inhibit the uptake of financial services, particularly digital financial services. Literacy, numeracy, mobile phone ownership, ability to text, education and “know your customer” requirements are real barriers to uptake in the Benin market. And, these barriers are prohibitive. ...
The Father of M-Pesa on Being Innovative in Africa
October, 26 2016
Global - Nick Hughes is known for being at the forefront of innovation in Africa. He is responsible for founding and developing the M-Pesa mobile payments service in the mid-2000s while working at Vodafone. Today the platform is hailed as one of Africa’s top success stories ...
Rwanda: AMIR, SEEP and Mastercard in Partnership to Promote Transparency in Microfinance Sector
October, 26 2016
Rwanda - An initiative that seeks to enhance consumer protection and promote responsible financing has been launched in Kigali. The second phase of the Responsible Finance through Local Leadership and Learning programme also seeks to promote financial transparency in the microfinance industry ...
K. Stack & S. Hollingworth: Grameen Foundation and Freedom from Hunger Unite as One Global Organization
October, 25 2016
Global - Grameen Foundation and Freedom from Hunger are proud to announce that we have joined forces to form a single unified organization ...
African Economies Adopt Record Number of Reforms, Says Doing Business 2017 Report
October, 25 2016
Global - Government policy plays a huge role in the daily operations of domestic small and medium-sized firms and onerous regulation can divert the energies of entrepreneurs away from developing their businesses or innovating ...
Kenya: SMEs Shun Banks, Turn to Family for Start-up Cash
October, 24 2016
Kenya - The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) says in a newly-released report that 80.6 per cent of establishments use family or own funds as the main source of start-up capital while another 4.2 per cent of business owners get loans from family or friends to start their businesses. ...
EBRD Funds Residential Energy Efficiency in Kyrgyz Republic with FMCC
October, 24 2016
Kyrgyzstan - The EBRD is committing new local currency loans worth US$ 1 million in the Kyrgyz Republic to support improvements in energy and water efficiency in the south of the country ...
India: Crop Insurance - Micro Agents Can Now Sell Govt-sponsored Schemes
October, 24 2016
India - In a move that can expand the reach of crop insurance schemes, micro insurance agents have now been permitted to sell government-sponsored crop insurance products to farmers ...
Africa: Rwanda's Financial Inclusion Story is Impressive, Challenging
October, 24 2016
Rwanda - According to the recently concluded FINSCOPE 2016 survey, 89 per cent of the Rwandan population has access to financial services delivered through both formal and informal financial institutions. The government has set a 100 per cent financial inclusion target by 2020 ...
Nepal: Worried of Fund Crunch, MFIs Seek Permission to Mobilize Deposits
October, 24 2016
Nepal - Microfinance institutions (MFIs) have sought permission to mobilize deposit from public after their traditional source of fund is likely to dry up following the new requirement for commercial banks to extend 2 percent of their total loans to deprived sector ...
Philippines: Farmers, Microfinanciers Insured vs Crop Damage
October, 22 2016
Philippines - Farmers will better hedge against crop damage by pests or natural disasters under the Binhi Crop Insurance Program launched by non-life insurer, CARD Pioneer Microinsurance Inc ...
India: Meet Held to Sensitise Tribal Women on Micro Credit
October, 22 2016
India - Nearly 1200 women from various village panchayats in the agency areas of the district gathered at a convention to discuss long-term entrepreneurship plans basing on the opportunities in NTFP (non-timber forest products) value addition process, marketing, agro based, petty trade need based activities and livestock promotion interventions ...
Dar Reviews Arrangements for Pakistan Microfinance Investment Company Launch
October, 21 2016
Pakistan - Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has said providing micro-credit to the underprivileged segments of society is the top most priority of the government ...
B. Goslar, JUMO: Reading the Signs - Using Mobile Data to Empower Customers and Address the Literacy Challenge in Financial Inclusion
October, 19 2016
Global - The implications of limited access to education is a burden balanced unfavourably against women and youth, not surprisingly then, CGAP has described literacy as a “hidden hurdle” in the pursuit of financial inclusion. The good news is that hurdles can be overcome, however, the solutions come at a cost and therefore need to be intelligently targeted ...
Inter-American Development Bank: Honduras to Launch Ciudad Mujer with IDB Support
October, 19 2016
Honduras - The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has approved two loans totaling $20 million to implement the Ciudad Mujer program in Honduras. ...
Tanzania: In Praise of Microfinance for Anti-Poverty Drive
October, 19 2016
Tanzania - UN facts indicates that 836 million people still live in extreme poverty; About one in five persons in developing regions lives on less than USD 1.25 per day; and the overwhelming majority of people living on less than USD 1.25 a day belong to two regions: Southern Asia and Sub- Saharan Africa ...
Microfinance: Creativity Against Poverty
October, 19 2016
Global - Muhammad Yunus is a banker who talks as if he’s an artist. The Nobel Peace Prize-winning founder of the microfinance movement that provides loans to people excluded from the financial system says he sees entrepreneurship as a creative endeavour ...
Nepal: MFIs Work on New Banking Platform
October, 18 2016
Nepal - Thirty-four Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) have come together to invest in an IT company—Nepal Finsoft Limited—to launch a world-class core banking and management information system (MIS) solutions platform ...
Kenyan Bank Strives to Promote Women Development
October, 18 2016
Kenya - Kenya Women Microfinance Bank, a deposit-taking microfinance institution, has introduced products favorable to progressive development of women in the country ...
India: Micro Finance, Money with Meaning
October, 18 2016
Global - The MFI industry today is in the midst of a radical transformation that aims to take the socially driven sector out of the throes of mediocre management to a professionally plying, well governed organisation. The larger message of financial inclusion, the overlying culture of cooperating communities and the perennial pursuit of perishing poverty needs to remain at the core of how these institutions function and achieve their greater goals. ...
European Investment Bank & World Bank Group Partner to Support Entrepreneurs in the Middle East & North Africa
October, 18 2016
MENA - An agreement to partner on a new joint initiative to support first time entrepreneurs, and in particular young people and women, was signed on October 17 in Washington DC by the European Investment Bank and the World Bank Group ...
Emerging Opportunities for Digital Finance in Indonesia
October, 17 2016
Indonesia - With more than 100 million unbanked adults, Indonesia is the third largest unbanked market in the world after India and China. Yet there are signs that the time is right for that to change ...
Sri Lanka: Fighting Poverty
October, 17 2016
Sri Lanka - Regulating financial services for the poor in Sri Lanka: A closer look at the long-awaited Microfinance Act. Considering that the poor and vulnerable are the target group of clients in the sector, it is unarguably important to ensure proper regulation and supervision of the industry. To this effect, the long awaited Microfinance Act (No. 06 of 2016) came into effect from July 2016, after several drafts over nearly a decade. The Microfinance Act is expected to be beneficial to the clients, providers and the microfinance industry as a whole ...
What Ever Happened to Microfinance?
October, 17 2016
Global - You’d be forgiven for thinking microfinance has gone wildly out of fashion. The “development caravan”—defined as the wagon train of poverty interventions that excite donors—has pulled away from micro-lending, drawn to more powerful things like BRAC-style graduation programmes (which aim to “graduate” people from extreme poverty into a sustainable livelihood) and bKash-like mobile money, according to recent coverage in The Economist. ...
Thailand: Nanofinance to Fight Loan Sharks
October, 13 2016
Thailand - The Bank of Ayudhya (BAY) has branched into nanofinance, aiming for loans outstanding of 170 million baht by the end of 2017. 'Nano' means a 'very small amount' and 'finance' means 'providing money for something'. So, the basic idea is very small loans, such as the typical emergency loan that families sometimes need to deal with school or medical expenses. ...
One Funder Intrigued by New Ways to Finance Education in Poor Countries: Gates
October, 13 2016
Global - Microfinance is a comparatively small component of Gates’ financial inclusion portfolio, which has awarded close to $950 million in grants since 2005. But we’re talking about Gates, so its microfinance grants still amount to a pretty good chunk of change. Of those investments, though, very few have gone to support microfinance models related to education ...
Ghana: Fisherfolk to Benefit from Micro-insurance Initiative
October, 13 2016
Ghana - An agreement to establish a life micro-insurance initiative to benefit 135,000 individuals in the fishing community has been signed in Accra ...
India: Microfinance Boom Catches Attention of Private Banks
October, 12 2016
India - The rapid growth in the microfinance space seems to have caught the attention of private sector banks, which have lately been getting aggressive in tapping the opportunity at the bottom of the pyramid, either through acquisition of microfinance firms or by buying minority stakes in them ...
Fitch: FinTech Presents Opportunities & Challenges for Mexico
October, 12 2016
Mexico - Financial Technology companies (FinTech) are becoming important players in the Mexican financial system and could support financial inclusion, says Fitch Ratings. As a Latin American market with significant growth opportunities for FinTech, these companies could help increase the country's financial intermediation levels, which are among the lowest in the region ...
Myanmar: Start-up Takes on Moneylenders with Short-term Microfinance Loan Options
October, 12 2016
Myanmar - Myanmar’s moneylenders have a captive customer base of poor households unable to access traditional bank or microfinance services. But a Yangon-based start-up is working on a system to offer small short-term loans that can compete directly with local loan sharks ...
Digital Finance and Innovations in Financing for Education
October, 11 2016
Global - The Sustainable Development Goals aim to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.” To fulfill this goal will require, among other things, action to reduce the financial burden faced by households in sending their children to school ...
Why We Need to Start Talking about Operational Inefficiencies
October, 11 2016
Global - Improving efficiency is a challenging, never-ending task and requires continuous adaptation to ever-evolving environments. All efficiency improvements come with risks, and there are no universal solutions for improving operational efficiency. Instead, the risks specific to each microlender must be weighed and duly managed through careful planning, sequencing and coordination ...
Kiva and The MasterCard Foundation Announce Five-Year Project to Expand Financial Access Among African Smallholder Farmers and Rural Populations
October, 11 2016
Africa - The project aims to push the boundaries of microcredit by developing, scaling and replicating high-impact, client-centered loan products. ...
Uganda: Mybucks Enters Uganda with 49 Percent Stake in Opportunity Bank
October, 11 2016
Uganda - MyBucks, a Luxembourg-based financial technology (fintech) firm has acquired a 49 per cent stake in Opportunity Bank Uganda Limited as it seeks to expand its African presence ...
India: Overseas Investors Max Out Investments in Equitas, Ujjivan
October, 10 2016
India - According to the shareholding data available on BSE for June quarter, foreign funds now own 48.13 per cent in Equitas Holdings, while in Ujjivan they own 47 per cent of the total equity base ...
India vs. Pakistan: The Pros and Cons of Two Radically Different Digital ID Systems
October, 10 2016
India and Pakistan - Selecting the right system has far more to do with the context for which it is intended – including the population size and density, political environment, electrification, connectivity and government interests – than with any technical factors. Countries such as Liberia or Malawi, which have both expressed interest in deploying digital identity solutions, can of course absorb many valuable lessons from the Aadhaar and NADRA experiences – so long as they are also prepared to look carefully at the characteristics at play in their own backyards. ...
ADB, Citi to Mobilize $100 M Loans for Microfinance in Developing Asia
October, 08 2016
Global - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has partnered with the Citi Group to mobilize $100 million worth of loans to microfinance institutions in developing Asia under its Microfinance Risk Participation and Guarantee Program. ...
Your Inflexible Friend
October, 08 2016
Global - In many countries, lifting restrictions on interest rates would encourage lenders to create better products. A calibration of expectations would help, too. Microlending has gone from being the silver bullet to end poverty, to the poor man’s snare, to largely ignored. It would be better to think of it as a vital work in progress. ...
MIF and Swiss Government Partner to Launch the First Social Impact Bond Fund in Colombia
October, 07 2016
Colombia - The Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), in partnership with the Government of Switzerland, through its State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), and the government of Colombia, through its Department for Social Prosperity (DPS), are launching an innovative pay-for-success model to improve urban employment for vulnerable groups in Colombia ...
Brazil Launches New Credit Line to Stimulate Micro, Small Enterprises
October, 06 2016
Brazil - Brazilian President Michel Temer announced Wednesday the opening of a new credit line worth 30 million reais ($9.31 million) with low interest rates to stimulate growth among the country's micro and small enterprises ...
Azerbaijan: Microfinance Market to be Remodelled
October, 06 2016
Azerbaijan - Microfinance organizations of the country are currently engaged in the revision of their policy and strategy with a view to facilitate a number of procedures connected with the return of a credit ...
Making Microfinance More Effective
October, 05 2016
Global - For the 2.5 billion people who live on less than $2 per day, shocks such as illness, crop failures, livestock deaths, farming-equipment breakdowns and even wedding or funeral expenses can be enough to tip them, their families, or even an entire community below the poverty line. A major challenge for international development efforts is determining which financial tools provide durable buffers against such setbacks ...
Symbiotics, UBS Raise $50m for SME Finance- Loans for Growth Fund
October, 05 2016
Global - Symbiotics, a Switzerland-based for-profit investment intermediary, and United Bank of Switzerland (UBS) recently raised USD 50 million for their newly launched SME Finance – Loans for Growth Fund, which will provide credit to financial institutions focused on lending to small and medium-sized enterprises in “frontier and emerging markets. ...
In Rural Bangladesh, Solar Power Dents Poverty
October, 04 2016
Bangladesh - In terms of individual units served (rather than total wattage), Bangladesh has become one of the world’s largest markets for home solar systems ...
Top 7 Vendors in the Micro-insurance Market in the Philippines from 2016 to 2020: Technavio
October, 03 2016
Philippines - Technavio has announced the top seven leading vendors in their recent micro-insurance market in the Philippines report. To calculate the market size, Technavio considered the total premium from the micro-insurance segment in the Philippines. ...
EBRD Credit Line to Support Small Businesses in Kyrgyzstan
October, 03 2016
Kyrgyzstan - The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is boosting support to private entrepreneurship in Kyrgyzstan by providing a local currency credit line to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in the country, the EBRD said on September 30 ...
India: Ujjivan Mulls Digital Steps for Rural Customers
October, 01 2016
India - The bank plans to use Aadhaar e-KYC to open accounts, use hand held devices for verification; have mobile ATM services ...
India: Arman Reduces Interest Rates for Microfinance, Two Wheeler Loans
October, 01 2016
India - Interest rates for its microfinance products (managed through its wholly owned subsidiary Namra Finance) will be reduced by 1.10%, while the interest rates for its Two-Wheeler Loan products will be reduced by 1.50% ...
RBL Bank Acquires 9.99% Stake in Utkarsh Micro Finance
October, 01 2016
Global - RBL Bank has acquired 9.99% stake in Utkarsh Micro Finance (UMFL) in what is a strategic move to reach out to the unbanked and under-banked segments of society. ...

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