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Jan 2017
T. Nourse, Making Cents International: Financial Inclusion for Rural Youth Starts with Adults
January, 31 2017
MENA - The challenge of youth unemployment continues to garner headlines. Recently, The New York Times described the demographic challenge under the headline, “The World Has a Problem: Too Many Young People.” ...
Mayada El-Zoghbi, Senior Financial Sector Specialist, CGAP: The SDGs and CGAP’s Future Direction
January, 30 2017
Global - The SDGs focused the world’s attention on a broad set of ambitious goals, and all of us in the development community must reflect on what they mean for our institutions. At CGAP, our strategic thinking process is giving us the opportunity to reflect on what financial inclusion can and cannot achieve ...
The Unbanked: Stop Catering for the Middle Classes and Open Up to the World
January, 30 2017
Global - So the key thing is to provide tools that trade quick and easy access for security and longer term planning, preventing unnecessary spending, and emphasising the security and certainty that banking services can provide. ...
India’s Microfinance Industry Showing Signs of Overheating, Again
January, 30 2017
India - Around 1.26 million microfinance borrowers with top-up loans have an average loan exposure of Rs45,400, much higher than the national average of Rs22,00 ...
The Green Digital Finance Alliance Launched by Ant Financial and the United Nations
January, 27 2017
Global - 2016 was the hottest year on Earth since records began in 1880. For those of us who work in financial inclusion but are fearful about our lack of progress in combating climate change, the following is a spot of good news: at the recent World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Ant Financial and the United Nations Environment Program launched the Green Digital Finance Alliance ...
World Bank Supports Bangladesh Efforts to Ensure Hygienic Sanitation for Low-income Households
January, 26 2017
Bangladesh - Over 170,000 low-income households in rural Bangladesh will have access to hygienic sanitation under the Output-Based Aid (OBA) Sanitation Microfinance Program, said the World Bank ...
FINCA Kosovo Achieves Smart Certification for Client Protection
January, 25 2017
Kosovo - Today, FINCA Kosovo, the country's largest microfinance organization, announced it received the Client Protection Certification by Smart Campaign. ...
FINCA Kosovo Achieves Smart Certification for Client Protection
January, 25 2017
Kosovo - Today, FINCA Kosovo, the country's largest microfinance organization, announced it received the Client Protection Certification by Smart Campaign. ...
D. Rozas & A. Kanze: A Tale of Four IPOs - Is Public Investment in Microfinance Becoming OK Again?
January, 25 2017
India - Rozas and Kanze agreed that the impact of the Compartamos/SKS IPOs continues to shape the industry’s approach to public investment – indeed, as Kanze pointed out, the Andhra Pradesh crisis led to the new regulatory framework and credit bureau infrastructure in India that made the Equitas/Ujjivan IPOs possible ...
India: Muthoot Microfinance Raises Equity Funding from Creation Investments
January, 24 2017
India - Muthoot Pappachan Group, a diversified financial services conglomerate with presence in various other sectors spanning across hospitality, automotive, realty, IT services, healthcare, global services and alternate energy, has raised growth capital for its microfinance business from Chicago-based PE Fund Creation Investments - thereby making it the first-ever Private Equity round of funding for any of its Group companies. The Muthoot Microfin-Creation deal is the most significant one in the BFSI and microfinance space after the Indian Government’s demonetization-digital-cashless economy initiatives. ...
IFC Helps Support Smaller Business in Kazakhstan
January, 24 2017
Kazakhstan - IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has arranged for KMF, one of the leading Kazakh microfinance institutions, a financing package in Kazakh Tenge equivalent to $44 million, helping the company to support its small business customers, including women entrepreneurs. ...
Microfinance for Refugee Populations: What We’ve Learned and Where to Go Next
January, 24 2017
Global - Refugee populations have been present throughout human history, in countries all around the globe. The long, brutal and ongoing civil war in Syria and resulting migrations of Syrian refugees have, however, increased international focus on the challenges that refugees and their host countries face, as well as on how communities at the local, national and international levels can and should respond ...
EU Grants €65m to Improve Energy Access in Zambia
January, 23 2017
Zambia - It is expected to help provide access to reliable, clean and affordable electricity services to at least 63,000 households or 300,000 people, social and public infrastructure and to micro businesses ...
MENA: FMO Backs SANAD Fund with $15mln
January, 22 2017
MENA - The investment is being made through the MASSIF Fund which is managed by FMO on behalf of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs ...
Beyond Access, Financial Inclusion Can Do More
January, 20 2017
Global - The sin committed by advocates of financial inclusion that has probably created a septum with the real world is the way all attention has been extorted from all other benefits financial inclusion can accrue to an individual besides mere access to financial products or services ...
PIMCO, Lombard Odier, Northern Trust Unveil ESG, Climate Change Funds
January, 20 2017
Global - A flurry of ESG fund announcements from major asset managers yesterday underscores the mainstreaming of responsible investment, including through its integration in asset classes beyond equities ...
India: Banking the Unbanked: MFIs Join The Digital Race
January, 19 2017
India - MFIs can mitigate risks involved in dealing with cash by switching to digital payments while customers can use safe and secure ways of making payments through mobile wallets, thus saving time and effort involved in collection and dropping off mone ...
Making Sense of Invisible Advantages in Rural African Communities
January, 18 2017
Sub-Saharan Africa - There is a definite need for development organisations and policy makers to revisit and align their development models with local realities. If properly understood and harnessed, local culture can be the basis for sustainable value creation. ...
India: Philanthropy and Impact Investing Complement Each Other
January, 18 2017
India - Many sectors that facilitate social causes in India are at a nascent stage, hence philanthropy has a distinct role to play in complementing impact investments and creating a market that can attract commercial interests later, says Geeta Goel (43), director, mission investing at Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. ...
Kenya: MasterCard Thinks Small With New Microcommerce Platform in Africa
January, 18 2017
Kenya - It's the latest sign that financial-services companies see a big opportunity in unbanked citizens ...
Fintech Start-Up Destacame Closes Seed Funding Round to Expand Access to Credit in Latin America
January, 18 2017
Chile - Chilean-based alternative credit scoring startup Destacame announced today that it has closed its seed round of financing. Funds will support the expansion of Destacame's services within Chile and into Mexico in 2017. ...
N.Haghamed, Islamic Relief Worldwide: How Islamic Finance Can Help Address Global Inequity
January, 18 2017
Global - Inequalities in global wealth distribution have never been greater, and innovative approaches are needed to achieve step-change. Just 8 people control more global wealth than the 3.6bn people who make up the poorest half of the world’s population, and nearly 25% of the 1.6 billion Muslims globally live in extreme poverty. ...
M. Onek, Mission Investors Exchange: Philanthropic Pioneers - Foundations and the Rise of Impact Investing
January, 17 2017
Global - As more and more institutions deploy impact investing to meet today’s challenges, foundations are uniquely positioned to take the lead. First and foremost, they are experienced; foundations have engaged in “mission investing,” or “social investing,” for decades—long before the term “impact investing” originated ...
Tanzania: Farmers' Soft Loan to Boost Agriculture Productivity
January, 17 2017
Tanzania - The need for investing in agriculture is increasing due to a rising global population and changing dietary preferences of the growing middle class in emerging markets toward higher value foods. ...
Bringing Private Capital to Sustainable Development
January, 17 2017
Switzerland - Many private investors already contribute to the SDGs via their philanthropic activities. They are typically less willing to invest in them via their for-profit portfolios unless they earn them comparable gains. Impact investing, which aims to generate measurable social benefits as well as compelling returns, can fill this gap ...
New CGAP Survey Finds Technology Alone Cannot Deliver Successful Interoperability in Digital Financial Services
January, 16 2017
Global - No matter how well designed the technology, interoperability in digital financial services will not reach its full potential unless the right business structure and incentives are in place, CGAP found in its new report, Digital Finance Interoperability and Financial Inclusion: A 20-Country Scan. ...
412 Microfinance Establishments Received Their Approval in Cameroon for 2017
January, 15 2017
Cameroon - The Cameroonian Minister of Finance, Alamine Ousmane Mey, has just published the list of 412 approved microfinance establishments, and therefore authorised to carry out their activities in Cameroon during 2017 ...
Letshego Acquires AFB Ghana in Second West African Acquisition
January, 13 2017
Ghana - African finance group Letshego Holdings has acquired a 100% shareholding in afb Ghana Plc. afb is a licensed non-bank financial institution and offers innovative credit products to over 60,000 customers across its network of more than 25 branch and customer access points ...
Zimbabwe: Reprieve for Microfinance Institutions
January, 13 2017
Zimbabwe - “The government has begun to amend the Microfinance Act to address its shortcomings, by among other things, providing for perpetual licenses for deposit-taking MFIs, extending the tenure of the license for the credit-only microfinance institutions . . .” Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa said on Tuesday ...
Fintech or Die: Five Ways Microfinance Can (and Must) Respond to the Digital Age
January, 12 2017
Global - MicroSave founder and managing director Graham Wright seemed to enjoy playing the provocateur at the 2016 European Microfinance Week, aiming some pointed (and well-justified) barbs at the ways fintech is being leveraged in loan products for low-income clients. ...
Nepal: NRB Caps Microfinance Lending Rates at 18 Percent
January, 12 2017
Nepal - Issuing a new circular on Tuesday, the Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) has capped the interest rate for microfinance institution in line with its policy introduced in the Monetary Policy for the Fiscal Year 2016/17. ...
Visa Welcomes Opening of Myanmar’s Domestic Payments Industry
January, 12 2017
Myanmar - Visa, the leading global payments technology company, has welcomed today’s announcement from the Central Bank of Myanmar to remove restrictions on the participation of international payments companies in Myanmar’s domestic payments industry, according to a statement on 11 January ...
Nigeria Has Highest Percentage of People Living in Poverty – PwC
January, 12 2017
Nigeria - In the paper, PwC sets out what an efficient, resilient and inclusive financial system looks like across eight key dimensions; and how leading emerging markets – Nigeria, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico and South Africa – rate against its ‘fit for purpose’ targets ...
Bharti Airtel Rolls Out India's First Payments Bank
January, 12 2017
India - Bharti Enterprises chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal said Airtel payments bank has the potential to transform lives and contribute to financial inclusion in a country where 233 million people still do not have access to banking facilities ...
Is Blockchain the Next Great Hope - or Hype?
January, 11 2017
Global - “It’s much more than about transaction efficiency or flexibility. It’s really beyond that. It could provide an identity to those who don’t have it, or promote financial inclusion. Therein lies the power of this whole thing. ...
Mobile Pay-Go Solar Hits the Ground Running in Rural Nicaragua, Panama
January, 10 2017
Central America - Growing fast in Sub-Saharan Africa, South and Southeast Asia, mobile pay-go solar is beginning to take root in Central and South America ...
Tunisia: Enda Tamweel Launches First Mobile Counters to Serve Remote Areas
January, 10 2017
Tunisia - Enda Tamweel, on Saturday, announced three mobile counters in the governorates of Jendouba, Mahdia and Nabeul to enable micro-entrepreneurs to access micro-credit in isolated and disadvantaged areas ...
T. Ogden, Financial Access Initiative: The Hidden Impact of Microcredit: Three Under-recognized Ways the Industry Can Help Emerging Markets
January, 10 2017
Global - None of these channels of impact are likely to yield measurable or noticeable impact in the short or even medium term. But they are worth considering as plausible additional ways that investing in microfinance institutions can have an impact, and if you find any of them at least somewhat plausible, they bolster “The Case for Social Investment in Microcredit. ...
MENA: The Growth of Green Finance
January, 09 2017
Jordan - Ultimately, policy interventions for supporting green SMEs, especially in developing nations, are urgently required to overcome major barriers, including knowledge-sharing, raising environmental awareness, enhancing financial sup­port, supporting skill development, improving market access and implementing green taxation ...
“Impact Investing” Inches from Niche to Mainstream
January, 07 2017
Global - More and more investors are looking beyond just financial returns ...
Indonesia Comes Out with Regulations for P2P Lending Platforms
January, 05 2017
Indonesia - Following the release of e-commerce roadmap in November, Indonesia ended 2016 by coming out with a new set of rules for the fintech sector, specifically regulating peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platforms ...
India: Transforming the Digital Payment Infrastructure
January, 05 2017
India - A unique set of circumstances allowed M-Pesa to become ubiquitous in Kenya. Crucial among them was high mobile phone penetration (83% of the adult population had access to basic mobile phones), a widespread agent network (approximately one agent for every 1,000 Kenyans) and an enabling regulatory environment. These conditions are largely absent in India. ...
T. Millay, Contributor, Forbes: USA - How Sustainable Investing Can Help You Meet Portfolio Goals Without Sacrifice
January, 04 2017
United States - Does the use of an SRI approach, such as the inclusion of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors or mission investing criteria in the investment process, come at the cost of returns? The answer is an emphatic “no.” Here’s why ...
T. Ogden, Managing Director, Financial Access Initiative: Yes, Microcredit Requires Subsidies … and That’s Great News
January, 04 2017
Global - But progress on either path is unlikely without continued social investment in microfinance. Innovation requires funding, and microfinance – at least the pro-poor kind – does not generate the kind of profits necessary. If, instead, social investors pull back from the space, then not only will innovation not happen, but MFIs will be forced to cut back outreach, raise prices and pursue wealthier customers – or all three ...
F. Kabir, Governor, Central Bank: Bangladesh - The Unconventional Route to Financial Inclusion
January, 03 2017
Bangladesh - Eschewing monetary policy norms can support growth and lead to positive outcomes for the socially and financially excluded, as Bangladesh is demonstrating ...
W. van der Beek, Founder, Goodwell Investments: This is How to Create Inclusive Growth for an Aspiring Africa
January, 03 2017
Africa - The “Africa Rising” narrative is increasingly giving way to that of “Aspiring Africa”, as the Base of the Pyramid (BoP) shrinks and the new middle class burgeons ...
India: Aavishkaar to Raise $150 Million Fund for Africa Investments
January, 03 2017
India - The Africa fund will be the second overseas-focused fund from the impact investor. It will also be AVMS’s seventh fund ...
India: Insurance Firms, Banks Rush to Invest in Small Finance Banks
January, 02 2017
India - “SFBs can be a potential channel to reach out rural customers. Also, we see it as a good investment opportunity going forward,” said the executive of an insurance firm ...
Senegal to Introduce Digital Currency in Western Africa
January, 01 2017
Senegal - The African continent has emerged as a leader in digital currency and blockchain technology adoption. The West African nation of Senegal may soon contribute to the digital currency revolution by launching eCFA ...

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