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Oct 2017
Nigeria: BoI Partners Gates Foundation, CGAP on Financial Inclusion
October, 31 2017
Nigeria - The Bank of Industry (BoI), Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) have gone into partnership to deepen financial inclusion and poverty eradication in Nigeria ...
Tanzania: Government Unveils 10-Year National Microfinance Plan
October, 31 2017
Tanzania - The Vice-President noted here yesterday the implementation of NMP would enable the low income population which was excluded from financial services to begin benefiting from the services ...
D. Thorpe, Founder, Your Mark, World Trade Center: Is It Ethical to Lend to Working People at a 200% Interest Rate?
October, 31 2017
Global - We’re all familiar with payday lenders who are providing loans to people who can least afford it at interest rates that shock the greediest of corporate bankers. Can a fintech company that lends at rates up to 200% annual percentage rates ever be considered ethical? In this piece, I’m going to share my conclusion ...
N. Nieuwoudt, Global Product Development, Mastercard: How Financial Inclusion Can Move People Out of Poverty
October, 31 2017
Global - To be clear, promoting inclusion is not corporate social responsibility for us. Not only is pushing for a world where everyone has access to the security, transparency, and control of digital payments the right thing to do, but it’s also critical to the future of business ...
Centrum Group to Buy Micro Finance Business of FirstRand Bank India
October, 31 2017
India - The Mumbai-based financial services firm has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the microfinance business of FirstRand Bank India, which comprises of around 70,000 customers with an average ticket size of Rs. 20,000, operating in Maharas with an employee strength of over 300 people. ...
EREN Renewable Energy and Access Power Successfully Enter Egyptian Renewable Energy Market with the Completion of Financial Close for Two Solar Plants
October, 30 2017
Egypt - The secured funding will be used to finance the construction of two solar PV plants with a total capacity of 126MWp, located in the Benban solar park in the Aswan province of Egypt. The two projects have been awarded through Egypt's Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) program, launched by the national Ministry of Electricity and the country's New & Renewable Energy Authority (NREA). ...
Macri’s Argentina Wants to Muscle in on Impact Investing
October, 30 2017
Argentina - Latin America has attracted about $7.2bn of those funds. The bulk of it has gone to Brazil, Mexico and Colombia, as countries with more pro-investment governments have created the necessary regulatory and fiscal conditions for venture capital and private equity markets, without which it is impossible for impact investment to flourish ...
Impact Investor: You Don't Have To Give Up Returns To Do Good
October, 30 2017
Global - One of the most controversial topics in impact investing is whether it is possible or fair to expect market returns on investments that do good. Gloria Nelund, chairman and CEO of TriLinc Global, says yes. Nelund says her firm, which manages about $320 million, is designed to prove it. “The whole firm is really dedicated to creating and sponsoring funds that will prove to investors that they don't have to give up investment returns to do good.” ...
Nigeria: NIBSS - Microfinance banks set to integrate with BVN by 2018
October, 30 2017
Nigeria - Nwoke stated: “As long as people remain committed to one basic and simple understanding that we are not here for any other thing other than for the interest of our investment, we will good return. NAMB is a platform of our commonwealth, so in whatever we do, we should be driven by the fact that if it works well everybody will have good return for his investment, that is what should drive everything that we do ...
Microfinance in Kyrgyzstan: Poor Services, High Interest Rates
October, 30 2017
Kyrgyzstan - The microfinance sector lacks long-term sources of financing. MFIs provide loans from external investors, and remain highly dependent on this source of funding. Deposits have not become the main source of financing due to the legislative restrictions on accepting demand deposits, lack of knowledge and skills to promote deposit products ...
Expert Discusses Access to Financial Services
October, 30 2017
Global - “We define financial inclusion as not just access to a [bank] account and not just access to credit either, but a full array of products… to have a safe place to save and to be able to send money to a family member in a way that is safe and affordable,” she said ...
Impact Investing in the GCC
October, 29 2017
Global - According to the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) 2017 Annual Impact Investor Survey, the size of the impact investment market was estimated at $114 billion as of 2016, up significantly from $77.4 billion in 2015 ...
Big Data Could Help Bring Micro Lending to the Millions Left Out of China’s Economic Miracle
October, 29 2017
China - Now, new technologies including facial recognition and big data may offer new hope to overcome the problem, as they enable lenders to reach more customers in rural areas at lower cost ...
MicroMoney – A Blockchain Pathway for the Unbanked
October, 28 2017
Global - MicroMoney is all in on one thing which is blockchain powered microlending for the unbanked. One of the dilemmas of civilization has had for centuries is how to promote economic equality. MicroMoney’s application of the blockchain to this sector of fintech is carefully designed. The dawn of the blockchain and trustless banking has made it more feasible than before ...
China's Achievements in Poverty Reduction Unprecedented: UN Official
October, 28 2017
China - Without China's contribution, there is no way to achieve the common goal of reducing global poverty as scheduled, Rosellini stressed. He believed China can achieve the target of comprehensively eliminating rural poverty by 2020. ...
D. Pianko, Managing Director, University Ventures: Market-Leading Returns from Solutions to the World’s Greatest Problems
October, 27 2017
Global - Impact investors face a dilemma of their own making. On one hand, impact investing is now on the agenda of nearly every Chief Investment Officer. On the other hand, the most recent survey by the Global Impact Investment Network found only $114 billion of the $61 trillion of private fund investable assets that are categorized as impact funds ...
The World Bank Released New Poverty Lines — Find Out Where Your Country Stands
October, 26 2017
Global - In an attempt to be more precise with its classifications, the organization recently added new standards of poverty for people living in middle- and high-income countries, NPR reports. They are the first additions since the poverty line was initially set in 1990, then at $1 a day ...
Visa Invests $20 Million in Microloan Program for Women Entrepreneurs
October, 26 2017
Global - Visa says it has a new strategy to help women entrepreneurs. On Tuesday the global lender announced the launch of its new Visa Foundation and with it, a contribution of $20 million to the nonprofit Women’s World Banking (WWB) to help “prioritize the growth of micro and small enterprises around the world. ...
‘Digital Financial Services Will Reduce Number of Unbanked Nigerians’
October, 26 2017
Nigeria - The Chief Executive Officer of Global Accelerex, Mr. Tunde Ogungbade has stressed the need for digital financial services to be pushed to all adult Nigerians with mobile devices, explaining that it will further help to reduce the number of adult Nigerians that are still unbanked, in line with the vision of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to make Nigeria a cashless economy ...
From ‘Why’ to ‘Why Not’: Sustainable Investing as the New Normal
October, 25 2017
Global - To help investors capitalize on opportunities in sustainable investing, this article offers insights on how to integrate ESG factors with the investment process—from defining the objectives and approach for an investment strategy, through developing the tools and organizational resources required to manage investments, to managing performance and reporting outcomes to stakeholders ...
Act 20/22 Investors Announce $16 Million Dollar Partnership to Support Puerto Rico’s Women Entrepreneurs
October, 25 2017
Puerto Rico - Today, Puerto Rico residents and Act 20/22 decree investors Toby Neugebauer, and Charlie Hamilton announced a long-term partnership with microfinance organization Grameen America to support women entrepreneurs ...
A. Ríos, Women’s World Banking, A. Hawkins, MetLife Foundation: Egypt - Good Intentions Are Not Enough - How Microfinance Can Truly Serve Low-Income Women Entrepreneurs
October, 25 2017
Egypt - Smaller businesses require smaller loans, which are generally less practical or profitable for financial institutions. Group lending solves these issues for institutions – but it’s not always ideal for customers, who often prefer an individual loan. With support from MetLife Foundation grantee Women’s World Banking, Egypt’s Lead Foundation set out to design and deliver this type of product – specifically to low-income women entrepreneurs ...
S. Shinozaki, Financial Sector Specialist, ADB: How Can Digital Finance Better Serve Asia’s Poor?
October, 25 2017
Global - What benefits do Asia’s poor and under-served communities stand to gain from digital finance inclusion? How can mobile money services be customised to make people’s lives better? ADB’s Shigehiro Shinozaki explores ...
A Glimpse at How Qudian and China’s Online Micro Lenders Revolutionise Financing
October, 25 2017
China - Qudian, founded by 34-year-old entrepreneur Luo Min in the Chinese capital, serves China’s young, mobile phone-savvy consumers who are underserved by traditional banks due to their lack of adequate credit data. ...
T.Crouch, S.Barclay: Fairtrade Banking - Social Impact Investing Is Going Mainstream
October, 25 2017
Global - Social impact investment was originally a niche market. Options for people who wanted to be socially responsible in their investments were limited, and those products that were available were targeted at specialist investors – effectively closing the door on everyday people. But over the past decade, social impact investment has been brought into the mainstream. Global corporations are creating products to meet this demand, driven by a desire from consumers to make a difference, while still making wise financial choices ...
For Adobe Capital, Competitive Returns in Mexico Run Through Social Ventures
October, 24 2017
Mexico - The firm’s second fund will invest in startups delivering basic services to Mexico’s emerging middle class ...
Bridging Islamic Finance and Impact Investing
October, 24 2017
Global - Islamic finance is largely concentrated in three markets – Iran, Malaysia, and Saudi Arabia – but it spans nearly every part of the world, including MENA, Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa. For its part, Islamic finance has grown over the past two decades, with total assets reportedly totaling roughly $2 trillion. Despite this growth, Islamic finance still makes up a small share of the global financial market. These two areas of Islamic finance and impact investing are ripe for potential collaboration. Out of the 1.6 billion Muslims in the world, 650 million are living on less than 2 dollars a day ...
Impact Investors Flock to Sustainable Agriculture
October, 24 2017
Global - A growing number of investment companies in this realm are using capital to help ranchers switch to 100 percent grass-fed beef production, connect small farms to communities with little access to fresh food and transition farmland used to grow commodity corn and soy to organic, regenerative systems ...
M. Mettgenberg-Lemiere, A. Nguyen, Asian Venture Philanthropy Network: Funding Education With Impact - How We Can Address Student, Market Needs in India
October, 24 2017
India - Although education is one of the most funded causes among private social funders in India, including about US $45 million in impact investment per annum over 2014-2017, this has translated into near-universal access to education at primary school level but not in other education segments ...
R. Sahay, Head of Knowledge Management, Impact Investment Exchange (IIX): How the World’s First Social Sustainability Bond Is Connecting Back Streets to Wall Street
October, 23 2017
Global - The Women’s Livelihood Bond (WLB) is the world’s first social sustainability bond with a dual focus on social and financial returns to be listed on a stock exchange. This represents "an immense achievement for impact investing," says Rakhi Sahay, head of Knowledge Management at Impact Investment Exchange. ...
LB Finance Gets Nod to Operate Microfinance Business in Myanmar
October, 23 2017
Myanmar - L B Finance, a non-bank lender with an asset base of Rs.109 billion, last week said it received license on October 10 to engage in microfinance business in the Bago Region of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar ...
South Africa: 85% of 10bn Banking Interactions Done Digitally
October, 23 2017
South Africa - Last year, out of the 10 billion FNB bank interactions, 85% of the interactions were done via digital channels and the rest were on a face to face basis, ATM transactions, card sales or online purchases ...
E. Anzilotti, Assistant Editor, Fast Company: Why Impact Investing Funds Need to Invest in Creativity
October, 23 2017
Global - With an unmistakable need for more creative solutions to global problems, we should be looking to the artists, designers, innovators, and storytellers now more than ever. ...
Moving Beyond Microcredit
October, 23 2017
Global - Sustainable development is not possible without protecting the industrial and economic base of the poorer countries ...
Millions Return to Poverty in Brazil as ‘Boom’ Decade Erodes
October, 22 2017
Brazil - From 2004 to 2014, tens of millions of Brazilians emerged from poverty and the country was often cited as an example for the world. But that has reversed over the last two years, due to the deepest recession in Brazil's history and cuts to subsidy programs ...
FINCA Deepens Financial Inclusion in Tanzania Via FinTech
October, 21 2017
Tanzania - FINCA Microfinance Bank, as part of efforts to deepen financial inclusion in Tanzania, has commenced an awareness campaign showcasing the importance of saving and educating customers on how the new technology works ...
China to Step Up Regulations on Micro-Credit Industry
October, 21 2017
China - China is considering tightening controls over the “pay-day” loan industry amid concerns that unscrupulous operators may charge millions of borrowers excessive interest rates, the official Securities Daily reported ...
The Entrepreneurial Case for Tech Investing in Emerging Markets
October, 20 2017
Global - Young, rapidly growing populations and internet reach make a number of nations solid bets for savvy investors looking to find the next big thing. ...
Development Financial Institutions Work to Make More Effective Use of Blended Finance
October, 20 2017
Global - Concessional finance, together with investments and other types of donor funding, is increasingly a key tool that development financial institutions (DFIs) are using to boost private sector involvement in developing economies and to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals. ...
R. Shumann, COO, the Vitas Group: The Board Should Not Be the Last to Know: Why MFIs Need Independent Internal Auditors
October, 20 2017
Global - As I worked in microfinance as a consultant, manager and board member, I worried about how CEOs, boards and shareholders learned what was really going on in their institutions, instead of just hoping managers got away from their desks, actually found fraud, and reported it ...
Chinese Fintech Company Qudian Raises $900m
October, 20 2017
China - Chinese online micro-credit provider Qudian raised around $900 million in an IPO on the New York Stock Exchange, marking the biggest US listing by a Chinese fintech company ...
Brands Unite Around Sustainable Development Goals
October, 19 2017
Global - All the best parties have a theme, and Textile Exchange's annual industry event – which doubled as a celebration of the global fibre-sustainability coalition's 15th anniversary – was no different. Held in Washington DC this past week, the five-day conference wielded its focus as both a rallying cry and a call to action for its 400-plus participants ...
Microfinance Investment Vehicles, MFIs “Speed Date” at SAM Investor’s Fair in Ethiopia
October, 19 2017
Sub-Saharan Africa - Duncan Frayne of Switzerland-based Symbiotics Group spoke on behalf of REGMIFA (the Regional MSME Investment Fund for Sub-Saharan Africa), for which his company serves as investment manager. He said, “The value for me is meeting up-and-coming MFIs as well as swapping notes with peer investors. I can quickly get plugged in across multiple regions, which is very valuable because we have investments in 22 countries. ...
UN Environment Launches $1 Billion Fund for Sustainable Farming
October, 18 2017
Global - UN Environment partnered with Dutch financial institution Rabobank to establish a $1 billion fund offering grants and loans to businesses interesting in investing in sustainable farming practices ...
Expert Views: Digital Inclusion Is the Key to Getting Women Bank Accounts
October, 18 2017
Global - As part of our ongoing Expert Views feature, we asked four women at the forefront of the economic empowerment movement what financial inclusion for women really looks like. The verdict was unanimous ...
Cambodia: Agricultural Sector Welcomes New $15m Fund
October, 18 2017
Cambodia - A new partnership between the US Agency for International Development Credit Authority (DCA) and three local microfinance institutions (MFIs) will see the creation of a new $15-million fund to tackle the lack of financing opportunities the agricultural sector faces in Siem Reap, Battambang, Kampong Thom and Pursat provinces ...
B. Pisani, Reporter, CNBC: This IPO Has Access to Something Everyone Wants - The Chinese Consumer
October, 18 2017
China - Global investors want access to the Chinese consumer, but there are not many opportunities to get that access. Qudian, an online microlender which debuted to much fanfare at the NYSE Wednesday, fills that need. Microlenders are leapfrogging traditional Chinese banks, just like cell phone companies have jumped past traditional land line phone companies in developing countries ...
Egypt: 2.2 Million Citizens Received EGP 7.8bn Worth of Micro Loans Until the End of September - Zulfikar
October, 17 2017
Egypt - About 2.2 million citizens received EGP 7.8bn worth of micro loans until the end of September 2017, according to Chairman of the Egyptian Union of Microfinance Mona Zulfikar ...
Ghana: BoG Sanitizes Microfinance Sector by ‘Naming & Shaming’
October, 17 2017
Ghana - The Bank of Ghana’s decision to name and caution the public from doing business with all institutions operating illegally as microfinance companies should culminate in sanitizing the sector ...
Britain Could Become Greener and Fairer by Unlocking £300bn Impact Investing Opportunity
October, 17 2017
United Kingdom - New research from UK National Advisory Board on Impact Investing suggests shifting investment focus could rebalance economy and promote green growth in the UK ...
Microfinance Goes Mainstream in India
October, 16 2017
India - Indian politicians are once again promising to waive farm loans; investors worry about the impact such populist gestures might have on credit culture ...
Marquee Investors Exit from Indian Microfinance Companies
October, 16 2017
India - Indian microfinance companies are losing some of the early marquee investors such as Michael and Susan Dell Foundation and Lok Capital as these investors have shifted priorities away from pure MFIs, which are also facing challenges from small finance banks and private sector banks focusing on micro lending ...
Can Impact Investing Help Promote Peace Between Israelis and Palestinians?
October, 16 2017
Palestine & Israel - Impact investing means different things to different people, particularly in the contentious Israeli-Palestinian arena. One person’s philanthropist can easily be another’s colonialist or supporter of terrorism. Impact investing, whether it involves peace-building or more “regular” aims such as social or environmental impact, has its pitfalls, especially as lobby groups argue for divestment from Israel ...
L. Elliott, Economics Editor, The Guardian: World Bank and IMF, Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is on Somalia
October, 15 2017
Somalia - The World Bank and the IMF could bring forward Somalia’s decision point and write off its arrears, providing access to multi-year funding under the IDA. Alternatively, the bank could decide that Somalia is moving toward the point at which it will qualify for debt relief and so allocate a pre-arrears clearance grant ...
Vietnam Calls for UN’s Poverty Reduction Support
October, 14 2017
Vietnam - Vietnam has called on the United Nations to assist the country in poverty reduction via resources supply, policy consultation and offering linkage with international financial institutions ...
India: IndusInd Bank Announces Takeover of Micro Finance Lender Bharat Financial
October, 14 2017
India: - IndusInd Bank announced the takeover of micro finance lender Bharat Financial Inclusion Ltd in Mumbai on Saturday. Chairman of the bank, R. Seshasayee, said the two boards met independently this morning and decided to go ahead ...
D. Miao, Director of Impact Investing, SSG Advisors: Searching for Impact
October, 13 2017
Global - How search funds, a little-known private equity investment vehicle, can become a useful tool for impact investing ...
G. Carrier, Portfolio Analyst, MCE Social Capital: Beyond Microcredit - Why Tackling Poverty Requires More Than a Loan
October, 13 2017
Global - Microfinance is a $92 billion industry, with more than 100 million borrowers in more than 75 countries around the world. But as regular readers of NextBillion know, it is no silver bullet to poverty, and previously held assumptions that extending microloans to impoverished people is a sure path out of poverty have been challenged ...
India’s Third Largest Microlender Says Loan Growth Is Back
October, 12 2017
India - Microlending is back at its pre-demonetisation levels as loan growth has picked up in the last six months, according to Satin Creditcare Network Ltd., India’s third largest microfinance company by gross loans ...
Ethiopia Lifts 5.3m People Out of Poverty Over 5 Years
October, 11 2017
Ethiopia - Ethiopia has managed to lift about 5.3 million people out of the poverty over the past five years, according to an Interim Report on 2015/16 Poverty Analysis Study. The report which was launched today indicated that the East African nation has made tremendous progress towards eradicating poverty between 2010/11 and 2015/16 ...
Fintech Major Mastercard Launches Its First Innovation Center in India
October, 11 2017
India - Mastercard labs will partner with other fintech institutions to foster latest digital payment solutions ...
Seeking Maximum Ethical Impact
October, 11 2017
Global - The 21st century appears to have delivered a perfect storm of economic uncertainty, social upheaval and environmental change. Many people are questioning whether the traditional approach to investment, which has advocated the accumulation of wealth at almost any cost, is too one dimensional. Can such a singled-minded objective really insulate anyone from the huge challenges we are all facing ...
Goldman Sachs: ESG Investing Is No Mere Niche
October, 11 2017
Global - Goldman launched its ESG initiative in 2014; in 2016, it bought major ESG advisor Imprint Capital. Goldman recently counted about $10.6 billion of environmental, social and governmental assets under management, compared with $500 million at the time of the Imprint Capital acquisition, Financial Advisor notes ...
Jamaica: We Have to Speed Up the Microcredit Act — Shaw
October, 11 2017
Jamaica - Minister of Finance Audley Shaw has disclosed that at least one commercial bank has threatened to close the accounts of some microfinance institutions on the grounds that the entities are not operating under a regulated sector ...
What Is the True Impact of Passive Investing?
October, 10 2017
Global - The move to passive investing has prompted some theories regarding unintended consequences. Price distortion and reduced oversight of corporate governance are the two most prominent issues cited. The latter concern seems reasonable on its face, as passive investors do not buy or sell shares based on the idiosyncratic characteristics of individual companies, nor on evaluations of company actions or projected changes in value ...
Senegal: More than Human ATMs - The Potential of Empowered Agents
October, 10 2017
Senegal - With more and more providers pushing to reduce reliance on over-the-counter transactions, third-party agents can seem like just another cash-in/cash-out point, akin to human ATMs. But a recent CGAP-supported pilot conducted by agricultural input retailer myAgro in Senegal demonstrates the vital role that these human touchpoints play in making digital financial services more personal, responsive and user-friendly ...
Only Modernised Commercial Farms Will Fill Africa's Plate, Economists Warn
October, 10 2017
Africa - With Africa’s population set to double by 2050, experts say the continent must ditch traditional farming methods in favour of modern technology ...
China: How Will Clean Development Be Financed?
October, 10 2017
China - Like most other populous emerging markets working on long-term solutions for sustainable development, China has been trying hard to adopt strategies that can achieve multiple objectives. These include shifting to an energy use pattern that relies more on renewable sources of energy rather than fossil fuels, reduces industrial and household pollution, and protects natural resources ...
India: Demonetisation’s Blow to Microfinance Sector
October, 10 2017
India - Demonetisation has adversely affected the growth in clients, loans disbursed and repayment rates ...
Integrating Cybersecurity Into a Firm’s Innovation Team Is Critical for Digital Transformation
October, 09 2017
Global - For many financial institutions (FIs), digital innovation and cybersecurity seem to be at odds with each other; however, they can unlock more value when integrated. While firms may have strengths in both areas, they might not realize that the two can enhance each other and lead to greater efficiency and safety. Digital capabilities make FIs more attractive to customers, while effective, embedded cybersecurity protocols add trust to their digital offerings ...
Nigeria: Experts Enumerate Ways of Achieving Financial Inclusion Targets
October, 09 2017
Nigeria - Central Bank of Nigeria has developed policies from the microfinance policy, especially around mobile money, agent network, non-interest banking, among others. We have developed policies across the board, including the National Financial Inclusion policy extensively worked on with the CBN. Some of the service providers have concluded that the low income earners have some form of income, but do not want to use it in the formal financial space ...
Bamboo Capital Partners Deploys $50m in Asia’s Emerging Markets
October, 09 2017
Global - European private equity firm Bamboo Capital Partners has deployed a total capital of about $50 million in Asia, a senior executive with the fund manager told this portal ...
East Africa: Uniform Microfinance Law Crucial to Increase Financial Inclusion in EAC, Efficiency - AMIR
October, 09 2017
East Africa - Harmonisation of the microfinance sector policies in East African Community (EAC) will improve financial inclusion, ensure efficiency and support poverty eradication efforts across the bloc, according to the Association of Microfinance Institutions in Rwanda (AMIR) ...
Feature: Breaking the Poverty Cycle in Rural China
October, 09 2017
China - Qianqian dreams of going to high school and ice-skating. She is one of China's 40 million poor who are expected to be lifted out of poverty by 2020. UNICEF, the All China Women's Federation, the provincial Office of Poverty Alleviation mean little to her, but her life is changing through a poverty relief trial carried out by these organizations and a Danish charity ...
J. Gilbert, Co-founder, B Lab: Putting The Impact in Impact Investing - 28 Funds Building a Credible, Transparent Marketplace
October, 09 2017
Global - This week, thousands will gather in San Francisco for SOCAP17, the world’s largest gathering for the growing marketplace of impact investing. If this marketplace grows as some predict (hope?), impact investing could be one of the most important social innovations in our lifetimes, leveraging the massive power of the capital markets to a higher purpose than maximizing returns for shareholders ...
India: RBI to Soon Launch Financial Literacy Drive in 9 States
October, 08 2017
India - Six NGOs registered with the Depositor Education and Awareness Fund -- CRISIL Foundation, Dhan Foundation, Swadhaar Fin Access, Indian School of Micro Finance for Women (ISMW), Samarpit and the PACE Foundation -- have been selected to execute the pilot project in collaboration with banks ...
Somalia Launches First Technology Innovation Hub
October, 08 2017
Somalia - Somalia has launched its first technology innovation hub aimed at providing technology solutions to some of the challenges facing the country ...
Growth Sans Equality Meaningless
October, 08 2017
India - Theortically, growth, poverty and income inequality are deeply associated. Globally, a one per cent income growth reduces poverty by about 2.4 per cent. But growth in itself is meaningless if it doesn’t improve income. In other words, what matters is not growth, but the nature of growth, its beneficiaries and the political will to deliver ...
Xinjiang Raises Over 600 Mln USD for Poverty-Relief Relocation in 2017
October, 07 2017
China - Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region raised 4.17 billion yuan (about 627 million US dollars) in 2017 in relocation funds as part of its poverty reduction drive ...
Microfinancing Pakistan's Female Entrepreneurs
October, 07 2017
Pakistan - "The average size of loan to women is 15,000 ($142) to 25,000 ($237) rupees," said Yasmin Zaidi, director of Center of Gender and Policy Studies. "Most are in the 5,000 ($47) to 10,000 ($95) category. What is a woman expected to do with that? Can you really set up a business ...
Sub-Saharan Africa: The Challenges of Governing in a Digital World
October, 06 2017
Sub-Saharan Africa - As a hub of technology-based innovation, sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) leads the world in mobile money accounts. 12 percent of adults in the region have a mobile money account, compared to 2 percent globally. In a recent global survey measuring progress towards financial access and usage, five of the ten highest scoring economies hailed from SSA. However, financial exclusion remains acute ...
Singapore: Blockchain Lending Services Karma and MicroMoney Announce Strategic Partnership
October, 06 2017
Singapore - According to the agreement, Karma now can use MicroMoney’s unique scoring system based on AI algorithms and neural networks to assess any of its customers. Also, Karma will share information about its users’ social rating with MicroMoney, which will enhance MicroMoney’s scoring database with more detailed data and help assess customer creditworthiness more accurately ...
Pakistan: FINCA Enters Into Strategic Partnership with Analytics Private Limited
October, 06 2017
Pakistan - FINCA, one of the fastest growing micro finance banks in Pakistan, has selected Analytics (Private) Limited (APL) as a strategic partner to power its journey towards becoming a data-driven organization ...
How the UN Uses AI in the Sustainable Development Goals
October, 06 2017
Global - Artificial intelligence is fast transforming governments. Agencies can predict train breakdowns, make procurement decisions, diagnose diseases, and carry out literature reviews at the push of a button, so to speak ...
S. Muers, Head of Strategy, Big Society Capital: Talking About Ethics in Impact Investing
October, 06 2017
Global - To make the best and most consistent decisions, impact investors need to think about values as much as they think about growth and financial returns ...
M. "Luni" Libes, Serial Entrepreneur: We Went Looking for Impact Investors – Here’s Who and What We Found
October, 06 2017
Global - As the Social Capital Markets (SOCAP) packs more than 3,000 investors, entrepreneurs and other supporters into its 10th annual conference next week, there’s no doubt impact investing is on the rise. But three key issues get in the way of wide-scale adoption by the majority of investors. ...
Members of Azerbaijan Micro-finance Association Issue Loans Worth 20B Manats
October, 06 2017
Azerbaijan - Members of the Azerbaijan Micro-finance Association (AMFA) have issued loans worth 20 billion manats until today, AMFA Executive Director Zhalya Hajiyeva said at the 5th Investors’ Fair in Baku ...
Philippines’ Medium-Term Outlook Remains Positive: World Bank Report
October, 05 2017
Philippines - The Philippine economy is projected to continue its strong growth path in the next two years, riding on improved global demand for Philippine exports, robust domestic consumption, and expected higher government investments in infrastructure. In the long term, unlocking the potential of Mindanao is key to reducing poverty and achieving more inclusive growth in the country ...
U.S. Provides Additional $17m for Poverty Reduction in Nigeria
October, 05 2017
Nigeria - The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has provided an additional $17 million to Nigeria for poverty reduction ...
S. E. Kelly, Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion, S. Navajas, Multilateral Investment Fund, Inter-American Development Bank: 10 Ways to Organize for Digital Innovation in Financial Services
October, 05 2017
Global - Financial institutions of all sizes around the world are joining the digital revolution. In our work and research at the Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion and the Inter-American Development Bank we have seen some best cases of institutions shifting toward digital as well as some failures. ...
Many in Asia See Better Living Standards for Next Generation
October, 05 2017
Global - Majorities in most Asian economies surveyed in 2016, including some of the region's least-developed countries, expect that children today will have better living standards when they grow up than their parents did. This includes more than 90% of residents in poor countries such as Bangladesh and Myanmar ...
How Can Microfinance Institutions in the Middle East and North Africa Manage Risk and Meet Client Demand? Governance Is Key!
October, 04 2017
Global - Over the past few years, the financial inclusion landscape in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has rapidly evolved with new market entrants, changing regulations and increased financial risks. The industry aims to expand access to formal financial services and achieve much needed economic stability, and yet the financial inclusion ecosystem in MENA has experienced slower growth over the last 10 years compared to their peers in other parts of the developing world ...
Nigeria: Expert Tasks CBN On Micro-Finance Banks’ Capital Requirements
October, 04 2017
Nigeria - The Chairman of Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access (EFInA), Miss Modupe Ladipo, has advised Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to raise capital requirements for microfinance banks to drive financial inclusion. Ladipo gave the advice at the Accion Micro-finance Bank Financial Inclusion Conference held in Lagos, recently The Tide source reports that the conference had the theme: “Making Financial Inclusion a Certainty in Nigeria by 2020” ...
India: Microfinance Institutions Are Struggling for Survival. Here's Why
October, 04 2017
India - "Today banks are equally in the microfinance space as much as we are," says MR Rao, managing director with Bharat Financial Inclusion. "So, banks are looking to partner MFIs either as subsidiary or by way of strategic stakes. As MFIs grow, they too need capital badly to remain on the growth path. It will be difficult for pure-play MFIs to grow independently without support of an anchor investor. ...
TPG Seals Record $2 Billion for Fund Co-Led by Bono
October, 03 2017
Global - Private equity firm TPG collected $2 billion for The Rise Fund, tapping growing demand for impact investing to create the largest pool of its kind. The fund, which TPG raised in about seven months, surpassed its $1.5 billion target and hit its $2 billion hard cap, or the maximum amount of outside capital allowed by its agreement with investors. TPG employees plan to commit additional money before a final close ...
Data Analysis: The Truth About Investing in 'Wild Frontier' Markets
October, 03 2017
Global - Adam Ant sang about the kings of the wild frontier. For most equity investors, however, frontier markets sound too wild for comfort. And indeed, some of these markets are heavily exposed to specific risks. Tony Lawrence, investment manager at Seven Investment Management, cites the possibility of military-driven regime changes and currency devaluations as two striking examples ...
How Mobile Money Is Closing the Agricultural Finance Gap for Women in Kenya
October, 03 2017
- To address these challenges and provide access to a suitable, affordable and accessible agricultural loan, Grameen Foundation and Musoni Kenya, a local microfinance institution that operates mainly in rural Kenya, collaborated to design Kilimo Booster. The loan product is tailored to the needs of smallholder farmers. Unlike other loans, its flexible repayment terms correspond to farmers’ harvest cycles and cash flows. Equally important, funds are disbursed directly into farmers’ mobile money accounts no more than 72 hours after a loan is approved. Additional features also make Kilimo Booster especially convenient to women. ...
L. de Bresser, Renewable Energy Project Analyst, Oikocredit International: Impact Investing and the Profitability Challenge in Off-Grid Solar
October, 03 2017
Global - With 1.2 billion people without access to electricity, the number of off-grid solar companies is increasing rapidly and the market is evolving. In 2016, more than 100 home solar companies were targeting people without energy access, yet a decade ago the sector barely existed. Questions are being raised: Is the off-grid solar sector a hype, or will it continue to expand and create the social and environmental benefits it points toward ...
Cambodia: National Bank Confirms Riel Requirements for Loans
October, 03 2017
Cambodia - The National Bank of Cambodia (NBC), the country’s central banking authority, confirmed yesterday that it will make no changes to recently-issued requirements pertaining to the proportion of loans in the local currency that banking institutions need to exhibit in their loan portfolios ...
The Inventor of Microfinance Has an Idea for Fixing Capitalism
October, 02 2017
Global - Muhammad Yunus won the Nobel peace prize for inventing microfinance, the practice of lending small sums at a low interest to allow people to start businesses. And yet he’s not a fan of capitalism. “Because of its total focus on money-making, [it] has become greed-oriented,” he says ...
Geva Group Partners with Mahindra Comviva for MFS in Central America and Caribbean
October, 02 2017
Central America and Caribbean - Panama-headquartered fintech firm Geva Group has selected Mahindra Comviva as its technology partner for MFS business. With this partnership, the two companies will offer innovative mobile financial solutions (MFS) to telecom operators, banks, financial institutions and consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies in Central America and Caribbean. ...
Nigeria: Cross River Invests N100m to Float Micro-Finance Bank
October, 02 2017
Nigeria - Prof. Ben Ayade, Cross River State Governor has disclosed that the State has made the required down payment of N100 million, which is the deposit amount required for the establishment of a micro-finance bank. According to him, the government had already done the N100million deposit, which he said was the minimum required for a micro-finance bank to be licensed ...
How to Take Digital Financial Ecosystem Benefit to Rural Women
October, 02 2017
Global - RBI has created a Financial Inclusion Fund (FIF) with a corpus of Rs 2,000 crore to support developmental and promotional activities for expanding the reach of banking services towards securing greater financial inclusion ...

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