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Nov 2017
S. Denning, Contributor, Forbes: Why the World Is Getting Better and Why Hardly Anyone Knows It
November, 30 2017
Global - In a powerful study entitled “The short history of global living conditions and why it matters that we know it” by Max Roser, an economist at the University of Oxford and the founder of Our World in Data, we learn that on virtually all of the key dimensions of human material well-being—poverty, literacy, health, freedom, and education—the world is an extraordinarily better place than it was just a couple of centuries ago ...
IFC Invests in Private Equity Fund to Boost Access to Finance for SMEs in North and West Africa
November, 29 2017
North and West Africa - IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is investing EUR 15 million in a new private equity fund to help expand access to finance and support the development of small and mid-cap companies in Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt, and West Africa ...
R. Keeler, Associate Head of Impact, KPMG: The Promise of Private Sector Grants in an Impact Investing World
November, 29 2017
Global - Enough of the arguments about the trade-off between profit and impact. Impact investors now have a “trade-on” opportunity, says Arif Naqvi, founder of the global investment group Abraaj. Naqvi coined the term at the UN General Assembly in September, declaring that investors can improve financial returns by creating social value ...
Nigeria: Ibile Microfinance Bank Collaborates with Ministry of Wealth Creation
November, 29 2017
Nigeria - Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) in Lagos State are to receive a major lift as the Lagos State owned-IBILE Microfinance Bank is collaborating with the Lagos State Ministry of Wealth Creation & Employment in providing soft loans to operators and artisans within the MSMEs sector ...
IDB Invest Finances Women-owned MSMEs in Brazil Together with Itaú Unibanco
November, 28 2017
Brazil - IDB Invest, the private sector arm of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group, announced today the closing and disbursement of a $100 million loan to the Brazilian bank Itaú Unibanco. This project supports micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Brazil that are majority-owned by women seeking to increase the financing available in this market segment. ...
D. Waldron and J. Zollman: How Can Pay-as-You-Go Solar Work for Poor People?
November, 28 2017
Global - For a household earning $2 per day (the typical wage rate for a day of casual agricultural labor in East Africa), paying for the average PAYGo product would mean allocating 20 percent of income to energy, far beyond the 10 percent threshold set for “energy poverty. ...
How Technology Can Help Achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals
November, 28 2017
Global - Technology can play a vital role in the achieving the UN's Sustainable Development Goals, in order to drive sustainable economic growt ...
What’s Next for Financial Technology Innovation
November, 28 2017
Global - Governments in emerging markets need to take a holistic approach to creating business environments that truly enable financial technology (FinTech) innovation ...
China's Micro-lending Mess
November, 28 2017
China - In their bid to reduce risk, China's financial regulators are cracking down on a promising business: online micro-lending. Although the industry has some serious problems, killing it off would be a big mistake ...
Nigeria: Group Restates Commitment to SMEs Growth, Poverty Reduction
November, 28 2017
Nigeria - With a vision to establish Nigeria as a global economic force through empowerment and wealth creation, Stanford Seed Transformation Network Nigeria (SSTN) has restated its commitment to empower more start-ups to build strong processes and sound governance principles to ensure poverty in the country is tackled to its barest minimum ...
$23bn in Rooftop Solar Potential for India
November, 28 2017
India - Bloomberg New Energy Finance has produced a new report which indicates the Indian government will need to invest around $23bn over the next five years if it is to achieve its target of 40 GW in rooftop solar photovoltaics ...
A. Fishbane, Managing Director, ideas42, T. Garcia, Assistant Vice President and Head of MetLife Foundation for Latin America: Financial Services for Real People - Using Behavioral Science to Boost Financial Health in Latin America
November, 28 2017
Global - Managing day-to-day finances and planning for the future are quite complex. We rely on products and services to keep us on track with these tasks, yet many tools fail to account for common human tendencies, such as prioritizing the present over the future and putting off tedious tasks. These tendencies, although universal and understandable, have serious ramifications for the financial health of people everywhere ...
Renewable Investment Could Reach $11T by 2040
November, 28 2017
Global - Investments in off-grid solar and energy storage could hit $23 billion a year by 2025, provided that countries used differentiated tariffs, clear technical and safety standards, and targeted financial incentives while backing new business models for community-based solar and finance solutions ...
Moroccan Banking Access Reached 71% by June 2017
November, 27 2017
Morocco - The rate of bancarization reached 71 percent in June against 69 percent six months ago, according to the latest indicators of the banking system provided by Bank Al-Maghrib ...
N. Lustig, Managing Partner, Magma Partners: Brain Gain - Impact Investing in Latin America’s New Wave of Startups
November, 27 2017
Latin America - Investing in companies that are using technology to close the region’s inequality gaps or to simply stop the brain-drain to other countries, is not just good for business, it is also an act of support for a knowledge-based economy and job growth in the region ...
Senegal: Using Micro Credit to Help Business Owners in Saint -Louis
November, 27 2017
Senegal - Getting a credit to begin the activity is often difficult or impossible for many Africans. Through modes of alternative financing, some shops owners, some start-ups and companies have been able to see the light of the day and it has also helped in reducing unemployment and poverty for many Africans ...
High Water Women to Hold Fifth Symposium on Impact Investing
November, 27 2017
Global - High Water Women (HWW), the not-for-profit volunteer organization with a focus on empowering women and youth, is holding its fifth annual Symposium on Impact Investing in New York at the City of New York Graduate Center, this Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017 ...
Blockchain Start-Up Wala, to Solve Financial Exclusion Affecting 3.5bn People
November, 27 2017
Global - Wala, a blockchain-powered financial services platform for the unbanked and underbanked, has gained significant traction over the past 2 months including an equity investment from Newtown Partners, a banking partnership, a payments partnership, the launch of the Wala Financial Platform, an impressive list of advisors and the launch of the Dala token sale ...
Signing of the USD 10 Million Line of Financing Agreement Between the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) and Micro-Credit Company Mol Bulak Finance from Kyrgyz Republic
November, 26 2017
Global - The Chief Executive Officer of the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private sector (ICD), the private sector arm of IsDB Group, Mr. Khaled Al-Aboodi, and the Chief Executive Officer of the Micro-Credit Company Mol Bulak Finance (Mol Bulak), Mr. Babyrzhan Tolbaev, signed a Line of financing agreement for a USD 10 million facility in Istanbul ...
MythBusters: Further Proof that Impact Investments Reap Healthy Returns
November, 26 2017
Global - The Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) just came out with a report reviewing available research on the financial performance of impact investments. Its conclusion: Across private market strategies, such as private equity, fixed income and real assets, the distribution of impact investing fund returns is similar to results for conventional markets ...
DFCC Bank Secures US$ 30 Mn Funding to Support SME, Micro Financing Sectors
November, 25 2017
Sri Lanka - With a proven a track record of nurturing small businesses from their early stages, DFCC Bank takes pride in being one of the premier banking institutions in the country that promotes and supports the operations of small and medium enterprises. ...
Nigeria: N10bn Farmers-to-Finance Fund Will Reduce Poverty — Osinbajo
November, 25 2017
Nigeria - Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said on Saturday that the newly inaugurated N10 billion Farmers-to-Finance-Mutual Funds would help reduce poverty and support local farmers to grow their businesses ...
India: With the Right Moves, India’s Renewables Push Could Lift Thousands of Rural Workers Out of Poverty
November, 23 2017
India - India’s major renewable energy push could be as much about poverty reduction and job creation as it is about energy security and climate change ...
Potential for PV to Snap Significant Share of $40 Billion Distributed Energy Industry in Frontier Markets – BNEF
November, 23 2017
China - There is potential for solar PV and storage to snap a significant share of the distributed energy industry in frontier markets, says BNEF. Both telecoms and agriculture present interesting opportunities; SE Asia is an emerging micro grid hotspot; pay-as-you-go solar is seeing strong growth; and China is recording substantial business ...
We Must Make Natural Capital Everyone’s Business to Achieve Sustainable, Inclusive Growth
November, 23 2017
Global - In the coming years, will the majority of finance in developing countries come from the private sector? If so, through what mechanism, and to what effect? These are the questions on the minds of policy makers and businesses across the globe ...
J. Biao Koudenoukpo, Regional Director, Africa Office, UN Environment: Recycling E-Waste Can Help Create Jobs and Reduce Poverty in Africa
November, 23 2017
Global - It is recognised that electronics manufacturing is now the world’s largest and fastest growing industry. Due to rapid changes in technology and falling prices, millions of tons of high-tech electronic devices become obsolete in the developed nations every year ...
Switzerland: Zurich Insurance Ups 'Impact Investment' Target to $5 Bln
November, 23 2017
Switzerland - Switzerland’s Zurich Insurance plans to more than double its “impact investments” to $5 billion, it said on Thursday, aiming to improve the lives of five million people a year ...
Chinese Firms Scrap Plans for Micro Loan Business Amid Crackdown on 'Blind Borrowing'
November, 22 2017
China - With the bar for borrowing low and advertising exaggerated, some people are likely to “blindly borrow” from those platforms, resulting in a large number of subprime loans, according to the commentary. Young borrowers and financially illiterate people with low incomes were particularly vulnerable, it added ...
China Urges Local Governments to Halt New Internet Microlender Approvals
November, 22 2017
China - China is regulating micro loans on the internet, with a high-level Chinese government agency issuing a notice urging provincial governments to halt approval of new web-based online lenders ...
Telenor’s Valyou Receives UNCDF Support for Financial Inclusion in Myanmar
November, 21 2017
Myanmar - Valyou, a service from Telenor Group, will provide low-cost international remittance services to Myanmar in its effort to promote greater financial inclusion in Southeast Asia ...
India: Satin Creditcare Network Jumps 16% on License to Start Housing Finance Business
November, 21 2017
India - Satin Creditcare Network shares surged 16 percent intraday Tuesday on getting license to start housing finance business ...
China Clamps Down on Online Micro Lending; U.S.-Listed Shares Plunge
November, 21 2017
China - China took steps to rein in the rapidly growing and lightly regulated market for online micro-lenders in the government’s latest crackdown on internet finance, sending shares of U.S.-listed Chinese financial firms into a tailspin ...
Poverty Reduction Efforts Need to Look Beyond Income and Education
November, 21 2017
Global - There’s more to poverty relief than just increasing material wealth; taking shame seriously must be part of any poverty-reduction strategy, says Center for Social Protection at the Institute of Development Studies co-director Keetie Roelen ...
Kenya: Who Are Kenya's Financially Excluded?
November, 20 2017
Kenya - The recent 2017 Finscope Tanzania report shows that while mobile money use in Tanzania continues to grow, the percentage of financially excluded adults has risen in parallel -- from 27 percent in 2013 to 28 percent in 2017 ...
Qatar Implements International Development Goals
November, 20 2017
Qatar - The State of Qatar attaches great importance to the implementation of the international development goals, and stressed in this context the alignment of national priorities with the sustainable development agenda 2030, said Ambassador Tariq bin Ali Faraj Al Ansari, Director of the International Cooperation Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs ...
Green Finance Experts Roll Out New Plan
November, 18 2017
Global - On the sidelines of the COP23 climate summit in Bonn, Germany, capital market leaders from around the world gathered to share ideas for promoting green finance in alignment with the Paris Agreement on climate change and the Sustainable Development Goals ...
Impact Investing Can Be Profitable, New Report Says
November, 17 2017
Global - Impact investing is capturing the attention of investors across the world. Last year, 209 leading impact investors committed $22 billion to nearly 8,000 impact investments, and planned to increase capital invested this year by 17% and the number of investments by 20% ...
Study Says Keeping 1 Billion People in the Dark Costs Poor Countries Dearly
November, 17 2017
Global - Research from the Overseas Development Institute shows improving access to off-grid electricity, such as solar-home systems and clean energy mini-grids, can boost development ...
Rwanda-AfDB: Board Approves US$ 171 Million Loans for Water and Sanitation Programme
November, 17 2017
Rwanda - The program is designed to improve the quality of life and socio-economic development of the country by ensuring equitable provision of adequate, reliable and sustainable water and sanitation services for targeted cities with a view to promote economic growth and transformation ...
Grenada Banking on Climate-Smart Agriculture to Tackle Poverty
November, 17 2017
Grenada - The government of Grenada has set its focus on increasing food security and reducing poverty through climate-smart agriculture (CSA) ...
How Fintech Startups Are Assisting MSMEs, the Biggest Contributors to the Indian Economy
November, 17 2017
India - While contributing eight percent to the nation’s total GDP, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) also provide for 40 percent of the total export. Producing over 10,000 different types of products, these small-scale ventures are also responsible for 45 percent of the entire manufacturing output. Besides, the truest contribution of the MSMEs could not be comprised in these numbers ...
D Is for Digital: Innovation, Disruption and Opportunity in the Fintech Sector
November, 17 2017
Global - With the advent of digital experiences, the relevance of traditional banking is changing as quicker and simpler digitised processes and services continue to replace old legacy systems. Banking is an industry which has experienced major upheavals when it comes to digital services and automation ...
L. Heaton, Writer and Journalist: Amid Conflict, Somalia Turns to Renewable Energy for Growth
November, 17 2017
Somalia - For poor countries like Somalia, which signed onto the 2015 historic Paris climate accord following decades of conflict and war, the strategizing involves a delicate balance: how to shift toward renewable energy, in keeping with its Paris commitments, while providing reliable power to its citizens at prices they can afford ...
P. Setel, Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Work Lead, Vital Strategies: The Achilles heel of the Sustainable Development Goals is a lack of data
November, 17 2017
Global - Goalkeepers is worthy and necessary, but without the ability to conduct accurate, timely, and robust progress measurement, this effort and the SDGs have an unaddressed Achilles heel. In other words, the SDGs need “Scorekeepers” to complement the work of the “Goalkeepers. ...
Impact Investing Can Be Profitable, New Report Says
November, 17 2017
Global - Impact investing is capturing the attention of investors across the world. Last year, 209 leading impact investors committed $22 billion to nearly 8,000 impact investments, and planned to increase capital invested this year by 17% and the number of investments by 20% ...
Sub-Saharan Africa: Germany’s €32.9m Renewable Energy Projects Fund Coming
November, 17 2017
Sub-Saharan Africa - The German Development Bank, and the African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI ) has announced a new instrument to support renewable energy projects that targets small- and mid-scale (up to 50 Mw) green power renewable energy projects in sub-Saharan Africa ...
Kenya: Watch Out Unicorns - Centaurs Are the Future of Financial Inclusion
November, 16 2017
Kenya - Our research seeks to understand when and why customers prefer human over digital interfaces across their financial services customer journeys – and vice versa. ...
African SMEs Face $136bn Financing Gap Annually—IFC
November, 16 2017
Global - The International Finance Corporation, IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has estimated that in Africa, small and medium enterprises, SMEs, face a financing gap of over $136 billion annually ...
‘Poverty Alleviation Efforts Making Positive Impact in Pakistan’
November, 16 2017
Pakistan - It was said that under Programme for Poverty Reduction, more than 4,000 community institutions (43% women representation) have been formed and strengthened; 5,049 individuals (48% women) have received productive assets; while more than 11,000 individuals (42% women) have undertaken livelihood trainings. As many as 753 infrastructure schemes consisting of clean drinking water, link roads, flood protection works, irrigation and renewable energy projects have also been completed ...
Impact Investing Taking Root in Asia
November, 15 2017
Global - In a bid to help address challenging global circumstances, a growing number of Asia’s high net worth (HNWI) and ultra-high net worth individuals (UHNWI) are looking to increase their portfolio allocation to impact investing ...
L. Callanan, Founding Partner, Upstart Co-Lab: Too Much Money Chasing Too Few Deals? Why the Creative Economy Could Be the Next Big Focus for Impact Investing
November, 15 2017
Global - Impact investing is going mainstream. Don’t take my word for it, that’s what Forbes, McKinsey & Company and the World Economic Forum say. Increasingly, this capital is aligned with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, according to the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) and TONIIC ...
Australia: Government Launches Emerging Market Impact Investment Fund
November, 15 2017
Australia - A new impact investment fund aimed at leveraging private investment in small and medium enterprise in the Asia-Pacific region has been launched by the Australian Government. The $40 billion emerging markets impact investment fund will support SME's that generate positive social and development outcomes for poor communities in the Asia-Pacific to promote economic growth and reduce poverty. ...
Indonesia: IFC Proposes to Provide Up to $50m Debt to Microfinance Institution MBK
November, 15 2017
Indonesia - The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has proposed to provide financing of up to $50 million to Indonesia-based microfinance institution PT Mitra Bisnis Keluarga Ventura (MBK), a disclosure said. The funding is expected to support the growth of the company’s microfinance portfolio, mainly targeting underserved rural women borrowers. ...
M-Pesa Users Up 50% in Three Markets – Vodacom
November, 14 2017
Global - Vodacom reported rapid growth in its m-pesa mobile money userbase across every market the company operates the service in, as it prepares to export Safaricom’s wildly successful model to new countries ...
Bosnia and Herzegovina: EBRD Supports Bosnian Private Businesses
November, 14 2017
Bosnia and Herzegovina - The EBRD is providing Mikrofin, the largest non-bank microfinance institution in Bosnia and Herzegovina, with a €4 million loan for on-lending to local private businesses. Mikrofin currently has a network of 75 branches throughout the country and working with the lender will allow the EBRD to widen and deepen its outreach to extend finance where it is often needed most ...
Rwanda: New Initiative Seeks to Ease SME Access to Finance
November, 13 2017
Rwanda - La Finance s’Engage Rwanda will seek to improve access to funding by small businesses, according to the firm’s officials. In 2016, a similar initiative raised about $2 billion from financial institutions to support SMEs in West Africa, particularly Ivory Coast ...
Unknown Editor: Nigeria - How to Reposition Housing Sector for Economic Growth
November, 13 2017
Nigeria - Housing policy must seek to work for all Nigerians – the rich, the poor, civil servants, small business people, artisans, informal sector workers and entrepreneurs, young graduates, young people with limited formal education, banks, construction companies for it to boost construction activities and make a significant contribution to economic development ...
A.R. Medina Arias, Lead Specialist for Latin America and the Caribbean, the Smart Campaign: How Smart Campaign Research Is Influencing Client Protection Policy in Peru
November, 13 2017
Peru - In recent years, Peru has called for our attention not only for being at the top of the Global Microscope’s international country rankings for the most conducive environment for financial inclusion, but also for its historic collaborative effort to establish a fully-interoperable nationwide digital payments platform (Bim) to support the supply of financial services. But buckle up, there is more ...
China: Microlending Risks Grow
November, 12 2017
China - China’s microlending sector has grown explosively in the past year — and so have the risks. The industry targets borrowers like students and small businesses traditionally excluded from the financial system ...
Latin America: Micro-Lending Startup Ripio Credit Network ICO Hits $37 Million Target
November, 11 2017
Latin America - The initial coin offering for Latin American startup Ripio’s micro-lending network reached its $37 million hard cap ...
USA: Feel-Good Investing Is the New Trend on Wall Street
November, 11 2017
USA - ESG assets are now at $9 trillion, a 33 percent increase since 2014, according to USSIF, a foundation that follows ESG investments ...
Nigeria: Breaking the Cycle of Poverty
November, 10 2017
Nigeria - What’s more, in the developing world women are 20 percent less likely than men to have a bank account, being frequently turned away by financial institutes simply because of their gender—and the rate is much higher for widows and single mothers. Getting credit is also extremely difficult ...
Digital Finance Is ‘Crucial’ for SDGs
November, 10 2017
Global - There is no better time than now for Asia to move forward with digital technology to improve financial inclusion and eradicate poverty in the region, said experts at a recent conference in Manila ...
Haiti: It's Time to Rethink How We View Microfinance Institutions
November, 10 2017
Haiti - The core competency of microfinance institutions isn’t finance — it’s distribution. Their central infrastructure isn’t bank branches, but rather networked group meetings. And the return on investment from their loans isn’t the interest; it’s the added value of organizing vulnerable populations in rural areas of low-income countries into a platform ...
Zimbabwe: Mobile Money Services Clock $11bn in 9 Months
November, 09 2017
Zimbabwe - Mobile financial services have overtaken traditional methods of transacting with $11 billion worth of transactions being recorded through innovative digital platforms alone between January and September this year, according to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) ...
J. Hale, Ph.D., CFA: Investing for Sustainability and Impact
November, 09 2017
Global - The idea of investing for sustainability and impact resonates with many investors. In a recent global investor survey of more than 22,000 investors, Schroders found that sustainable investors see positive impact and financial returns going "hand-in-hand. ...
V. Pande Partner, Dalberg, N. Jasuja MBA Student, Wharton School : The Curious Case of Myanmar - Can the Country Leapfrog to Digital Financial Inclusion?
November, 08 2017
Myanmar - Arguably the most extraordinary transformation has been led by the nation’s telecom sector. Fueled by years of repressed demand, cheap Chinese phones, softening regulations and an aggressive push by the country’s mobile network operators, Myanmar leapfrogged from practically no phones to almost exclusively smartphones ...
India: Microfinance Back from Jaws of Death
November, 08 2017
India - It has been a year since demonetisation was announced and this gives us an opportunity to analyse its impact on our sector. The intended consequences were to strike at the root of the parallel black economy, eliminate corruption and make the country go digital in financial transactions ...
The Role of Emerging Markets in Global Green Bond Issuance
November, 07 2017
Global - Green bond issuance this year has surpassed 2016 totals and appears to show no signs of slowing. Year-to-date issuance in 2017 totalled $90.1 billion, as of October 18, versus $81.6 billion in 2016, according to the Climate Bonds Initiative (“CBI”). In fact, September was the busiest month this year with nearly $15 billion issued ...
Finance Expert Sharone Perlstein about the Role of Microfinancing in the Growth of New Businesses
November, 07 2017
Global - On a truly global level, but especially in developing regions, Microfinance is allowing creative people with limited financial means of their own to turn their business ideas into living realities. Microfinancing is therefore providing an excellent solution to the all-too-well-known problem of how someone who has an excellent idea for a business but lacks funding can act on that idea. ...
India: One Year of Demonetisation - Microfinance Industry Recovering Slowly
November, 07 2017
India - MD of Arohan Manoj Nambiar said demonetisation severely affected poor women as they were unable to repay in old currencies. With the completion of one year of demonetisation, leading players of the microfinance industry (MFI) were of the view that things were recovering slowly and delinquency levels were still on the higher side ...
Uganda: Financial Inclusion Optimism
November, 07 2017
Uganda - Uganda’s central bank in partnership with the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development has unveiled a five-year financial inclusion strategy to enable more individuals and business access affordable financial products and services. ...
Nigeria: FINCA MfB Unveils Loans to Enhance Access to Quality Education
November, 07 2017
Nigeria - FINCA Microfinance Bank Nigeria Limited and Opportunity International Edufinance (OIE) have partnered to expand access to education loans in South-East Nigeria. The partnership, through OIE’s Technical Assistance Facility (ETAF), already has led to the introduction of School Fees Loan product for parents of students in private sector education. ...
IFC and Opportunity Bank Support Farmers, Micro and Small Enterprises in Serbia
November, 06 2017
Serbia - IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is providing a RSD 775 million (approximately €6.5 million equivalent) loan to Opportunity Bank Serbia (OBS) to help finance farmers, and micro and small enterprises (MSEs), so they can grow their businesses and generate new jobs. IFC is also providing advisory services to OBS on developing a digitization strategy ...
Nigeria: World Bank Supports SMEs with N10b Grant
November, 05 2017
Global - Thee World Bank has initiated a scheme to support small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) with grants up to N10billion across the nation ...
Mastercard Partners with FSD Uganda to Strengthen Financial Inclusion
November, 03 2017
Uganda - The partnership, announced during Financial Inclusion Week, will allow Mastercard, including the Mastercard Labs for Financial Inclusion, and FSD Uganda to focus on achieving their target in the key sectors of education, agriculture, trade and health by creating and rolling out secure and simple digital payments solutions ...
M. Zhang, Senior Advisor, WSBI: An Account for Everyone - How New Products and Partnerships Are Helping WSBI Members March Towards Universal Financial Access
November, 03 2017
Global - The World Savings and Retail Banking Institute (WSBI) and its members are committed to Universal Financial Access (UFA), doing their part to help realize the “account for everyone” goal. Our data from the end of 2016 shows that we’re making progress, with 136 million new clients and 236 million new transaction accounts, since the UFA benchmarks were set at the end of 2014 ...
S. Polsky, Founder and CEO, Juvo: A Team Sport  -  Three Reasons Why Mobile Telcos and Financial Institutions Will Drive Financial Inclusion Together
November, 03 2017
Global - The mobile industry has demonstrated the reach to change the lives of billions of people around the world. But it’s only by working with the financial services community that the industry can contribute to achievement of UN’s Sustainable Development Goals through financial inclusion ...
Rwanda: KCB Bank Unveils Mobile Micro-Credit Facility
November, 03 2017
Rwanda - It will now be easy for KCB Bank Rwanda customers to access small loans to cater for emergencies or restock thanks to the bank’s new mobile credit facility ...
New, Better and More Affordable Digital Financial Services Needed to Bridge the Digital Gap
November, 02 2017
Global - The scale, depth and speed of the digital transformation in the economic sector is astounding in almost any activity. Arguably, industries that rely most heavily on information flows and have less regulatory barriers to entry experience the challenge, or opportunity, of digitalisation at earlier stages. Nevertheless, eventually all sectors will be impacted by the irruption of digital technologies ...
Innovation Can Unlock Trillions in Climate Finance
November, 02 2017
Global - The East Asian region is a major driver in global growth of demand for climate smart technologies, according to a new report by IFC, a member of the World Bank Group ...
A. Chandrashekar, Senior Research Associate, IFMR LEAD: The Longest Last Mile - Are India’s Poor Ready for Digital Financial Services?
November, 02 2017
India - The current state of the sector seems to suggest that the emphasis on digital financial services in the Indian market will yield utopian results. However, India’s poor are far from reaching this stage. This post looks at some of the key challenges that lie ahead for India’s poor in transitioning from manual to digital modes of payment services ...
Nigeria: CBN Targets 80% Financial Inclusion by 2020
November, 02 2017
Nigeria - The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) assured Nigerians wednesday that it would work aggressively towards increasing financial inclusion rate to 80 per cent, by cutting down the number of people excluded from the financial system to 20 per cent in the next three years (2020) ...
Centrum Capital to Acquire FirstRand Bank’s Microfinance Business in India
November, 02 2017
India - Centrum Capital has acquired FirstRand Bank’s microfinance business in India to start Centrum Microcredit, which received RBI licence to start its own microfinance business on Wednesday ...
Ease of Doing Business 2018 Rankings: India Jumps 30 Points to Reach Top-100 Club
November, 01 2017
India - For the first time ever, India has jumped 30 positions to become the top 100th country in terms of ease of doing business ranking this year. This was announced by the World Bank Group's latest Doing Business 2018: Reforming to Create Jobs report in Delhi on 31, October 2017. ...
Frontier Markets in Asia Pacific to Lead Future Growth
November, 01 2017
Global - Future growth in wealth markets will be driven by strong performances in the Asia Pacific, with frontier markets within the region set to outperform mature and emerging markets, according to a report by GlobalData ...
E. Beck Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of Oregon: When Failure Is Hard to Recognize: Facing Hard Truths about Microfinance
November, 01 2017
Global - In sum, my observations of both organizations revealed that borrowers are savvy individuals who leverage projects for their own ends, engage with and pick apart projects, all while recognizing that such projects rarely transform their lives and communities in any dramatic way. They may see their participation as successful for their own reasons and play along with policymakers’ scripts, even when policymakers’ goals are not being met – thus unintentionally contributing to projects’ persistence ...
B. Clavier, N. Malhotra, Stanford Graduate School of Business: Valuing Social Impact Expertise in Impact Investing
November, 01 2017
Global - When it comes to driving social progress, good intentions and a big heart are not enough to guide good decisions. Moving the needle requires skilled professionals who have experience creating social change. Unfortunately, our research shows that when it comes to impact investing, financiers don’t value such expertise and wisdom as much as they should ...
Fostering Financial Inclusion in Pakistan
November, 01 2017
Pakistan - The government of Pakistan introduced its National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) in 2015 to expedite its efforts towards extending financial access to at least 50 percent of its adult population by 2020. The strategy primarily focuses on four key areas: promoting digital transaction accounts and reaching scale through bulk payments, expanding and diversifying access points, improving capacity of financial service providers, and increasing levels of financial awareness and capability ...
Tanzania: Microfinance Policy, Law Is Timely
November, 01 2017
Tanzania - The government’s decision to launch the Microfinance Policy, 2017 has come at the right time. The policy, together with the planned Microfinance Law, will give the country the required legal framework to effectively regulate the subsector ...
Indonesia Tops Up Islamic Microfinance Sector with Ten New Institutions
November, 01 2017
Indonesia - Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim country, in its intention to improve the financial inclusion of the large number of unbanked citizens, and to improve the financial ecosystems in communities and to reduce the exposure of small business owners or even entire villages to informal lending structures, is expanding the network of official microfinance institutions across the country ...

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