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Dec 2017
5 Noteworthy Happenings in Social Enterprise and Impact Investing in 2017
December, 30 2017
Global - As we bid goodbye to 2017, let’s take the opportunity to look back at some significant happenings and trends in the world of social enterprise and impact investing ...
Nigeria: Anxiety Grips MFBs as BVN Deadline Expires Today
December, 29 2017
Nigeria - With the December 31, 2017 deadline set by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for Micro-Finance Banks (MFBs) to enrol their customers on the Bank Verification Number (BVN) platform essentially set to expire today, there are indications that the micro lenders are worried about the impact on the sub-sector if the apex bank enforces its directive that customers’ whose accounts are not BVN-linked should not be entitled to debit-operations ...
Zimbabwe: ZAMFI Pledges to Support Agriculture
December, 29 2017
Zimbabwe - Zimbabwe Association of Microfinance Institutions (ZAMFI), has pledged to support agriculture starting from next season due to its contribution to the economy ...
JSC MFO Crystal Successfully Issues 10m GEL of Unsecured Bonds
December, 28 2017
Georgia - JSC MFO Crystal, rated B by Fitch Ratings, successfully completed an inaugural 10 million GEL offering of notes due December 2019 (the Notes). The annual coupon rate was set at 4.5% over the National Bank of Georgia’s refinancing rate. ...
Microloans: Boon or Bane for Cambodia's Rural Poor?
December, 28 2017
Cambodia - A recent rate cap of 18 per cent imposed by the government has stirred debate about whether it would halt the spiral of rural debt, or force people to rely on worse sources of credit ...
Sri Lanka: Regulatory Nod for Merging of LOLC Group Finance Firms
December, 27 2017
Sri Lanka - A merger of finance companies within the LOLC group has received regulatory approval from the Central Bank, according to a disclosure made to the Colombo Stock Exchange ...
Climate Change and Global Poverty Can Only Be Solved Together
December, 19 2017
Global - Policymakers around the world must recognize that the problems of global poverty and climate change are interlinked. The only path to a prosperous and secure future involves technologies and policies that help to solve both problems at once ...
Impact Investing: A $250 Billion Game-Changer for Finance
December, 18 2017
Global - "It's a $250 billion market and it's growing fast," said Michael Baldinger, a 30-year industry veteran who joined UBS (UBS) Asset Management as head of sustainable and impact investing -- a new role -- just over a year ago. "It might really be a game-changer for the finance industry. ...
How Successful Are Banking Agents in Bringing Digital Financial Services to New Customers in India?
December, 18 2017
India - India’s financial services industry is poised for a digital revolution. From payment banks to India Stack to the recent expansion of mobile financial services, policy makers and financial service providers are energetically pursuing digitization of financial services. But the country still has a tremendous way to go ...
Ghana: BoG to Place Temporary Ban on New Banking Licences
December, 18 2017
Ghana - The Bank of Ghana (BoG) says it will from next year place a temporary ban on the issuance of licences to new universal banks, savings and loans companies or microfinance institutions ...
EBRD, First MicroFinance Bank Team Up to Support Tajik SMEs
December, 18 2017
Tajikistan - From now on, loans to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Tajikistan, which represent over 50 percent of the country’s labour force, will be available at a greater extend ...
IFC, MasterCard Study to Boost Financial Inclusion
December, 17 2017
Global - International Finance Corporation (IFC) has unveiled a study to help financial firms in Africa understand consumer perceptions and attitudes towards digital services ...
Fighting Poverty in India and China — a Tale of Two Countries
December, 17 2017
Global - With one-third of the world’s population living in India and China, the two countries are often compared because of their similar population size and economies having matching potential and global leverage ...
Egypt: FRA Insurance Programme Supports Microbusiness Financing
December, 17 2017
Egypt - Mohamed Omran, chairperson of the Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA), revealed that the FRA set a meeting between microbusiness financing companies and insurance companies to support and stimulate the microinsurance products ...
Bangladesh: SMEs Deserve Greater Attention
December, 17 2017
Bangladesh - Small entrepreneurs, particularly the young and women, deserve greater attention of the policymakers and regulators to help them grow and receive adequate financing, said a former central bank governor. “Despite many successes, SME financing still remains inadequate,” said the governor, Atiur Rahman ...
Nigeria: LBS Launchs Digital Financial Services
December, 16 2017
Nigeria - In a statement made available to The Nation, the LBS appealed to governments at all levels and relevant agencies in Nigeria to work together and execute policies that would promote financial inclusion in the country ...
ADB Bolsters Microfinance Program with $100 Million in Additional Financing
December, 15 2017
Global - The Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Board of Directors has raised the limit of an existing microfinance risk participation and guarantee program by an additional $100 million in assistance for its microfinance institutions (MFIs) ...
Pakistan: Industry Collaboration to Promote Financial Inclusion for Women
December, 15 2017
Pakistan - A collaboration amongst four Pakistan and multi-national organizations aims to enhance the availability of financial services to low-income women across Pakistan ...
India’s Aavishkaar Bharat Fund Attracts $95m for Impact Investing from Investors Including CDC, SIDBI, Munjal Family Office (Hero Corporation), TIAA
December, 14 2017
India - The fund will support businesses in India that further Aavishkaar’s mission to “enhance livelihoods and reduce vulnerabilities for the low-income population” in “a range of sectors, namely agriculture, dairy, education, energy, handicrafts, health, water and sanitation, technology for development, microfinance and financial inclusion. ...
India: Veritas Finance Raises $10 Million from CDC Group
December, 14 2017
India - Veritas plans to use the funds to expand into newer states like Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, deepen its presence in existing locations and aid in the development of new technolog ...
World’s Renewable Energy Giants Are Getting Outbid in Argentina
December, 13 2017
Global - The shut-out of some of the world’s major renewable-energy developers – from Spain’s Acciona and Italy’s Enel Green Power to AES Corp of the US – underscores a lingering hesitation over investing in Argentina ...
T. Bruett, T. Keyzom Ngodup, UN Capital Development Fund: FinTech for Sustainable Development: A Bold Step in Sierra Leone
December, 12 2017
Sierra Leone - In Sierra Leone, three financial technology start-ups are setting out to test new ideas on contributing to the SDGs through greater financial inclusion. In Sierra Leone, less than 13% have access to savings and credit, while over 80% of the population uses mobile phones ...
EU Announces €9bn in Funding for Climate Action
December, 12 2017
Global - EU funds will be focused on clean energy, and sustainable cities and agriculture, with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation also pledging $300m towards climate adaptation ...
J. de Souza, J. Amboko, K. Makarov, StratLink Africa Ltd.: Scaling Impact Finance in Kenya - A Look at Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises
December, 12 2017
Kenya - Social impact investors need to change the way they look at Sub-Saharan African opportunities ...
S. Sanyal, Senior Associate on Clean Energy Finance, World Resources Institute : Soldiering on in Solar - Why the ‘Investible’ Deals Debate Isn’t the Whole Story
December, 12 2017
Global - An ongoing debate on NextBillion in 2017 has been the extent to which impact investors should steer clear of the "hype cycle" surrounding off-grid solar providers, particularly in Africa. But after a recent trip to Tanzania where he met with several solar entrepreneurs, WRI's Sanjoy Sanyal argues that now is precisely the time to push forward. He explores why genuine, impact-seeking investors need to look ahead of the current incumbents and support local entrepreneurs ...
China: IFC Proposes to Inject Up to $194m Debt in Baidu’s Student Micro-Loan Unit
December, 11 2017
China - The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private lending arm of the World Bank Group, is considering a senior loan investment of up to RMB1300 million ($194 million) through its own account as well as a syndication facility in Baidu Chongqing Baidu Micro-Loan Company Ltd (Baidu CQ MCC), a wholly owned entity of Baidu Inc ...
N. van de Walle, Senior Research Manager, Financial Inclusion Insights, InterMedia: India’s Demonetization - One Year Later, What Was the Impact on Financial Inclusion?
December, 11 2017
India - Demonetization had a strongly positive effect on financial inclusion, leading to increases in account registration and active and advanced use of registered accounts, according to our data ...
Phillippines: P1 Billion in Micro Loans for MSMEs in 2018
December, 11 2017
Phillippines - The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), in a statement issued yesterday, said the additional funds for 2018 will still be coursed through the Office of the President to the Small Business Corp. (SB Corp), an attached agency of the DTI that is mandated to provide financing and capacity building services to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) ...
Microfinance and National Financial Strategies
December, 10 2017
Nigeria - When governments are putting together financial strategies to ensure future prosperity, they are now increasingly conscious of how microfinance banking can contribute to their plans. This is especially true of developing nations, where a number of different factors typically cause problems that microfinance can certainly help to resolve. ...
Rwanda: A cashless society by 2024 is achievable
December, 10 2017
Rwanda - The Central Bank has, for the last month, been on an aggressive path to promote digital financial services with the aim of having a cashless financial system by 2024 ...
South Pacific: $209m Loan Mark
December, 09 2017
South Pacific - A microfinance network has enabled many women entrepreneurs in Fiji and the South Pacific to establish and grow their businesses, further improving their livelihoods. The network — South Pacific Business Development (SPBD) — has also expanded since its inception in 2000 — reaching more than 40,000 rural and underprivileged women in six Pacific countries including Fiji ...
I. Fatah, Investment Officer, Overseas Private Investment Corporation: Investment = Inclusion - Can Fintech, With a Boost from Investors, Level the Playing Field for the Unbanked in Africa?
December, 08 2017
- Fintech – particularly mobile finance – is increasingly vital to Africa's economic growth. But despite the continent's impressive mobile money penetration, much of its population remains unbanked or underbanked. That’s why it’s so encouraging to see another trend developing in tandem with Africans’ embrace of fintech: namely, investors’ embrace of African fintech companies. Iftin Fatah at OPIC explores why more investment means more digital financial inclusion ...
Microlending Startups Look to Blockchain for Loans
December, 08 2017
Global - A new of wave startups believe blockchain can help microfinance deliver on lofty promises. Billed as a silver bullet that could lift the poor out of poverty since the mid-2000s, microfinance, or the use of small loans to boost the unbanked, has failed to take off for various reasons – namely, a lack of transparency and the existence of middlemen that blockchain is said to eliminate ...
Boosting Renewable Energy Bankability in Southeast Asia
December, 08 2017
Southeast Asia - A combination of growing energy demand, strong wind and solar resources, and political support for development has made investing in renewable energy an attractive prospect in the region. Aaron Daniels explains how companies can ensure their projects are bankable ...
Despite 50 Exits in the Last 7 Years, How India’s Impact Investors Are Scaling Up the Fund Pool
December, 08 2017
India - Impact investments in India crossed $1 billion for the first time in 2015 and have the potential to reach $6-8 billion a year by 2025, McKinsey estimates. However, as most funds in India are small and focused on early-stage companies, much of this growth will have to depend on an influx of capital from global funds and increasing co-investment deals with mainstream venture funds ...
A. Bila, Director of Payment Systems, Bank of Mozambique, K. Dancey, Head of Payments, First National Bank: SADC Needs a Regionally-Accepted Digital Financial ID—and It Is Feasible to Contemplate
December, 08 2017
Global - Of the 338 million citizens of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) member states, 138 million lack adequate official means of identification. This limits their access to and usage of many government services, as well as the range of services offered by financial service providers. This affects their wellbeing in a host of ways, which is why the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals include the goal of a robust “Identity for All” by 2030 ...
Philippines: Financial Technology to Help Push Islamic Microfinance in Mindanao
December, 07 2017
Phillippines - Fintq, together with its partners, have recently launched a national movement called “KasamaKA” to further drive financial inclusion in the countryside. KasamaKA (loosely translated to mean as financial inclusion) aims to provide greater access to financial services to every Filipino. The initiative is supported by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, the SEC and the Insurance Commission ...
Kenya: MasterCard - Helps Nairobi Merchants with SMS-Based Micro-Loans
December, 07 2017
Kenya - MasterCard has unveiled a new platform called Kionect, a digital ordering system that enables small kiosk owners in Nairobi to order and pay for products from wholesalers via SMS, according to a press release ...
P. DiLeo, President of Grassroots Capital Management, PBC: Will Microfinance Still Exist 10 Years From Now? Thoughts from European Microfinance Week
December, 07 2017
Global - If investors and practitioners are clear about the end goal (ie: increasingly effective approaches to reduce poverty, treat the poor with dignity and build sustainability), rather than the means (ie: microcredit or other financial services), we can expect the sector’s work to continue ...
Do-Good Investors: Watch Out For What These Funds Hold
December, 06 2017
Global - If you listen to the marketing hype, assets devoted to ESG—industry jargon for investments sensitive to environmental, social and governance issues—account for some $8.7 trillion, double the amount just five years ago. That's great news for the planet, right? Not so fast. Much of the growth is a matter of semantics. What were once run-of-the-mill value or growth funds are being reclassified as sustainable or ESG-friendly ...
Somalia Partnership Forum stresses job creation and poverty reduction to promote stability
December, 05 2017
Somalia - A gathering of senior representatives of the Somali Government, the United Nations and the international community concluded in Mogadishu today with a call for greater investment in the country’s economic development to create more job opportunities, rehabilitate essential infrastructure, and improve the living conditions of the Somali people ...
D. Sriskandarajah, Secretary General of Civicus: Warm and Cuddly Global Goals? The International Community Must Get Real
December, 05 2017
Global - Two years into their life, and amid the grim political realities of the last year, the sustainable development goals seem increasingly like warm words with little if any bite. With the clock counting down till 2030, we urgently need to find ways of driving real changes in behaviour, policy and investment if we are to create a more just and sustainable world. We need nothing short of an accountability revolution ...
A. H. Hastings, Global Advocate, Uplift: Let’s Rid the Globe of Ultra-Poverty
December, 05 2017
Global - Ultra-poverty is not the same thing as “extreme poverty” as defined by the World Bank, which includes anyone living under $1.90/day purchasing power parity. Rather, according to most of us who work on ultra-poverty, it looks like this: in ultra-poor families, everyone goes without food for days at a time, children aren’t in school and have no access to health care, and the family has no productive assets to make a living – no land, no livestock, no job, no small commerce ...
Greenlight Planet Raises $60 MM for Off-grid Solar Financing Business, Led by Apis Partners
December, 05 2017
Africa and Asia - London-based private equity fund manager Apis Partners and other investors announced disbursement of $60 MM in new funding to Greenlight Planet Inc., the leading provider of off-grid solar products and solar financing for underserved populations around the world ...
Argentina: Don't Cry, Impact Invest in Us
December, 04 2017
Argentina - Argentina is embracing impact investing, hoping private investments can shore up new sources of capital and help solve its social problems ...
SANAD Lends USD 20 Million to Lebanon’s Fransabank to Support SMEs and Low-income Households
December, 04 2017
Lebanon - The SANAD Fund for MSME (SANAD) has provided a senior loan of USD 20 million to Fransabank SAL to support the bank’s efforts in expanding its lending operations to small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and providing housing loans to low-income individuals. ...
Maghreb Private Equity Fund IV Hits First Close
December, 04 2017
North Africa - Maghreb Private Equity Fund IV (MPEF IV), a 10-year fund with a target size of €200-250m and a hard cap of €R275m, will invest in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in North Africa (including Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia), looking to take substantial minority stakes. ...
Romania: Garanti Leasing - EFSE, Loan Agreement of EUR 15 M to Increase Access to Financing for MSEs
December, 04 2017
Romania - Garanti Leasing, part of Garanti Romania, has signed a loan agreement of EUR 15 million with the European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE). According to a press release, the facility is meant to increase access to financing for local micro and small enterprises (MSEs) and individual entrepreneurs ...
GSMA Report: Mobile Industry to Play Critical Role in Bangladesh’s Digital Transformation
December, 03 2017
Bangladesh - Titled “Bangladesh: Driving mobile-enabled digital transformation”, the report notes that by working closely together, the government and industry have the capacity to unlock digital transformation for millions of Bangladeshis, as well as drive social and economic growth for the country. ...
India: Satin Creditcare to Enter Housing Finance Business
December, 03 2017
India - Satin Creditcare will this month foray into housing finance business, offering loan below Rs 10 lakh, with an aim to tap unorganised market in rural and semi-urban areas ...
India: Aavishkaar Targets US $4 bn in Assets Under Management by 2024
December, 03 2017
India - Homegrown impact investing company Aavishkaar Intellecap Group is aiming to have about US $4 billion in assets under management (AUM) by 2024, a top company official said ...
India: Sustainable Housing Needs to Be Affordable Too
December, 03 2017
India - Challenges to sustainability are aggravated by climate change, population growth, urbanisation, and aspirations to better living standards. Urbanisation offers countless opportunities to develop adaption and mitigation strategies to combat climate change through effective environmental governance. Buildings contribute to 30% of the global greenhouse gas emissions and account for the consumption of one-third of the global raw materials, energy and water ...
A. Fiorillo, Founder and CEO, GRID Impact: Pakistan - How to Bring More Women into Mobile Money
December, 02 2017
Pakistan - Women are largely excluded from the financial sector, and adoption of mobile money by low-income and low literacy groups is hindered by cultural norms as well as technology that is not designed to engage this potential mass market ...
M. Lawson, ICT4D Training and Communications Assistant, Catholic Relief Services: Water ATMs - How Technology is Improving Water Governance in Tanzania
December, 01 2017
Tanzania - The lack of accessible, potable water for many of the world’s most remote communities is too often due to a governance issue. In Tanzania, for example, this issue is two-fold. ...
Alibaba Launches US$1.5 Billion Fund to Help Fight Poverty in China
December, 01 2017
China - Tech giant Alibaba Group on Friday launched a 10 billion yuan (US$1.51 billion) fund to support China’s ambitious poverty alleviation campaign ...
Micro-Finance: Do Good and Turn a Profit
December, 01 2017
Global - Ethical investment is pretty mainstream these days – most big fund managers provide socially responsible investing (SRI) and environmental, social and governance (ESG) funds. However, the underlying investments are usually in established businesses, listed on the stock exchange. ...

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