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Apr 2017
India: Janalakshmi Financial Services Receives ‘Operating Licence’ for Small Finance Bank
April, 29 2017
India - Janalakshmi Financial Services (JFS), India's largest microfinance organization, today announced the receipt of final licence from Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to set up Small Finance Bank. The Small Finance Bank will commence operations in the second quarter of the current financial year. ...
Guardian Launches Important New Website on Inequality
April, 28 2017
Global - ‘Over the coming year, the Guardian’s Inequality Project – supported by the Ford Foundation – will try to shed fresh light on these and many more issues of inequality and social unfairness, using in-depth reporting, new academic research and, most importantly, insights from you, our audience, wherever you are in the world and whatever your experiences of inequality. ...
Microfinance and Energy Access
April, 28 2017
Global - Energy efficiency, combined with renewable energy, should be the ultimate goal of energy transformation for the world. The unique challenge of energy access is encouraging millions of energy-poor people to leapfrog from a scenario of no electricity and dirty fuel for cooking to a future with the most efficient appliances using electricity generated from renewable sources ...
IFC and Ant Financial to Enable Digital Financial Inclusion in Emerging Markets
April, 28 2017
Global - IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and Ant Financial Services Group, one of the world’s leading tech companies and parent company of Alipay— signed a memorandum of understanding to increase support to digital financial solutions to make basic financial services more accessible in China and other emerging markets ...
Council of Arab Central Banks Governors Reaffirms Importance of Enhancing Financial Inclusion
April, 27 2017
MENA - The Council of Arab Central Banks Governors reaffirmed its commitment to continue working to provide an appropriate environment for achieving the universality of financial sector in the Arab countries ...
ADB Assistance to Indian Microfinance Co
April, 27 2017
India - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has provided a $10 million equity investment to Satin Creditcare Network Limited (SCNL) to support the improvement of women’s access to finance in rural and semi-urban areas in India, Bureaucracy Today has learnt. ...
Asian Development Bank Faces Critical Tests in the Next Five Years
April, 27 2017
Asia - International financial institutions now pledge to cooperate and act as “honest brokers” to bring in the private sector through their expertise and facilities, with the focus on infrastructure, poorer economies, and common interests such as climate change ...
Microfinance Pioneer FINCA Launches FINCA Impact Finance - a New Model for Responsible Financial Services
April, 27 2017
USA - FINCA, the global institution that pioneered Village Banking and helped prove the sustainable microfinance model as key to economic development, today announced the launch of FINCA Impact Finance ...
KOMINFO Indonesia Providing ICT Infrastructure and Support for Ultra-Micro Financing Programme to Enhance Financial Inclusion
April, 26 2017
Indonesia - The ultra-micro financing system transactions can be accessed via mobile phones and they are SMS-based for ease of access without the need for Internet ...
One of the Biggest Sources of Cash for the World’s Poorest Countries Shrank for a Second Year in a Row
April, 26 2017
Global - The primary culprits for the recent drop are low oil prices and slow economic growth in the Gulf states and Russia—the sources of almost 20% of all remittances. ...
Low-cost Mobile Money Increases Access to Financial Services in Tanzania
April, 25 2017
Tanzania - Mobile money platform M-Pesa has been credited with helping lift two percent of Kenyans out of poverty. But mobile money’s impact in neighboring and more populous Tanzania is also significant ...
How to Ensure that Sustainable Investing Is Successful and Secure
April, 25 2017
Global - Investors, experts and activists are demanding more sustainable practices from large organizations and public companies; that’s good. Those organizations and companies are going green; that’s also good. But we must ensure that cybersecurity and energy infrastructure also keep pace ...
Athena Publishes Research on Constructing Impact Portfolios
April, 25 2017
Global - Athena Capital Advisors, a registered investment adviser that provides investment management, advisory, and outsourced CIO services to private clients and institutions, has released new research on a framework for constructing diversified, multi-asset class investment portfolios that seek both financial and social return. ...
MFIN Launches India’s First Financial Literacy App for Microfinancing
April, 25 2017
India - The financial literacy app has been released on Android platform and will be available in six languages including Hindi, Marathi, Telugu, Tamil and English. It is aimed to help them in understanding dynamics involved in microfinance including credit history, interest rates, repayment cycles and their rights as a borrower ...
Uganda: New Report Cautions Banks on Agent Banking
April, 24 2017
Uganda - A new market report has revealed the opportunities that lie within agent banking but at the same time cautioned banks on the challenges of the model ...
New Impact Investing Marketplace Links Social Enterprises and Investors
April, 23 2017
USA - Impact investors often complain they can’t find enough viable social enterprises to invest in. And entrepreneurs bemoan a lack of available funding. Now a recently introduced online impact investing marketplace hopes to address that problem ...
WaterEquity Launches New $50M Social Impact Investment Fund
April, 22 2017
USA - Already supported by Bank of America with a $5m zero interest loan, WaterCredit Investment Fund 3 (WCIF3) will invest in enterprises serving water and sanitation needs among the world’s poor ...
IFC Invests $325m in Green Bond Fund for Emerging Markets
April, 21 2017
Global - The IFC has partnered with Amundi, Europe’s largest listed asset manager, with the aim of raising up to $2bn from other international investors to create the biggest green bond fund dedicated to emerging markets to date ...
The Five Biggest Myths about Impact Investing
April, 20 2017
Global - As impact investing continues to attract numbers of larger institutional investors, it's important that myths get busted to eradicate this handful of persistent misconceptions. Impact investing is for everyone. ...
IFC Helps Launch Azerbaijan’s First Credit Information Bureau to Boost Access to Finance
April, 20 2017
Azerbaijan - IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has helped launch Azerbaijan’s first private credit bureau to enable local financial institutions to better share credit information and manage lending risks, and boost access to finance for borrowers, including small and medium enterprises. ...
P. DiLeo, T. A. Watkins, and A. Kanze: Microfinance Is Dead; Long Live Microfinance!
April, 20 2017
Global - The fact that so many donors and impact investors view microfinance as dead undermines the ability of the industry to further strengthen through trial and error the robust business model that underlies its current success and stature—and inspires today’s exuberance for “impact investing”. Microfinance is alive, well and firmly integrated into global mainstream capital markets. ...
World Bank Group Welcomes the GSMA to Universal Financial Access Initiative
April, 18 2017
Global - The World Bank Group today welcomed the GSMA, the global body representing nearly 800 mobile operators and 300 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, to its coalition of partners committed to achieve Universal Financial Access (UFA) by the year 2020 ...
S.Kehoe, Global Head of Financial Inclusion at Visa Inc.: Progress Toward Universal Financial Access
April, 17 2017
Global - In short, the range of potential partnership to drive financial inclusion continues to grow and so must the investments. Much of this should be driven by the private sector and we also welcome a greater commitment from major institutions, like the World Bank Group itself, to enable and facilitate stronger private public partnerships ...
Solar Energy: A New Frontier for Microfinance
April, 17 2017
Global - What if the institution that financed your business could also light up your house? Microfinance institutions (MFIs) have mostly stayed out of the pay-as-you-go solar (PAYGo) space, but that may be changing — creating both new opportunities and challenges for financial inclusion, as it brings MFIs into consumer financing ...
E. Dugarova and N. Gülasan, Policy Specialists, UNDP: Six Megatrends that Could Alter the Course of Sustainable Development
April, 14 2017
Global - As the world works to achieve the sustainable development goals, a recent UN report identifies six issues that challenge ambitious targets ...
I. AlHusseini, Founder, FullCycle Energy Fund: 10 Reasons Why You Should Consider Impact Investing
April, 13 2017
Global - Here are 10 reasons why impact investing makes sense, for everyone from venture capitalists and investment banks to foundations and individuals ...
GABV Welcomes its 40th Member - The First Microfinance Bank Tajikistan
April, 13 2017
Global - The Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV), a network of the world's leading values-based banks, in the last quarter welcomed its 40th member - The First Microfinance Bank Tajikistan. This marks a milestone in membership increase making the Global Alliance bigger as ever. ...
Rescuing Myanmar’s Farmers from the Debt Trap
April, 13 2017
Myanmar - The World Bank is piloting a programme that uses mobile-network data and crop-suitability mapping to arrange seasonal loans using mobile money. But cash will remain king of the countryside for a long time, and the MADB’s reach (223 branches) means it has no rivals. ...
Zimbabwe to Allow Goats, Cows and Sheep as Bank Collateral
April, 12 2017
Zimbabwe - Zimbabwe is hoping to enlist cows, goats and sheep in an attempt to revive its credit-starved economy after President Robert Mugabe’s ruling party proposed a law to make livestock eligible for backing bank loans. ...
D. Rozas & S. Mendelson: Home Sweet Home - Mobilizing Microfinance for Housing
April, 11 2017
Global - A thought experiment. What if we designed financial services based on the hierarchy of human needs? We would prioritize food, shelter … hmm. Shelter. That’s pretty high on the list ...
Pakistan: NBP, TP, Telenor Bank Ink Strategic Alliance
April, 11 2017
Pakistan - With this joining of hands between one of Pakistan’s largest Government-owned banks and one of the Pakistan’s leading telco operators along with its microfinance bank, the dynamics of the Digital Financial Services are sure to reach the next milestone ...
Tanzania: Telcos in New Campaign to Boost Cashless Transactions
April, 10 2017
Tanzania - Three telecommunication companies have embarked on a drive to jointly market their interoperability product as they seek to play an increasingly important role in creating a cashless society ...
East African Entrepreneurs to Benefit from European Investment Bank $101 Million Credit
April, 10 2017
East Africa - The European Investment Bank has signed two new credit lines for East-Africa for a total of 95 million Euros (about Sh109 billion) to be made available through Equity Bank and HFC Limited to support smaller local projects in Tanzania, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Uganda ...
Impact Investor Acumen to Launch India-dedicated Fund
April, 06 2017
India - Global impact investor Acumen is planning to launch an India-dedicated fund, as the investor looks to double down on its most significant geography, said a senior executive of the firm ...
Sri Lanka: Australia & IFC Partner with Businesses to Support Better Jobs for Women
April, 06 2017
Sri Lanka - The ‘Women in Work’ program is a four-year, 1.7 billion rupee investment, funded by the Australian Government that provides businesses with new tools and strategies to create jobs and business opportunities for women in Sri Lanka ...
Vietnamese Joint Venture to Offer Microfinancing in Myanmar
April, 06 2017
Myanmar - Vietnam's Dragon Capital Group and Myanmar's Ruby Hill Financial on Wednesday signed a deal to set up a joint venture that will provide loan products and services to the burgeoning workforce driving Myanmar's rapid economic development ...
The Ford Foundation Is Committing Up to $1 Billion to Mission-related Investments
April, 05 2017
Global - Case in point: today’s announcement by the Ford Foundation. President Darren Walker revealed that the organization is committing up to $1 billion from its endowment for Mission-Related Investments (MRIs) over the next 10 years. The move will give a big boost to impact investing ...
How Can Inclusive Business Advance the SDGs?
April, 04 2017
Global - Since the announcement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in September 2015, the SDG discourse has become mainstream. The business sector is an especially relevant audience for those promoting a global commitment to achieve the SDGs, mainly because they, through some of the stated goals, talk directly to business and its performance (e.g., SDG 8, “Decent work and economic growth”; 12, “Responsible consumption and production”; 13, “Climate action”) ...
Microfinance for Water and Sanitation: Opportunities and Challenges for MFIs
April, 04 2017
Global - Access to safe and affordable water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) infrastructure and services is essential to quality of life. However, globally, 2.4 billion people do not have access to improved sanitation facilities and 663 million do not have access to safe drinking water ...
Uzbekistan Provides Tax Incentives, Loans to Businesses in Remote Regions
April, 04 2017
Uzbekistan - The President of Uzbekistan has provided a wide range of benefits and preferences to businesses operating in the country’s Khorezm province and Karakalpakstan autonomous region, the Jahon information agency reports ...
Citi Finds Shift Away from Cash by Underbanked Could Save Developed Economies $30 Billion
April, 03 2017
Global - Citi’s research finds that true adoption of digital money can only happen when there is a concerted, holistic effort that includes a supportive institutional environment, financial and ICT infrastructure, digital money solutions from government and the private sector, and enthusiasm from consumers and businesses ...
India: Spandana Sphoorty Raises $270mn in Fresh Funding
April, 03 2017
India - "This is an amazing turn-around, and we are excited to have Kedaara Capital as our partner in our next phase of growth. ...

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