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Jun 2017
B. Bafford, Director of Investments, Calvert Foundation: Capital Aggregation - a Market-making Idea for Impact
June, 30 2017
Global - As Calvert Foundation’s business has grown and evolved with the rapidly shifting impact investing markets, we have the benefit of seeing emerging trends and market-wide challenges that are hindering the growth and scale of the activity we—collectively as investors—are financing. ...
Bangladesh: Govt Targets Freeing 18m Poor from Poverty by 2020
June, 30 2017
Bangladesh - The government has set a target of freeing another 18 million people from poverty by 2020 under a project - "One House, One Farm", according to official sources. The target will be achieved by providing financial and livelihood support to 3.6 million households from a special allocation of Taka 80.0 billion, Project Director Akbar Hossain told BSS ...
Nigeria: Lagos Inaugurates Ibile Microfinance Bank, Reinstates Commitment to Poverty Alleviation
June, 30 2017
Nigeria - The Lagos State Government on Friday inaugurated its microfinance bank, restating its avowed commitment to poverty reduction and employment generation in the state. The Commissioner for Finance, Mr Akinyemi Ashade, gave the assurance at the official unveiling of Ibile Microfinance Bank at its head office situated at No. 121, Obafemi Awolowo Way, Ikeja ...
India: On MSME Day, Recognizing the Potential of Small Businesses in the Indian Economy
June, 30 2017
India - This article weighs in on the importance of India's micro, small and medium enterprises sector as an engine of growth and development, and suggests policy interventions that can help scale the sector's growth further ...
India: Lok Capital Returns $65 Million to Investors
June, 30 2017
India - Impact investor Lok Capital returns principal capital of $65 million, which it raised from investors for its second fund Lok Capital II, with three years to go ...
Philippines: Financial Inclusion Reaches Nearly 90% of Target - BSP
June, 30 2017
Philippines - Almost 90 percent of cities and municipalities in the country have been reached by financial services as of last year, the central bank said, citing its progress in financial inclusion ...
Digital Financial Inclusion: What Works and What’s Next
June, 29 2017
Global - Over one billion women in the world do not have access to financial services. Having access to a transaction account is a first step for financial freedom and for women to take charge of their lives. Women are an underutilized resource in development. Not having access prevents women from having an equal footing in society. Financial inclusion can unleash enormous potential for economic development ...
Climate-Smart Agriculture: Solutions to Reducing Poverty and Food Insecurity in Zambia
June, 29 2017
Zambia - The World Bank is putting the lion’s share—US$17 million—of a US$33 million package into promoting climate-smart agriculture and sustainable landscape management practices in Eastern Province. The Zambia Integrated Forest Landscape project will support farmers to help them make a better living without increasing the amount of deforestation that Zambia’s natural forest is currently suffering from. ...
Bangladesh: Small Firms to Get Upto Tk 200 Million Credit as Central Bank Revises Ceiling
June, 29 2017
Bangladesh - Bangladesh Bank Thursday refixed the ceiling of loans for the cottage industry, allowing a unit to receive loans up to Tk 1.0 million (10 lakh). In a circular, the central bank also rest the limit for micro, small and medium industries in manufacturing and services sector and micro and small enterprises in trading in line with the National Industrial Policy 2016 ...
Turning On the Lights in Rural Myanmar
June, 28 2017
Myanmar - Only 30% of Myanmar’s population is connected to the electricity grid while candles and batteries offer dim light, limited lifespans and eat up a large fraction of daily income for many rural households. The Government, with the help of the World Bank, is currently rolling out off-grid electricity services as part its National Electrification Plan, installing solar PV systems in eight of Myanmar’s states and regions, benefiting over 2,000 villages and 140,000 households. Ultimately, the National Electrification Plan will benefit approximately 700,000 people by October 2017 and more than 2 million people by 2021 from off-grid electrification alone ...
R. Goosen, Head of Measurment, Insight2impact: South Africa - Building Tools to Measure How, and How Much, Consumers Benefit from Financial Inclusion
June, 28 2017
South Africa - During my tenure as the director for financial inclusion at South Africa’s National Treasury, the discussions around financial inclusion often focused on seemingly straightforward questions: What is the state of financial inclusion in the country? What are the most critical areas requiring policy interventions? What targets are appropriate for what we want to achieve? ...
Myanmar: IFC Injects $13.5 Million Into Local Microfinance Institutions
June, 28 2017
Myanmar - The International Finance Corporation, (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has provided a financing package of $13.5 million to various microfinance institutions in Myanmar to support the country’s critical credit demands ...
Malawis First Merchant to Buy Micro Lender Opportunity Bank
June, 28 2017
Malawi - Malawi's First Merchant Bank will buy the local assets of micro lender Opportunity International Bank of Malawi (OIBM), subject to regulatory approvals, the two banks said on Wednesday ...
Luxembourg’s Insurance Industry Looks at How It Can Support World’s Poor
June, 27 2017
Luxembourg - As experts from around the globe meet this week in Luxembourg to discuss how inclusive insurance can reduce vulnerability of the poor, the local insurance industry players gathered to find out more about microinsurance and the role that Luxembourg’s insurance industry can play in supporting global development ...
AfDB Calls On Credit Providers to Increase Lending to Meet Demand by African MSMEs
June, 27 2017
Global - The African Development Bank (AfDB) has called on financial markets to increase affordable loans and provide more diverse and innovative financing instruments to Africa's micro, small and medium sized enterprises ...
India: IFMR Capital Plans Fund to Invest in Firms Focused on Financial Inclusion
June, 27 2017
India - IFMR Capital, an impact-focused financial services firm, is planning to set up an overseas fund as it looks to raise capital from offshore markets for investing in businesses focused on financial inclusion, a senior executive of the firm said. ...
IFC and Proparco Invest in Moroccan Green Bond to Boost Renewable Energy
June, 27 2017
Morocco - IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and Proparco, a subsidiary of Agence Française de Développement (AFD) devoted to private sector financing, are investing EUR 100 million and EUR 35 million, respectively, in the first green bond issuance by Banque Centrale Populaire (BCP), to promote sustainable, environment friendly projects in the country ...
IBM Japan in Blockchain Move
June, 27 2017
Japan - A Japanese financial services firm and IBM are building a blockchain-based financial platform for the Asian market ...
Q. Zhang, PhD Candidate, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology: Yes, Microlending Reduces Extreme Poverty
June, 26 2017
Global - A small boost in microlending to the developing world could lift more than 10.5 million people out of extreme poverty. That’s one conclusion of my study, published last month in The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, which found that microfinance not only reduces how many households live in poverty but also how poor they are ...
EBRD and Kazakhstan’s KMF Join Forces Again for MSME Financing
June, 26 2017
Kazakhstan - The EBRD is joining forces again with its long-standing partner KMF, the largest private microfinance organisation in Kazakhstan, to support small businesses and women-led enterprises in the country. The Bank will extend a financial package of US$ 11 million which comprises a US$ 4.4 million loan for local micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and a US$ 6.6 million loan under the local Women in Business programme, according to EBRD ...
Myanmar: MFIL Secures Loan Through Symbiotics; Approval for a Deposit-Taking License
June, 26 2017
Myanmar - Myanmar Investments International Limited [AIM: MIL] ("MIL" or the "Company"), the Myanmar focused investment company with existing investments in the telecommunications, microfinance and pharmacy retail sectors and a well-developed pipeline of opportunities, today announces that Myanmar Finance International Limited ("MFIL"), MIL's microfinance joint venture, has secured a US$1 million, local-currency denominated loan facility through Symbiotics SA ...
Jamaica: Access Financial Acquires Another Rival
June, 23 2017
Jamaica - Microlending company Access Financial Services Limited has acquired the assets of another rival, Micro Credit Limited (MCL), whose brand it plans to keep as a market retention strategy. Access has bought Micro Credit's loan portfolio, fixed assets, and trade name. It's the second acquisition in a year in which it has held on to the company's identity, the other being a $180-million deal for Damark Limited, a company serving primarily government workers ...
Worldwide Decline in Personal Rights Hampers Social Progress, Study Shows
June, 22 2017
Global - The 2017 Social Progress Index, which for its fourth year ranked 128 countries on a number of factors from economics to environmental well-being to human rights and governance, did show some overall improvement worldwide. But at the same time, the researchers found in many parts of the world a decline in social tolerance, respect of human rights and personal freedoms ...
C. Lee, Insight2impact Data Facility Lead: It’s Time to Match Tools with Our Understanding of Consumers and Financial Inclusion
June, 22 2017
Global - In 2010, the leaders at the G20 Summit in Seoul launched the Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI). It was a watershed moment for financial inclusion, marking its evolution from a grassroots microfinance movement in the 1980s to a mainstream development agenda ...
C. Dunford, C. Velasco: Seeking the Anti-Poverty Holy Grail - Can a ‘Trust Mark’ Boost Microfinance’s Social Impact?
June, 21 2017
Global - Seventeen years ago, one of us compared the successful balance of financial sustainability and poverty reduction in microfinance to the Holy Grail – many searched for it, some claimed unconvincingly to have found it, and even more gave up on it as a beguiling myth. Not much has changed since then. Or so it may seem. Sophisticated research in the past decade has deepened doubt and strengthened skeptics. ...
J. Case, Co-founder and CEO, Case Foundation: Data - The Next Frontier for Impact Investing
June, 20 2017
Global - Impact investing is steadily moving from a niche market to mainstream. In previous articles, I’ve both spoken of some of the myths and barriers holding the movement back, as well as trends that will drive scale and take impact investing to the next level. Now, as the movement seeks to put trillions of dollars to work to deliver both social and financial returns, I look to what is needed most to propel it to the next phase, and the answer is abundantly clear: data ...
Zimbabwe: GetBucks Extends Offer
June, 20 2017
Zimbabwe - Microfinance institution GetBucks has extended its offer to the public to subscribe to the second series of its $30 million medium-term note programme to next month. The offer, which will see the deposit-taking institution raising $30 million through a bond was supposed to close last Friday but had its closing deadline pushed to July 21, with the firm attributing this to a recent credit upgrade ...
IFC Invests $81.2 Million in Banco Industrial do Brasil to Expand Access to Finance for Small and Medium Enterprises
June, 20 2017
Brasil - IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is investing $81.2 million in Banco Industrial do Brasil (BIB), a Brazilian medium-sized bank focused on providing credit to small and medium enterprises (SMEs), to help expand access to finance for a sector that is critical to Brazil’s economic growth ...
Pakistan: Microfinance Banks Must Improve Automation
June, 20 2017
Pakistan - The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Monday asked microfinance banks to improve automation of their compliance processes in a bid to minimise money laundering/terrorist financing and other related risks, a circular said. ...
India: AU Small Finance Bank to Launch Rs1,900 Crore Share Sale on 28 June
June, 20 2017
India - Jaipur-based AU Small Finance Bank Ltd, which serves low and middle-income individuals and businesses, plans to launch its approximately Rs1,900 crore initial public offering (IPO) on 28 June ...
Egypt: SMEDA Signs EGP 150m Contract for Microlending with Banque du Caire
June, 19 2017
Egypt - Executive Director of the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Authority (SMEDA),Nevine Al Gamea, and the chairman of Banque du Caire,Mounir El Zahid, have signed a contract for a project that aims to improve incomes, as well as marketing abilities through the provision of micro loans, for a total of EGP 150m within the framework of the agreement of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). ...
Luxembourg: LuxFLAG Launches Green Bond Label
June, 19 2017
Luxembourg - The independent and international labelling agency thereby extends its activities to wider financial instruments, relying on its strong expertise in certifying sustainable investment funds in the field of Microfinance, Environment, ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) and Climate Finance ...
P. Breloff, Co-founder and CEO, Shortlist: The Other Capital in Impact Investing - Why Human Capital May Matter More than Money, and What Investors Can Do About It
June, 19 2017
Global - I hope impact investors can start to understand the many ways that human capital issues are worthy of more attention, lest all this money flowing into the space will not be leveraged to its fullest potential ...
Nigeria: CBN Picks Eight Microfinance Banks for FG's 'My Own Home' Scheme
June, 19 2017
Nigeria - Brighter days may lie around in the corner for prospective homeowners, following plans to introduce a public private partnership initiative that seeks to increase access to housing finance in Nigeria through mortgage guarantee insurance and microfinance scheme ...
Zimbabwe: Ipec Goes Micro to Drive Financial Inclusion
June, 19 2017
Zimbabwe - The Insurance and Pension Commission (Ipec) has come up with the micro insurance strategy as a way of enhancing financial inclusion targeting the previously excluded population such as small-to-medium enterprises, peasant farmers, vendors and other low income earners ...
V. Deshpande, Frelance Writer: India - Inside Barefoot College Where Women from Across the World Become ‘Solar Engineers’
June, 18 2017
India - They don’t know a word of English. They come from least developed and developing countries: from Afghanistan to Ghana and Burkina Faso to Fiji. Most of them are not educated and live in remote villages. Yet they come to learn the art of making solar lanterns, solar lamps, parabolic cookers and solar water heaters. ...
India: RBI mulls new model to boost credit flow to MSMEs
June, 17 2017
India - The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is working on a formal co-origination model to boost flow of credit to the micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) sector, reports media on Friday ...
AfDB Approves U.S.$ 15 Million Equity Investment in Shore Capital Fund to Support Inclusive Growth
June, 16 2017
Africa - The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a $15 million investment in Shore Capital Fund III, a multinational Private Equity Fund which promotes financial inclusion by supporting financial institutions serving Africa’s low income and emerging middle-class communities ...
Pushing the Boundaries of Impact Investing
June, 15 2017
Global - The fundraising climate for nonprofits is often challenging due to struggles like donor fatigue, growing competition for the same resources, and limited funding as government and philanthropic contributions stagnate or decline. At the same time, impact investing is experiencing rapid growth, with investors looking far and wide to find investable opportunities ...
Demonetisation May Lead to Equity Erosion for Microfinance Institutions, Says India Ratings
June, 15 2017
India - Demonetisation has brought weak spots in the microfinance sector to the fore, said rating agency India Ratings & Research in a report which warns that companies in this business could face significant credit costs and equity erosion this year ...
Investment in Skills and Business Environment Can Boost Tajikistan’s Digital Transformation
June, 14 2017
Tajikistan - Digital Tajikistan can be an important source of innovation, growth, and employment – provided that the country invests more in people’s skills, improves the business environment, and strengthens the digital infrastructure ...
US$500 Million to Help Tunisia Improve Business Environment, Support Entrepreneurship and Ease Access to Finance
June, 13 2017
Tunisia - The World Bank Board of Directors approved today the Business Environment and Entrepreneurship development policy loan to support the Tunisian government's continued efforts to promote stronger and more inclusive growth, and private sector jobs, especially for the youth, women and in less economically developed regions. ...
Georgia: TBC Bank Completed a Transaction With Symbiotics
June, 13 2017
Georgia - TBC Bank Group PLC announces that its subsidiary, JSC TBC Bank ('TBC Bank') and Symbiotics (through its MSME Bond Platform) have completed a transaction in the amount of GEL 45 million (USD 18.5 million). The 3 year local currency facility will enable TBC Bank to finance micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in Georgia. ...
EIF Signs Guaranty Deal to Back Micro-Borrowers in Montenegro
June, 13 2017
Montenegro - The European Investment Fund (EIF) said it has signed a guarantee agreement with Montenegrin lender Crnogorska Komercijalna Banka (CKB) to provide 5 million euro ($5.6 million) to 700 Montenegrin micro-borrowers in the country. The first transaction is the first one in Montenegro under the EU Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI), the EIF said in a statement last week ...
Sharing of Big Data to Enable Investment in Education
June, 13 2017
Global - Millions more children could end up getting an education, when Opportunity International (OI) shares its experience and data on education microfinance, enabling others to invest in education. With 263 million children out of school, banks and other financial institutions have been reluctant to lend into developing countries’ education because – in their view – of the small margins and high risks ...
E. Rhyne, Managing Director, CFI: Finding a Bhutanese Path to Financial Inclusion
June, 12 2017
Bhutan - In 2014, the Royal Monetary Authority of Bhutan (RMA), the country’s central bank, made a commitment under the Alliance for Financial Inclusion’s Maya Declaration to develop a national financial inclusion strategy. It backed the overall pledge with specific commitments detailing the main pieces of the strategy. Since then, it has diligently put these pieces into place. Over the past three years, the RMA created regulations for microfinance organizations (deposit-taking and non-deposit taking) and agent banking. It set up a mobile payments system, a credit bureau and a collateral registry. This is an impressive set of accomplishments for a country starting from a relatively blank slate in these areas ...
IFC Helps Boost Access to Quality Healthcare in Africa
June, 12 2017
Global - The total investment package, provided by a consortium of investors and donors via two capital rounds, is over $40 million and is intended to help MCF increase access to funding for the broader universe of private healthcare SMEs in Africa ...
Inter-American Development Bank Grants Colombia $450 Million USD Loan for Financial System Reforms
June, 09 2017
Colombia - This week, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) approved the second phase of a $450 million USD loan to Colombia for financial system reforms designed to increase the country’s economic growth ...
Leveraging ‘Suptech’ for Financial Inclusion in Rwanda
June, 08 2017
Rwanda - Collecting and analyzing accurate, relevant, and timely information from these providers is at the heart of this supervisory challenge. Many financial sector supervisors are seeking technology-enabled solutions to address these challenges, an approach known to some as “suptech” (i.e. supervision technology). The National Bank of Rwanda (BNR) provides a case in point ...
D. Vaid, India Development Review: Social Enterprise’s Achilles Heel: How the Information Deficit Limits Scale and Impact in India
June, 08 2017
India - When information is limited or hard to get to, social enterprises run the risk of always having to start from scratch. This reinventing the wheel cuts across the business problems they might face: What are the peculiarities of the new geographies that one is expanding into? What do customers want versus what they need? How does one convert the number of people reached into products and services sold? What are the specific barriers to scale with respect to last-mile distribution? The list goes on ...
K. Grantham, Study of International Development at McGill University: We Need to Go Beyond Development Stereotypes to Empower Women
June, 08 2017
Global - My research explores next generation models for microfinance in sub-Saharan Africa as a tool to promote women's empowerment. In my experience, microfinance is an area of global development that is particularly ripe with stereotypes, and has been for decades ...
Why Russian Regions Want to Ban Microcredits
June, 08 2017
Russia - Microcredits in Russia are given at an annual interest rate of 600 percent. Thanks to this the microfinance market has increased fivefold in the last four years. The regions are sounding the alarm and the government wants to limit the rate ...
J. Lutwama, Financial Sector Deepening Uganda: 2017/18 Budget - Tackling the Financial Inclusion Challenge
June, 08 2017
Uganda - The 2017/18 budget speech is today and having read through the background, I have a few thoughts on its implications and future economic projections on financial inclusion. Before we go into the details, let’s explain financial inclusion ...
Nigeria: FINCA Microfinance Strengthens Agency Banking Business
June, 08 2017
Nigeria - FINCA Microfinance Bank Limited has strengthened its agency banking business, which grew from three pilot agents to 20, and now serving 20,700 active clients in just one year ...
National Geographic Society Commits $50 Million of Endowment to Impact Investments
June, 07 2017
Global - Creation of new impact investment program, managed by CA Capital Management, will accelerate the organization's funding of research, exploration and education, inspiring solutions for the global good ...
A. Demirgüç-Kunt, Director of Research, World Bank: What Do We Know About the Link Between Financial Inclusion and Inclusive Growth?
June, 06 2017
Global - In a new paper, we summarize the recent empirical literature on the benefits of financial inclusion and how they can contribute to inclusive growth and economic development. The paper is organized around four major types of financial products offered through formal institutions: payments, savings, credit and insurance ...
Switzerland: Is Geneva the Silicon Valley of Sustainable Finance?
June, 06 2017
Swiztzerland - Geneva wants to be the Silicon Valley of sustainable finance. The message, and the case for why should be, were on display at the Geneva Forum for Sustainable Investment ...
Kazakhstan Can Improve Its Business Climate by Simplifying Procedures
June, 06 2017
Kazakhstan - Kazakhstan’s first Subnational Doing Business study measures business regulation in four areas: Starting a Business, Dealing with Construction Permits, Getting Electricity and Registering Property ...
UNDP Launches New Initiatives to Develop Women's Entrepreneurship in Uzbekistan
June, 05 2017
Uzbekistan - The project of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Uzbekistan and UNDP ‘Business Forum of Uzbekistan (Phase-III)’ has launched a new component to expand legal and economic opportunities for the development of women's entrepreneurships in Uzbekistan, UNDP in Uzbekistan reported ...
FINCA Armenia Issues Multi-Denominational Bond Offering
June, 05 2017
Armenia - FINCA Armenia announced the issuance of its first nominal, non-documentary, coupon bonds, furthering its strategy of diversifying its funding base to promote financial inclusion. ...
Financing Innovative SMEs in the Caribbean
June, 02 2017
The Caribbean - Angel investing – which involves individuals investing their own capital and time in start-ups and early-stage businesses – has the potential to become an effective form of capital for innovative small businesses in the Caribbean ...
Tunisia: Microfinance NGO Transformation - The Enda Tamweel Story
June, 02 2017
Tunisia - For Enda Tamweel, the largest and oldest microfinance organization in Tunisia, the decision to transform has come with external pressures, operational challenges, and a focus on maintaining their mission ...
Partners Launch Gender Equity and Social Inclusion Policy for Microfinance Institutions in PNG
June, 02 2017
Global - The Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Governments of Australia and Papua New Guinea (PNG), and the Center for Excellence in Financial Inclusion (CEFI) on May 31 officially launched a Gender Equity and Social Inclusion (GESI) Policy for Microfinance Institutions in front of central governors from all Pacific island countries, panelists, and participants at the Alliance for Financial Inclusion’s (AFI) Pacific Islands Regional Initiative (PIRI) meeting ...
ADB Issue $500M Loan for Rural Housing in Uzbekistan
June, 01 2017
Uzbekistan - The Bank has approved a results-based loan of $500 million to support the construction of up to 29,000 new affordable housing units in nine regions across Uzbekistan as part of the State Affordable Rural Housing Program ...
MIF Invests in NXTP Labs for LatAm Tech-Driven Social Enterprises
June, 01 2017
Global - Pay-as-you-go (PAYGo) solar companies have been lauded, by CGAP and others, for their ability to provide low-income rural households with clean, affordable energy. Yet there are many unanswered questions about their business models that may limit the speed and scope of their growth ...
Inclusive Finance: China Opens Up Credit to More People -- But Risks Must Be Controlled
June, 01 2017
China - China has been promoting inclusive finance in recent years, striving to reach less affluent individuals and small companies. This is because people in rural areas, smaller and medium sized companies, entrepreneurs, and individuals without a credit history are often unable to obtain financing and are forced to turn to the curb market for often very high interest loans. Last week, the China Banking Regulatory Commission posted guidelines that require medium and large size banks to set up departments for inclusive finance. This is another step in the right direction and promises to promote growth -- although risks must be maintained ...
Are PAYGo Solar Companies a New Type of Microfinance Institution?
June, 01 2017
Global - Pay-as-you-go (PAYGo) solar companies have been lauded, by CGAP and others, for their ability to provide low-income rural households with clean, affordable energy. Yet there are many unanswered questions about their business models that may limit the speed and scope of their growth ...
Development Is Not a Science and Cannot Be Measured. That Is Not a Bad Thing.
June, 01 2017
Global - The obsession with measuring impact is paralysing aid workers. There is no way to fully understand the impact of development ...

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