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May 2018
Cambodia: MFI Looks to Provide Loans to the Struggling Pepper Sector
May, 31 2018
Cambodia - PRASAC, the Kingdom’s largest microfinance institution (MFI), has launched a new loan program for pepper farmers to help the industry get back on its feet after plunging prices all but decimated it ...
What Tanzania Plans to Do to Lower Lending Interest Rates
May, 31 2018
Tanzania - The government has outlined five policy measures it has taken to stimulate lowering of lending interest rates in Tanzania ...
MoneyGram Partners Ghana’s Devt. Bank on Financial Inclusion, to Launch Cash-to-account Transfers
May, 30 2018
Ghana - As part of efforts to provide customers with convenient and accessible technology-based financial services, MoneyGram has partnered Ghana’s Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) and the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPPS) to offer customers account deposit services for easier remittances ...
What Tanzania Is Doing to Boost Financing for Industries
May, 30 2018
Tanzania - Dodoma — The government is engaging the financial sector in a bid to accelerate financing for industries-led economic growth, which is expected to transform Tanzania into a middle income country come 2025 ...
India: Modi's MUDRA Scheme Raining Loans on Women and Religious Minorities
May, 30 2018
India - Non-Hindus have got the largest amount per head for loans of less than Rs 50,000, while women have the largest share of the loan pie ...
Digital Credit Scoring Opens Doors in Emerging Markets
May, 29 2018
Global - In the absence of robust traditional data, Microfinance Institutes (MFIs) don't have an accurate means of establishing risk profiles, and this retards the dispensation of borrowed money. Digital credit scoring addresses this issue ...
Nigeria: Experts Seek Reduction in Lending Rates for Agribusinesses
May, 29 2018
Nigeria - Marx who decried that a bigger chunk of agricultural finance will continue to come from the commercial bank, urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to increase the loan ceiling for MFBs from N500,000 to N10 Million to compensate for inflation and allow for financing of farmers groups and value chains operations ...
Government Extends Microfinancing Opportunities for Rural Kazakhs
May, 28 2018
Kazakhstan - Kazakh Vice Minister of Labour and Social Protection Nurzhan Altayev held an open lecture at Nur Otan Party headquarters dedicated to the country’s nationwide mass entrepreneurship programme ...
China: Worst Is Past for Microlenders
May, 28 2018
China - Effects of a late-year regulatory crackdown on Chinese online lenders has most likely run its course by now, analysts said, even as shares of U.S.-listed companies continue to feel some lingering fallout ...
Philippines: Provinces Adopt Financial Inclusion Program KasamaKA
May, 27 2018
Philippines - KasamaKA, a pioneering grassroots-based movement aimed at empowering the unbanked population, has been officially adopted as the financial inclusion and social advocacy program across 81 provinces in the country through a resolution signed by the National Executive Board of the League of Provinces in the Philippines (LPP) ...
IBM’s Microfinance Blockchain in Kenya Tests the Viability of Hyperledger
May, 26 2018
Kenya - Andrew Kinai, the lead software engineer on the project at IBM Research Kenya, reported, “The SMS-based solution provided an effective channel for a diverse set of users, some with limited IT literacy, to access financing for their orders.” IBM states that it plans to expand the project to other small- and medium-sized businesses across Africa and into other sectors by the end of the year ...
Why Microfinance as Aid Isn’t Enough to Empower Women
May, 25 2018
Global - If aid programs don’t challenge the structural causes of gender inequality, microfinance will just continue to reinforce poverty and inequality ...
ESG: What Institutional Investors Are Saying about Sustainable Investing
May, 25 2018
Global - According to the Global Sustainable Investment Alliance, by 2016 more than $22 trillion of assets, around a quarter of all investments globally, incorporated ESG to some extent or other ...
Cambodia: U.N. Agency Seeks to Marry 'Social Good and Profit Making'
May, 23 2018
Cambodia - A United Nations body is offering $40,000 for the best designed affordable housing for low-income workers at an industrial zone in Cambodia's capital, as part of its strategy to encourage investment in sustainable development worldwide ...
IFC, Mastercard Extend Financial Inclusion for Africans
May, 23 2018
Sub-Saharan Africa - The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has partnered with the Mastercard Foundation, to release a new report documenting the transformation underway in financial inclusion in Sub-Saharan Africa ...
Rwanda: Banks, Savings Group Partnership to Drive Up Financial Inclusion
May, 23 2018
Rwanda - Commercial Banks and other financial institutions have been urged to work with community savings groups as part of efforts aimed at deepening formal financial inclusion ...
‘We’re Saying Yes to Minorities, Yes to Youth’: How Microfinance Helps Georgia
May, 23 2018
Georgia - Crystal was founded on the belief it could help rebuild Georgia after the country gained independence, and now lends around $100m to small businesses – many of them from marginalised population ...
Asia: MetLife Foundation Partners with Kiva to Support Entrepreneurs and Build Financial Inclusion
May, 22 2018
Asia - MetLife Foundation has partnered with Kiva, a global non-governmental organization, to support entrepreneurs around the world through an employee-engagement campaign. As part of this program, a fully funded $25 loan has been allocated to each of MetLife ’s 23,000 employees in Asia to help entrepreneurs start, sustain and grow their businesses. After successful campaigns with MetLife employees in Europe, Middle East, Africa and Latin America, the program has now come to Asia ...
Chinese Fintech’s Global Future Is Arriving Now
May, 21 2018
China - The Chinese electronic payments industry is the most advanced in the world. It presents a challenge not just to western financial institutions, but to policymakers and regulators worldwide. These truths were understood already. Ant Financial’s recently closed $10bn fundraising, which pegged the value of the Chinese financial conglomerate at $150bn, merely puts a number to them ...
India: Graduation Approach to End Poverty
May, 21 2018
India - Economists now emphasise on graduation programmes to eliminate extreme poverty, as the traditional model of microcredit or cash transfers has been deemed ineffective. In a country such as ours, numerous frauds have been unearthed in cash transfer schemes, depriving the poor of their rights ...
Pakistan: SMEs Shrunk Considerably Due to Govt Borrowing, High Transaction Costs, Fear of NPLs Financing
May, 20 2018
Pakistan - Despite SMEs sectors, tremendous contribution towards national economy, only a fractional number of 171,000 SMEs have formal access to finance of Rs374 billion (as on September 30, 2017) through banks and DFIs. Out of the total 171,000 SMEs obtaining financing pie, 88 percent are small enterprises while 12 percent are medium-sized entities. Small enterprises occupy Rs154 billion of the financing, while 12 percent of the medium enterprises account for Rs222 billion ...
Kenya: Blockchain Technology Is Being Used in Early Disruption of Kenya's Agribusiness
May, 19 2018
Kenya - In many emerging markets, food retailers along with smallholder farmers, struggle to secure loans and develop a credit history. And without the proper financing, many of them fail to scale their businesses. To tackle this, IBM has been working with the Kenya-based food logistics startup Twiga Foods to facilitate micro-lending options for food vendors ...
A New Multibillion-Dollar Investment Revolution Is Being Led by this Woman
May, 17 2018
Global - Impact investors want to make decisions based on risk, reward and on the amount of "good" an investment produces in the world. Wall Street firms will have to adapt by considering and communicating much more information about investee companies, like: Where are they headquartered? What problem are they trying to solve? Who will benefit, and who will be hurt ...
BOI, UNDP Partners to Pioneer Impact Investing in Pakistan
May, 16 2018
Pakistan - In efforts to augment the impact investment ecosystem in Pakistan and introduce Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)-aligned financing, United Nations Development Programme in Pakistan (UNDP) will support Board of Investment (B01) in exploring the establishment of Pakistan’s first Impact Investment Fund ...
R. Labbee, K. Acevedo, Founders of Zomia: Myanmar and Cambodia - More College = Less Poverty: The Impact of Peer-to-Peer Lending
May, 16 2018
Myanmar and Cambodia - More than 57 million students globally are qualified and, for whatever reason, have not enrolled in a higher education program or finished their degrees. In Myanmar and Cambodia, where we work, nearly 1 million students fall into this category ...
Jordanian Fintech Start-Up Lends Over $11 Million to SMEs
May, 15 2018
Jordan - liwwa, an Amman-based fintech startup and a peer-to-peer lending platform, announced the issuance of over $11 million in debt to small businesses across more than 300 loans since its inception ...
India’s Impact Investment Leaders Launch Social Finance India in New Delhi
May, 14 2018
India - Its first task will be to build large outcome funds and fund of funds, including two high-profile $1 billion funds to be launched this year at the GSG’s 2018 Impact Summit in Delhi on 8-9 October. ...
A Microfinance Fund for Central Java, Indonesia
May, 13 2018
Indonesia - Blossom Finance, an investment consultancy that describes its business model as “commercial financing with social benefits,” announced recently open enrollment for an Islamic microfinance fund designed to bolster micro-businesses and traditional market sellers in the province of Central Java, Indonesia. This will be a crypto-currency infused fund: participants can invest via Bitcoin Core (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum (ETH), or US dollars, through Blossom’s Delaware based fund ...
BIBD to Capture Brunei’s $6 Billion Digital Transactions Market with NEXGEN
May, 12 2018
Brunei - In March alone, the bank recorded over one million mobile transactions, signaling Bruneians' willingness to embrace digitisation ...
EBRD Partners with Turkey’s Credit Guarantee Fund to Expand Financing for Women-Led Firms
May, 11 2018
Turkey - The partnership will enable the EBRD to unlock €300 million in new financing to support women’s entrepreneurship in a country where only 34 per cent of women participate in the workforce ...
AAIB, SANAD Fund Launch Sandah for Microfinance in Egypt
May, 09 2018
Egypt - SANAD Fund’s expansion in the Egyptian market is a testament to the international financial institutions’ confidence in the country’s economy ...
Why One Private Equity Firm Is Betting Big on Impact Investing in Renewable Energy
May, 09 2018
Global - BCP's Managing Partner Florian Kemmerich says the investment vehicle will target distributed energy service companies (DESCOs). "It extends our impact investing footprint, which is predominantly focused on financial inclusion in emerging markets and lower income populations. Energy poverty is the issue of our age, and we feel alleviating it could be achieved using renewable energy. ...
Oradian’s Cloud-Based Toolset for Financial Inclusion Will Pull More Communities throughout Ghana into the Financial System
May, 08 2018
Ghana - Microfinance institutions, Microfinance banks, savings and loans companies, rural banks and Cooperative Societies in West Africa that have deployed Oradian’s cloud-based toolset have the potential to improve access to financial services in unbanked communities in Ghana ...
Kenya: Unilever Credit Initiative Aims to Drive Africa Revenues
May, 06 2018
Kenya - Mr Magambo has joined a project launched by the consumer goods company to help the tens of thousands of small and medium-sized businesses in Kenya sell its products, from margarine to washing detergent. ...
Philippines: Fintech Pushed for Financial Inclusion across the Region
May, 05 2018
Philippines - Finance and central bank officials see more and more benefits in using digital infrastructure to expand the reach of financial inclusion across the region ...
Zambia: Sweden Disburses K2bn for Poverty Reduction
May, 04 2018
Zambia - The Swedish Government has so far contributed about K2 billion to Zambia for increased employment opportunities in rural and peri-urban areas, creating opportunities to start and run productive businesses ...
Uganda: Legislators to Block Tax on Mobile Money
May, 04 2018
Uganda - A section of Members of Parliament have threatened to block the proposed 1 per cent tax on the value of transaction on mobile money, saying it will discourage low income earners from using the service ...
China's Major Tech Firms Will Dominate SE Asia's Emerging Markets: Who Wins and Who Loses?
May, 03 2018
China - Small businesses hold the key to unlocking Southeast Asia’s next phase of economic growth, and, as MSMEs begin to harness the power of the platform economy, Chinese tech firms are mounting well-orchestrated campaigns to pull new customers into their digital ecosystems ...
ADB and Maybank Provide USD 20 Mn Finance to Myanmar
May, 02 2018
Myanmar - Maybank and ADB will improve access to financial services to even more low-income families and small-business owners ...
S. Garg, CEO, Teller: From New York to Madagascar - Why I Moved My Fintech Startup to Africa
May, 01 2018
Global - In the summer of 2017, I shifted my main focus from the U.S. to developing markets, and specifically sub-Saharan Africa. This market had two specific characteristics that made it perfect for a messaging-based chatbot: (1) Users were mobile-first oriented and were already accustomed to accessing financial services through their phones, and (2) existing customer service and education channels were either nonexistent, time-consuming or intimidating ...
Impact Investing Must Resolve Its Identity Crisis
May, 01 2018
Global - We know impact investing is a hot topic: chief executives of investment companies, celebrities and entrepreneurs talk about it at every opportunity. But outside of a few buzzwords — ethical, sustainable and so on — there is no consensus as to what impact investing is. ...

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