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Jun 2019
Solar’s Big Promise for Lighting Africa Is Tied to the Continent’s Mobile Money Advantage
June, 30 2019
Sub-Saharan Africa - The off-grid pay-as-you-go solar power model started out in East Africa built around combining the improving and increasingly cost-effective solar technology with the region’s mobile money advantage ...
The Financial Inclusion Balancing Act
June, 30 2019
Global - Most fintech startups espouse two lofty goals: disrupting the banks and serving the underserved. But 20 years after Elon Musk founded the early fintech X.com (it later became PayPal), banks still dominate in almost every economy in the world ...
Vulcan Capital Seeds the Launch of TriLinc’s Private Debt Fund
June, 28 2019
Global - Vulcan Capital, the multi-billion-dollar investment arm of Vulcan Inc., has again selected TriLinc Global Advisors LLC to seed the launch of its new TriLinc Global Sustainable Income Fund II LLC, a Regulation D private placement offering with a target raise of $300 million ...
Invest in Small Business and Reap Big Rewards
June, 28 2019
Global - On 27 June, the day dedicated to celebrating micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (World MSME Day), UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi called on both big business and governments to invest more in these first responders to societal needs ...
Nepal Financial Inclusion: Banking on Top of the World
June, 28 2019
Nepal - Nepal’s government wants everyone to have access to a bank and has ordered a branch in each of the country’s 753 districts. Asiamoney journeys to one of the poorest and most remote parts of Asia, high in the Himalayas, to see if its grand financial-inclusion plan is working ...
Ethiopia’s All-female Bank Branch and the Newfound Role of Women
June, 28 2019
Ethiopia - In a rare and historic development, Ethiopia’s largest bank has opened a branch that is run solely by women, as it seeks to empower more women to drive the financial inclusion agenda ...
3 Ways to Deepen Our Understanding of Women’s Financial Inclusion
June, 27 2019
Global - How do we stop generalizing about impacts of financial services on women and get to a more nuanced understanding? FinEquity is a global community of practice convened by CGAP to advance women’s financial inclusion. Its members have significant experience, tools and approaches for answering such questions ...
Haiti: $2.5M to Support SMEs and the Agri-food Sector
June, 27 2019
Haiti - The IFC committed a $2.5 million risk sharing facility with Société Générale de Solidarité (Sogesol), microfinance subsidiary of the Sogebank Group, to support SMEs and agribusiness in Haiti ...
Five Facts on Fintech
June, 27 2019
Global - A new paper details the results of the survey alongside findings from other regional studies, and also identifies areas for international cooperation—including roles for the IMF and World Bank—and in which further work is needed by governments, international organizations, and standard-setting bodies ...
Refugee Lens Investing Arrives
June, 27 2019
Global - In June, the Refugee Investment Network launched an impact investing and blended finance collaborative connecting investors with refugee ventures ...
Impact Investing’s ‘Third Phase’: What New Challenges Lie Ahead?
June, 27 2019
Global - The impact investing space has evolved over the past decade in distinct phases, from being a niche market created by mission-diven innovators to become a mainstream product offered by wealth advisors and institutional investors. It is time to reflect on how successful impact investing has been in achieving its original goals. ...
10 Digital Solutions for Women Entrepreneurs Win Support from United Nations’ FinTech Innovation Fund
June, 27 2019
Asia and the Pacific - A crowdfunding platform for women farmers, online marketplaces for women-produced goods and services, and e-wallet enabled lending were among ten of the winning business models which will be co-funded by the United Nations to improve access to finance for women-owned, managed or led micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the region ...
Uganda: Increasing Dormant Accounts an Obstacle to Financial Inclusion
June, 26 2019
Uganda - Almost a third of the 11 million accounts opened are dormant and this number is sadly on the increase. ...
ESG Investors Need a Single Standard to Measure Impact
June, 26 2019
Global - Despite a growing enthusiasm for impact investment, many asset owners are constrained because of a baffling array of unverified, opaque and incompatible measurement frameworks. James Magor of Actis says this is something his company is trying to help address with its open-source Actis Impact Score ...
Open Banking is Disrupting the Traditional Banking System and Indian Neo Banks are Gearing up for it
June, 26 2019
India - Neo-banking platform Open has raised $30 million in a Series B round from Tiger Global Management ...
Shortage of Specialist Skills a Challenge to Growing Impact Investing Market
June, 26 2019
Global - Client demand appears to be driving the recent surge in impact investing – but a lack of professionals skilled in this field could hamper further growth ...
Swiss PB Launches Impact Investing Fund of Funds
June, 26 2019
Switzerland - Swiss private bank Banque Bonhôte has added to its range of funds with the launch of a new global multi-asset fund of funds focused on impact investing ...
StanChart Prices US$500m Emerging Markets-focused Sustainability Bond
June, 26 2019
Global - The proceeds of the bond will be used to provide finance in areas aligned with the UN SDGs – including clean energy projects, smaller business lending and microfinance loans – helping drive employment, growth and prosperity across emerging markets ...
USA: Acumen Spins off its Impact Measurement Method into a Separate Startup
June, 25 2019
USA - A few years ago, Acumen, the pioneering patient capital impact investment firm, developed a unique method for measuring impact called Lean Data. Now, it’s spinning off that approach into a separate for-profit enterprise, 60 Decibels ...
Indonesia’s Largest P2P Lending Platform KoinWorks Raises $12.2 Million Series B Funding Round
June, 25 2019
Indonesia - KoinWorks brings together borrowers and lenders online through a cutting-edge technology platform that provides access to financial services for SMEs who have historically been un- or underbanked by traditional financial institutions ...
New Rules to Protect Kenyan Sacco Members
June, 25 2019
Kenya - Kenya is working on new rules to tame deposit-taking Saccos (DT-Saccos) that fleece members through inflated charges, delays in reimbursement of deposits, and “reckless” lending and debt collection ...
China's Online Micro-Credit Provider Qudian Proposes Convertible Debt Offering
June, 25 2019
China - Qudian Inc., a Chinese online small consumer credit provider, announced Tuesday a proposed offering of 250 million U.S. dollars in convertible senior notes ...
Uganda Hoping to Prosper with Clean Energy Initiative
June, 24 2019
Uganda - In Uganda, clean energy and financial inclusion are coming together within an innovative model headed by FINCA-derived social enterprise, BrightLife. These are early days but the initial indications are positive ...
Kiva Rolls Refugee Fund for Institutional Investors
June, 24 2019
Global - Kiva, known for its crowdsourced lending platform, is making refugees the focus of its first institutional fund. The fund will invest in Kiva’s microfinance partners that have been lending to refugees through Kiva’s World Refugee Fund since 2016. ...
India: Gurugram-based Satin Creditcare to Apply for On-tap Small Finance Bank
June, 22 2019
India - Satin Creditcare Network (SCNL) plans to set up a small finance bank (SFB), and is waiting for the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to come out with its on-tap norms for such banks by end-August ...
India: Breaking New Ground
June, 21 2019
India - A dynamic business environment, widespread mobile and digital infrastructure and digital finance products are the three building blocks towards achieving the promise of inclusion ...
How Impact Investing Can Complement but not Displace Philanthropy
June, 21 2019
Global - The question for philanthropists is which strategy to deploy when tackling different social and environmental issues. ...
India: lnduslnd Bank-Bharat Financial Inclusion Merger to Be Effective from July 4
June, 20 2019
India - IndusInd Bank in October last year decided to acquire the country's leading micro-finance player BFIL, which was previously known as SKS Microfinance. The newly formed company will operate under the name "Induslnd Financial Inclusion Ltd" ...
India: Better Financial Inclusion - Create an Enabling Environment for the Underserved to Save, Borrow and Invest
June, 20 2019
India - The new regime must be one that can hold all entities to a common standard of institutional conduct in how they deal with the individual customer, including how they sell products ...
A Closer Look into the Socially Responsible, ESG ETF Theme
June, 20 2019
Global - Potential investors, though, should not categorize socially responsible investing as some kind of feel-good strategy without any real returns ...
Credit Unions Plan to Address Needs of Venezuelan Refugees in Colombia
June, 19 2019
Colombia - Research by the World Council of Credit Unions (Woccu) and Banca de las Oportunidades shows that around 96% of Venezuelan refugees in Colombia have no access to formal financial services ...
Mobile Money Takes over from Banks as the Main Driver of Financial Inclusion in Ghana
June, 19 2019
Ghana - The World Bank's fourth Economic Update Report on Ghana has shown that the financial inclusion in the country is largely being driven by mobile money platforms rather than banks ...
Impact Investing Doesn’t Require Sacrificing Returns, GIIN Survey Shows
June, 19 2019
Global - Impact investors are meeting their community and environmental goals without giving up financial returns on their deals, advocacy group’s latest Annual Impact Investor Survey shows ...
Inside View: Six Issues Impact Investors Need to Consider
June, 19 2019
Global - Yo Takatsuki, of Axa Investment Managers, considers how impact investing – with its roots in private equity – can be achieved through public markets investment ...
Ethical Investing Has Reached a Tipping Point
June, 18 2019
Global - 2019 looks as if it will be the year when environmental, social and governance considerations are moving out of a specialised niche into the mainstream. Financiers and chief executives are realising that it can sometimes be more costly to ignore ESG issues ...
IFC Takes Stake in Yoma Bank in First for Myanmar
June, 18 2019
Myanmar - Yoma Bank has become Myanmar’s first commercial lender with a foreign stakeholder following a decision by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to convert a US$5 million loan into a five percent equity shareholding ...
Sub-Saharan Africa is Top Market for Inclusive Fintech 50 Winners
June, 18 2019
Sub-Saharan Africa - Sub-Saharan Africa is the favoured region for top fintech companies aimed at improving financial inclusion to operate in, if the names of the winners of the Inclusive Fintech 50 competition is anything to go by ...
Can Banks Play a Role in Improving Resilience to Climate Change?
June, 17 2019
Global - Financial products can lead to better resilience for families living below the poverty line, helping them to overcome shocks and keeping them from falling further into poverty as a result of climate-related threats or other circumstances ...
African Development Bank Creates Fintech Fund to Boost Financial Inclusion
June, 14 2019
Sub-Saharan Africa - The African Development Bank has allocated £100 million in working capital and £300 million in debt financing to boost financial inclusion initiatives across the continent ...
Philippines: SEC Approves Merger of PBB, Insular Savers
June, 13 2019
Philippines - Under the planned merger, which was earlier approved by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), PBB chairman Alfredo Yao would absorb the entire assets and liabilities of ISBI, allowing it to further strengthen its consumer lending business, while establishing a foothold in the microfinance market ...
Islamic Banking: From Financing to Empowerment
June, 13 2019
MENA and Sub-Saharan Africa - In countries with high Muslim proportions, such as those in the Middle East and Africa—where Islamic banking first put down its roots 55 years ago—the industry has become an important element in their development agendas, for it caters to the financial needs of the people without conflicting with their social and religious values ...
Can You Make Money and Make a Difference?
June, 13 2019
Global - The next decade will see a huge transfer of wealth into the hands of women, who have consistently been shown to have more positive attitudes towards social investing than their male counterparts ...
AfDB Boost for Zimbabwe
June, 12 2019
Zimbabwe - FINANCE and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube has said the African Development Bank (AfDB) board has endorsed Zimbabwe’s reform agenda under the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP) ...
Institutional Shift: Investment Trends to Watch in the Second Half of 2019
June, 12 2019
Global - The first wave of talent in impact investing came largely from social enterprises or non-governmental organizations. Now, “Almost every firm is reconstituting those groups and bringing in seasoned mainstream investment professionals,” says Equilibrium Capital’s Dave Chen, co-host of ImpactAlpha’s occasional podcast series, “Institutional Shift. ...
R. Agarwal, M.R. Kramer & A. Srinivas, FSG: Business as Usual Will Not Save the Planet
June, 12 2019
Global - A dramatic and immediate change in direction by both companies and the UN will be essential if there is to be any chance of avoiding an embarrassing failure. The plan we describe in this article offers the necessary steps to reverse course and deliver urgently needed progress ...
The GIIN Founder Provides Impact Investing Definition
June, 12 2019
Global - “Impact investments are investments made into companies, organizations, and funds with the intention to generate social and environmental impact alongside a financial return. Impact investments can be made in both emerging and developed markets and target a range of returns from below market to market rate, depending upon investors’ objectives, ...
Colombia Watch: Financial Inclusion Challenges, Bank Charge Impact Warning
June, 12 2019
Colombia - Levels of financial inclusion in Colombia have risen but challenges persist, financial services watchdog Superfinanciera said in a report.The country’s financial inclusion indicator rose 1.3 percentage points last year, bringing the number of adults with at least one financial product to 28mn ...
EFSE Lends $10m to OTP Leasing for Rural MSEs in Ukraine
June, 11 2019
Ukraine - The loan is intended to “enhance access to longer-term fixed assets financing for rural and agricultural micro- and small enterprises (MSEs)…” ...
Ethical Investment Needs More Transparency
June, 11 2019
Global - There is an urgent need for a framework for investment that contributes to the positive impact of business on society and the environment. Investors, and the companies they back, can ill-afford to wait centuries for that framework to emerge ...
UOB Venture Management Expands Impact Investing Initiative
June, 11 2019
Asia - UOB Venture Management (UOBVM) announced on June 10 the expansion of its impact investing efforts with the launch of its second impact fund in the second half of this year. Focused on Asia, the new private equity fund is the second series of UOBVM’s Asia Impact Investment Fund (AIIF II). ...
Myanmar: Finance Ministry Cuts Microfinance Loan Interest Rates
June, 11 2019
Myanmar - A new directive from the Ministry of Planning and Finance (MOPF) has reduced interest rate for microfinance loans and compulsory saving ...
Spanish Government Signs Up to the GSG for Impact Investment
June, 10 2019
Spain - The Spanish government has joined UK's Global Steering Group for Impact Investment (GSG) thanks to the promotion of Spain's Foro Impacto (Impact Forum), an association that seeks to achieve the objectives of sustainable development of the 2030 agenda of the UN through the promotion of impact investments ...
Harvard Course Teaches Rich Millennials How to Do Good (and Make Money)
June, 09 2019
World - The graduates represent a quiet insurgency among the world’s wealthy millennials. As their peers march to protest climate change and inequality, these privileged few are arming themselves with the skills and arguments they need to convince their families -- often against bankers’ advice -- to make more “impact investments” that are designed to benefit society as well as turn a profit ...
F. Kemmerich, Managing Partner, Bamboo Capital Partners: Impact Investing Can Unlock the Potential of Blockchain in Africa
June, 07 2019
Africa - The Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) recently published research which revealed that global impact assets under management topped $502 billion in 2018. It is further proof, if we needed any, of the exponential growth of impact investing in recent years, with new entrants both small and large coming to market ...
India: Way Forward for Microfinance
June, 07 2019
India - The role of microfinance in financial inclusion, poverty alleviation and woman empowerment is proven. The industry needs to find a balance between commercial goals and social good ...
Indians Are Switching to Digital Payments in Droves
June, 06 2019
India - Payment fintechs are better integrated with banks in India than elsewher ...
New Ethical Fund Floats on World Environment Day
June, 05 2019
Global - Increasingly aware of damage done to the environment, sustainable investing is more popular than ever ...
A Bigger Role for Green Bonds
June, 05 2019
Global - A decade ago, green bonds were virtually non-existent. Today, they are a rapidly growing asset class, bringing much-needed new capital not just to the clean energy sector but to energy-efficient buildings, sustainable land use, waste, water and transport. According to the Climate Bonds Initiative, global green finance needs to reach $1tn by the end of 2020 and continue to grow each year thereafter ...
Acumen Launches 60 Decibels to Make Lean Data an Impact Measurement Standard for Impact Investing
June, 05 2019
Global - Acumen today announced the spin out of Lean Data SM, its unique approach to impact measurement, into a separate social enterprise, 60 Decibels. By creating a standalone company, Acumen and 60 Decibels aim to accelerate the adoption of Lean Data and set a new standard for how impact is measured by social enterprises, impact investors and the international development sector as a whole ...
The Untold Story of Indian ‘Payment Banks’
June, 05 2019
India - A Payment Bank (PB) is nothing less than a deposit account. In general, PBs can facilitate money deposit of up to ₹1 lakh, further offering remittance service, mobile payments, ATM/debit card facility and third-party fund transfer but excludes advancing loans or issuing credit cards. The entire idea is to propel the usage digitally with the help of the facilitator (PB). ...
ESG Funds: How to Invest in a Sustainable Future
June, 05 2019
Global - Better sustainability practices are becoming increasingly important to both companies and investors. Consequently, globally common ESG funds, which score environment, social and governance factors, are starting to find a place in Indi ...
India: Microfinance Sector Wants Banks, NBFCs to Come under Lending Code
June, 05 2019
India - These companies are seeking a level-playing field where all lenders in the segment come under a common code, namely the Code for Responsible Lendin ...
India: In a First, Grameen and Acumen Raise Rs 10 Cr Credit Facility for Social Impact Companies via SDG Bonds
June, 04 2019
India - Grameen Impact Investments and Acument raised the credit facility for five workforce and skill development social enterprises via India's first sustainable development goals (SDG) bond ...
SME Finance as Driver of Job Creation and Sustainable Banking in Lebanon
June, 04 2019
Lebanon - Better financial inclusion of SMEs, whether in the form of so-called green lending, preferential SME credit lines, trade finance facilities or credit insurance, holds great promise ...
Philippines: Microfinance Loans Jump 32% to P22.6 Billion in 2018
June, 03 2019
Philippines - The BSP said microfinance service providers surged by 99 percent to 2,106 last year from 1,057 nationwide in 2017, while the number of borrowers inched up to 1.98 million from 1.95 million ...
DRC Makes Slow Progress in Path to Financial Inclusion
June, 03 2019
DRC - Financial inclusion figures are slowly improving in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, but still fall short of other African countries. However, the mood is largely optimistic with regards to making faster progress ...
Chinese Firms Explore Investment Opportunity in India’s Online Lending Sector
June, 03 2019
India - The rise in need of alternative credit models and lending products in the Indian market has led to significant growth in the last couple of years and attracting global investors into the sector ...
Impact Investors Say Finding Suitable Companies Is a Challenge
June, 03 2019
Global - In a survey by KBI Global Investors, the Dublin investment manager, institutional investors and consultants said their top concern was finding unlisted companies that fulfil the idea of an appropriate mission and provide a suitable place to park funds ...
UK: New Independent Institute to Push Impact Investing, Influence Policy
June, 03 2019
UK - A new independent body, the Impact Investing Institute, is being created to advance impact investing and to promote the UK as a world leader in this field ...
Bank of Ghana Revokes Licenses of 39 Insolvent Micro-Credit Companies
June, 01 2019
Ghana - Going forward, the BOG is strengthening its regulatory and supervisory framework, and promoting confidence in the microcredit sector through a comprehensive review of licensing and supervisory policies and directives and a review of the minimum capital requirements ...

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