World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) is the leading international trade association and development agency for credit unions. WOCCU promotes the sustainable development of credit unions and other financial cooperatives around the world to empower people through access to high quality and affordable financial services. WOCCU advocates on behalf of the global credit union system before international organizations and works with national governments to improve legislation and regulation. Its technical assistance programs introduce new tools and technologies to strengthen credit unions' financial performance and increase their outreach.
While it's sometimes hard to quantify success, one thing is certain – the ripple effect and long-term effects of good development work impact more people for generations to come than any of us will know.
More than 1.5mn loans worth $831mn have been given out in the past seven years, said the Microfinance Investment Support Facility for Afghanistan (MISFA), which was set up by the government in 2003 to coordinate the sector. Thirty years of conflict have shattered Afghanistan’s economy and infrastructure, leaving two-thirds of the roughly 30mn population illiterate and at least a third in dire poverty.
"Harassment of women and domestic violence goes back to centuries. It continues to be in force today in many parts of the world including Sri Lanka. It must be eliminated at all costs" said Child Development and Women Affairs Minister Tissa Karalliyadde addressing the Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (AFPPD) held in Port Macquarie, Australia on the theme 'Prevention of violence against women'.
Kiva, the world's first personal micro-lending website, has teamed with KIEDF (Koret Israel Economic Development Funds) to launch its first and only partnership with an Israeli microfinance institution. This alliance will allow individuals anywhere to make small loans through the Kiva website to Bedouin women of the Negev, Arab Israelis in northern Israel, and other low-income populations throughout Israel.
Microfinance has lost its soul. Six fundamental shifts in the practice of microfinance have left it operating more like a for-profit bank and less like an innovative pro-poor movement.
Nobel Peace Prize laureate Muhammad Yunus is under pressure after critics accused him of misusing development aid. The father of microfinance told SPIEGEL ONLINE the allegations are "a total fabrication."
Jimmy Wales founder of Wikipedia is appealing for donations to support the activity of the open encyclopedia
The grant funded a one day workshop in Lusaka to look at gender issues in rural microfinance programmes. 43 people participated in the workshop, including managers and gender specialists from government ministries, financial institutions, community based organizations and NGOs, donors and colleges. There was also participation from IFAD and FAO.
Since the launch of FITA in January 2010, the Group has rapidly expanded with new Members teaming-up together to generate awareness in Cyprus of female artists, artisans and designers.
Claudia Kennedy, Member of Opportunity's Board of Advisors and First Woman U.S. Army Lieutenant General, Encourages Individuals to Recognize Their Power to Improve People's Lives Around the World.
The recent controversy surrounding the microfinance sector has entirely eclipsed the fact that it is the first effort in India to have delivered financial services to remote corners of the country in a self-sustaining manner. The stakes are high for India’s poor, and we have to pave the way for orderly growth in the sector. Here is our view on some key issues that have featured in the current debate.
Opportunity co-founder and former president of Bristol Myers International Corporation, the late Al Whittaker, encountered poverty as he travelled throughout the world in the 1960’s and 70’s. He asked the people he met: “What do you need?” They replied: "Work. With jobs, we will solve our own problems."
The International Financial Corporation (IFC), entering into the World Bank (WB) Group, together with the Financial Commission on Regulation of Mongolia and Micro-Finance Development Fund (MFDF) has organized awareness-raising tour to Mongolia on studying of legislative practice on microfinancing for regulators from Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.
After several years of very high profile attention on mobile money and other branchless banking schemes, we think it’s time to test the hype. Or more accurately, we’ve wanted to for awhile. But acquiring good data is really, really hard. We’ve been unable to say in anything but a fragmented, mostly anecdotal way whether the unbanked really use branchless banking, what they use it for, if it saves them any money, and what more they might want (but aren’t getting yet). Just because we are excited about branchless banking doesn’t mean it is living up to the promises we make on its behalf.
The Norwegian Microfinance Initiative (NMI), a partnership between the Norwegian public and private sectors that provides assistance for microfinance institutions (MFIs) in developing countries, recently loaned KES 325 million (approximately USD 4.03 million) to Kenya Women Finance Trust – Deposit Taking Microfinance (KWFT- DTM), a microfinance institution based in Nairobi, Kenya, and UGX 1.25 billion (approximately USD 548,000) to the Uganda Finance Trust (UFT), an MFI in Kampala, Uganda, to support microenterprises.
Women entrepreneurs constitute one of the key drivers of Africa's sustainable growth. As Africa's lead development partner, the African Development Bankactively supports women entrepreneurs.
Canada will invest $43.4-million in new aid to Francophone African countries, the most tangible product of Stephen Harper’s trip to the weekend’s summit of Francophone nations. The funding, part of $1.1-billion in aid that the Conservative government promised in June to protect mothers and their children at the G8 summit of leading developed nations in Huntsville, Muskoka, will help protect 1.1 million women and children from malnourishment and sexual violence.
Samasta Microfinance is a public limited, for profit Non Banking Financial Company, established in March 2008. We offer microfinance solutions to the urban and rural poor in South India, and currently operate in the states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. Their aim is to drive social change and be a catalyst for entrepreneurial ambition by providing a host of financial and non-financial products to our members. Their loan products are geared towards income generation supplemented by loans for education and social commitments. Samasta's operations use the Joint Liability Group (JLG) model.
The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) at Colorado State University provides innovative training in community-based development (online and face-to-face), consultation, evaluation, and project support services for individuals and governmental, international non-governmental, and community-based organizations around the world.
Village Earth's mission is to help reconnect communities to the resources that promote human well-being by enhancing social and political empowerment, community self-reliance and self-determination.
Rural Finance is about providing financial services for people living in rural areas. This Learning Centre aims to assist organisations in developing countries to build their capacity to deliver improved financial services which meet the needs of rural households and businesses.
The three-day Asian Microfinance Forum 2010 wrapped up bringing to a close three full days of conferences, panel sessions and seminars all of which were well attended by almost 500 delegates from 50 countries who were in Colombo for the event as well as many local industrialists, bankers and other interested parties.
Thirty-five bankers and trainers from 15 institutions in Cambodia, Laos and Viet Nam yesterday participated in a training programme on building sustainable small and medium-sized banking operations in HCM City.
A group of financial experts has ordered all commercial banks in the Central African Economic and Monetary Community, CEMAC, to raise the minimum amount of their capital reserves.
Residents in sub-Saharan African countries report a wide range of awareness about the availability of microfinance lending in their communities, suggesting these institutions remain locally inaccessible to many who would benefit most from using them. Malawians (65%) and Ugandans (63%) are the most likely to say they are aware of these institutions in their communities, while respondents from Ivory Coast (18%), Democratic Republic of the Congo (16%), and Zimbabwe (15%) are the least likely to say the same.
This AfricaFocus contains a diverse selection of recent books likely to be of interest and new to AfricaFocus readers. You will find, for example, new books by Africa's distinguished elders, such as Achebe, wa Thiong'o, and Mandela. Selected new books from publishers such as Africa World Press, HSRC Press, and Aflame Books. Books on topical themes such as SMS activism and other ICT developments, on India and China's relations with Africa, and on xenophobia and migration. And more.
2010 Legatum Africa Awards to Recognise and Reward Africa's Entrepreneurial Business Leaders. Awards Ceremony to be Hosted in Accra, Ghana
World Health Organization (WHO) is in a unique position to engage with countries through its regional and country offices. In the Regions, WHO focuses on providing support in line with country priorities as reflected in the Country Cooperation Strategies (CCS) which derive from the core functions of WHO.
The axiom "give a man a fish, feed him for a day; teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime" is widely accepted among the international development community, and for good reason. But taken on its own, this axiom leaves out very important principles.
With hundreds of fledgling entrepreneurs ready to change the world and maybe make millions while they do it, the buzz around the microfinance industry looks a bit like the dot-com boom at the end of the ’90s.
Non-profit industry leaders, telephone carriers and technologists are joining the Innovative Giving Conference entitled ‘Mobile Giving and Communication Demystified’ held September 27th – 28th in Malibu
As world leaders gather for the G8 summit in Canada, Machrine Birungi visits Francis Kamara at his farm in Uganda to see if the promises made at Gleneagles in 2005 have benefitted him and his country.
The micro-finance sector in Ghana and Nigeria has received a boost through a 40 million Euro fund, which was launched by Goodwell Investments of The Netherlands, Alitheia Capital of Nigeria and JCS Investments from Ghana.
Morgan Stanley on June 16 announced microfinance organization Pro Mujer as the winner of the second annual Morgan Stanley Social Enterprise Strategy Challenge. This initiative features teams of Morgan Stanley employees providing pro-bono strategic advice to non-profits and competing for the honor of the best pro-bono advisor. The team developing business strategy recommendations for Pro Mujer was selected as the winner for providing the highest-impact analysis and advice.
Helping women from poor households to establish small businesses is the daily work of the Timorese microfinance institution Tuba Rai Metin (TRM). Their belief is that the prosperity of Timor-Leste has to be built upon the prosperity of the most important structure in society, the family unit.
The Green Plus Sustainable Enterprise Awards were created to help smaller enterprises learn the best practices of triple bottom line sustainability – strong financial, environmental, and community performance – from one another.
This is an extraordinary story of women's empowerment in rural India. Women in Satara district in Maharashtra run a bank and a B-school successfully.
Sunny Mahant had been working as a product marketing manager for nine years at Cisco when he experienced an epiphany on a trip to India.
On that trip, Mahant and his wife, photographer Geidre Nakutyte, witnessed firsthand the brutish conditions under which very young children work in India, and the extreme poverty suffered by their families. He came home determined to make a difference in the lives of young Indians.
Grameen Foundation announced it is expanding its technology for microfinance initiative to provide enhanced support to high-growth, mid-size microfinance institutions (MFIs) serving up to one million clients.
A permanent Calendar about the events of the FWA. The Financial Women’s Association brings together high achieving professionals from every sector of the financial world.
In reaction to the financial crisis, the U.S. banking industry and its regulators have been forced to seek new consumer protections that will put the industry on stronger ground. In marked contrast, one global subsector of the financial industry is moving proactively to ensure that client protection remains at the core of its business model. That subsector is microfinance, the provision of loans and other financial services to the poor worldwide.
Kiva President Premal Shah on the company's mission to fight poverty by lending to entrepreneurs. Video at Forbes.com
The summit will focus on urban poverty by bringing attendees to visit any of the seven leading microfinance organizations in Kenya.
Microfinance, perhaps best known as a means of helping small business owners in developing countries move out of poverty, is one source already in place in the United States. These organizations make small loans and other financial services available to low- and moderate-income businesses.
"The relief effort is intense right now, and we know that Haiti needs food, water and medicine immediately, but Haiti will also need foundational support for it's economy"
Bill and Melinda Gates announced plans Friday to invest $10 billion in the fight against a number of illnesses including AIDS and said the record donation could save nearly nine million lives. Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, they said the 10-year program will focus on vaccines for AIDS, tuberculosis, rota virus and pneumonia.
Founder of an international nonprofit, a speaker before the World Bank, Presidential Scholar, a veteran in microfinance, participant in a discussion with the Dalai Lama — the graduating senior from San Jose's Notre Dame High School has packed more into her slender years than most people do into a lifetime. And she's not yet 18.
Jacqueline Novogratz interviewed by David Serchuk (Forbes). Jacqueline Novogratz is the founder and chief executive officer of Acumen Fund, a nonprofit global venture fund that uses entrepreneurial approaches to combat global poverty.
Be sure to read Founder, Dana Dakin’s Story of how she traveled to Ghana in 2003 on the occasion of her sixtieth birthday to find a village and start a microlending program.
NetHope has grown to 26 members, including locally based nonprofits Mercy Corps, PATH and World Vision, and major supporters such as Microsoft.
Seattle has become a hub for technology and philanthropy, so it's not surprising that a nonprofit consortium combining both would find fertile ground here.
In the world's poorest countries, millions of children live in desperate need of the very things we often take for granted - food, medicine, education and safe drinking water. Without these basics, they are often denied the chance they need to ever realise their full potential.
End Water Poverty is the international campaign that aims to bring an end to the global water and sanitation crisis. The coalition is formed of like-minded organisations from around the world who are demanding urgent action and leadership from donors and governments alike. Only together, with one voice, can we tackle this devastating crisis that affects billions of poor people across the world.
A teacher by training, Lynne Randolph Patterson never expected to find herself at the helm of Pro Mujer, a multi-national financial services company.
Religion can play a part in delivering us from the illusion that money is the measure of all things.
The former prime minister is attracting wealthy donors to back his health and harmony projects. "The Blairs are using all their resources to tackle things they care about," said Sue Wixley of New Philanthropy Capital, a think tank that connects charities to donors. "In this case, the Blairs' resources are their contacts."
The Gates Foundation has pledged $40 million to independent think tanks in developing countries, starting with a 24 institutions in Africa. The aim of the initiative is to provide long-term funding to organizations so they can produce sound research that influences national policy debate and decision making, said Mark Suzman, director of policy and advocacy for the Gates Foundation's global development program.
Few women in Africa work in regular, formal sector jobs, and even those generally earn too little to escape from poverty. Decades after the world officially recognized a human right to gender equality, women remain largely excluded from the upper ranks of government and business, earn less than their male co-workers and face an array of customs, traditions and attitudes that limit their opportunities.
A new children's book tells the story of what happens when a young boy living in Ghana in West Africa borrows a few coins from his village's collective fund. The boy, Kojo, has an idea: to buy one hen. He walks two hours to a chicken farm in a neighboring village, and he finds the hen he wants — plump and brown, with a bright red comb. He buys that hen — with the hopes of selling some of the eggs she lays in order to buy more hens. And he does buy more hens — and more and more of them.
During The Aspen Environment Forum Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan presented the King Hussein Leadership Prize which recognizes outstanding leadership in promoting human rights, sustainability and world peace. And the winner was Bob Freling, Executive Director of an American non profit called SELF -- the Solar Electric Light Fund, which has been solar-powering villages around the world.
Parliament adopted a legislative report on a proposal to support the growth of microcredit institutions in the EU. The report drafted by Zsolt Laszlo Becsey (EPP-ED, HU) was approved by 574 votes in favour, 23 against and 12 abstentions.
WaterPartners projects are funded through grants, loans, or a combination of grants and loans. Our loan program is called WaterCredit, and is the first of its kind. The idea of building community-based water supply projects through a combination of grants and loans is new to the water sector. Until now, almost all water projects facilitated by other organizations have been funded entirely by grants, even when the individuals served by the project have the means to share costs.
Grameen Foundation has received Shs7 billion from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to support agricultural technology, healthcare, and also improve access of information services by rural farmers in Uganda and Ghana.
According to Mr. Attali, who is President of PlaNet Finance, micro-credit plays a key role in development efforts targeting the poorest segments of the population, and micro-finance sources need to be preserved at a time when the global financial crisis is severely hitting Africa. The continent has made steady progress over the last decade, building the foundations for higher growth rates and poverty reduction.
What if someone approached you and said, “Come up with four grand and I’ll let you spend your summer fighting athletes’ foot, near-death traffic experiences and the glorious state of having ass-rash?” It might sound like an abduction or ransom situation to some. But two UBC students have willingly signed up for this.
Led by a consortium of partners, project supports GOE’s Safety Net Program, a new nationwide development project that will assist poor, rural households in food insecure areas that benefit from the Government of Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP). This three year project will move households towards graduation from PSNP through market-driven approaches to diversify their livelihoods, build assets and link to financial services and markets.
Welcome to this blog about Microfinance, Innovations and Sustainable Development