Microfinance programs geared toward African women can actually help heal victims of rape the same way that psychological counseling does – by restoring self-respect.
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.
US$2.3 trillion has been spent by the global North on international aid in the last five decades. Nevertheless, close to half of the world's population still lives in poverty. One in five live in extreme poverty. Aid is not working as well as it should. Unless we can inject the spirit of innovation into this provision, the extreme poor we try to help in places like Bangladesh will continue to remain poor.
India’s microfinance industry has warned it is being pushed to the brink of collapse, as a result of a bank freeze on credit to microlenders triggered by a political crackdown.
India’s commercial banks, which normally provide about $133m a week in credit to the microloan industry, have frozen those disbursals for the past two weeks, as companies wrestle with a backlash in one of their biggest markets, the state of Andhra Pradesh.
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.
A significant number of people using new technologies such as mobile phones to access financial services in developing countries are completely new clients for the financial services industry, according to new research by CGAP. The growing interest of so-called branchless banking in recent years has, until now, largely lacked data showing whether it delivers on potential to bring the poor into the formal economy.
A new initiative to expand these programs to the broader market called the Small Business Banking Network (SBBN) will launch in November. The SBBN is designed to bolster the capacity and effectiveness of financial institutions to profitably serve small businesses in developing countries, helping to close the gap between microfinance and commercial banking.
In their book "Sustainable Excellence", Aron Cramer and Zachary Karabell make a compelling case for why a focus on sustainability -- whether it concerns, for example, climate change, energy consumption or labor relations -- is now a form of enlightened self-interest for businesses. For starters, commodity prices have been soaring as investors wake up to a world marked by rapid population growth and overstretched resources.
Even as the microfinance sector is facing the possibility of new regulations that will reduce interest rates lenders charge in Indian hinterland, perhaps resulting in a drop in margins, rich Indians still feel there is money to be made at least in firms providing services to firms doing business at the ‘bottom of the pyramid’.
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.
Microfinance has had a quick slide down the popularity charts— from being celebrated as a magic wand against poverty to being condemned as a business riddled with loan sharks.
Why the time is right for sustainable thinking by pension funds and institutional investors:
When Roger Urwin, global head of investment content at Towers Watson, the investment consultant, turns his mind to a subject, the pensions world listens. Urwin, one of the most influential investment advisors around, has worked with many of the world’s largest retirement schemes. His recent attention to the theme of sustainable investing is notable because of his experience in the reality of pension fund practice and governance.
Participants gathered at Deutsche Bank’s Wall Street office for the second day of the Microfinance Impact and Innovation Conference. Panelists included both academics and practitioners, sharing research and experiences from the field. They attempted to tackle the daunting question: how do you design credit products that work for the poor, not against them?
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.
A group of India's largest microfinance institutions filed a lawsuit Tuesday to block strict new regulations laid down by the state of Andhra Pradesh — a crucial market for small loans — after reports that high interest and coercive loan collection by microfinance groups had led to some 30 suicides.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a development finance institution headquartered in London, has loaned Export and Credit Bank (ECB), a commercial bank in Macedonia, EUR 6 million (USD 8.3 million) for on-lending to local businesses undertaking sustainable energy investmets or investments aimed at improving their competitiveness in local and European markets. EBRD holds a 25 percent stake in ECB.
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.
Lemon Way is an Independent Software Vendor that helps banks build a differentiated competitive advantage with innovating solutions based on mobile devices or TV channels. The software suite Wonderbank enables banks to provide their customers robust, secure, transactional solutions for routine and advanced banking enquiries.
The apex bank yesterday said it had granted provisional approval for new licences to 121 out of the 224 microfinance institutions, whose licences were recently withdrawn.
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.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, will work with Bank Constanta to improve its risk management practices, which will help the bank increase lending to smaller businesses in Georgia. This initiative is part of a broader IFC strategy to strengthen local banks in the aftermath of the global financial crisis.
Lyon created a system to bring formal financial services to microfinance institutions and poor entrepreneurs via a mobile phone. He believes the new software, to be launched by the organization he founded, FrontlineSMS:Credit, could change the world of microfinance by changing the way the poor interact with the institutions.
The asset growth of microfinance investment intermediaries (MIIs) fell to 21 per cent at estimated $8.2 billion in 2009 from 31 per cent growth in 2008, hurt by the global financial crisis. The growth is expected to slow down further to 15 per cent in 2010.
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.
Newton Microfinance Institution is the leading private financial institution in Lao PDR. Their vision is to make sure that every Lao resident not only has access to but also benefits from the financial blessings globally enjoyed. They are installing Internet banking services to their clients in several languages including Lao, English, french, etc.
Philippines has been ranked second best worldwide in the microfinance business, and the leader in the Asia Pacific region.
Based on a study conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), the business information arm of The Economist Group that publishes The Economist, the Philippines outperformed Bolivia slipping to third overall.
Oikocredit, the innovative development financing organisation, has been given an award in recognition of its contribution to socially responsible investing. The award has been made by The Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP).
Three Social Entrepreneurs have been recognized as leading social innovators in Asia during the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2010, Tianjin, People’s Republic of China, 13-15 September.