Microfinance

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  • Savings Groups Fuel Digital Design for Smallholders in Rwanda

    Blog
    Sebastian Barrera, Montana Cherney, Melanie Kahl, Ashish Kumar
    27 May 2015 | 6:41 am
    It’s no secret that savings groups are the lifeblood of the informal financial economy, especially for smallholder households in developing economies such as Rwanda. Savings groups are seen as a social and financial safety net for those who weather seasonal hardships related to the variability of their harvest or unforeseen emergencies.
  • Reflections on Living Below the Line - I Couldn't Afford an Apple!

    Opportunity International
    Allison Kooser
    20 May 2015 | 9:13 am
    David Simms, President, Opportunity US and Global Chief Development Officer, joined Opportunity staff and friends spending five days eating and drinking on less than $1.50 a day as part of the Live Below the Line challenge. He completed the challenge and shared his reflections with us.  Well, it's over. Yesterday I finished my five days of "Living Below the Line" of $1.50 per day, the World Bank's definition of extreme poverty. It was a humbling experience and one which heightened my appreciation for how so many of Opportunity International's clients live each and every day. Last Sunday, Kim…
  • MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Finance Corporation (IFC) to Loan $15m to Chase Bank Kenya, Advise on Financial Access for Women Entrepreneurs

    MicroCapital: On microfinance, mobile money, SMEs and other forms of impact Investing
    Caroline Zhu
    27 May 2015 | 12:49 pm
    The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the US-based World Bank Group, recently announced an agreement to provide a loan of USD 15 million and 15 months of advisory services to Chase Bank Kenya, a privately owned bank in Kenya [1]. The goal is to boost financial access for small and medium sized enterprises, especially those owned by women entrepreneurs [1]. USD 7.5 million out of USD 15 million investment will be distributed to women-owned enterprises. The advisory services will include “advice and training to both bank staff and customers on credit analysis, gender…
  • “Would you like a pension with that?”

    Center for Financial Inclusion blog
    Center for Financial Inclusion
    27 May 2015 | 11:42 am
    > Posted by Sonja Kelly, Fellow, CFI #94881934 / gettyimages.com Thanks to a little coordination and a lot of creativity, you can now contribute to your pension in Mexico when you buy potato chips or top-up your mobile phone. Last year, to increase voluntary savings in Mexico’s pension system, the pension regulator teamed up with 7/11 retail stores and Telecomm to create channels for people to contribute to pensions, whether they receive an income within the formal labor market or not. The system added about 3,600 new contribution locations for the 53 million people in Mexico who have a…
  • Jamii Bora sheds micro-finance tag - The Standard Digital News (satire) (press release) (registration) (blog)

    microfinance news - Google News
    25 May 2015 | 9:39 pm
    The Standard Digital News (satire) (press release) (registration) (blog)Jamii Bora sheds micro-finance tagThe Standard Digital News (satire) (press release) (registration) (blog)Jamii Bora sheds micro-finance tag. BY Moses Michira. Updated Tuesday, May 26th 2015 at 00:19 GMT +3. Share this story: Jamii Bora Bank has announced that it is now targeting Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), in major change of strategy that has ...and more »
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    Blog

  • Savings Groups Fuel Digital Design for Smallholders in Rwanda

    Sebastian Barrera, Montana Cherney, Melanie Kahl, Ashish Kumar
    27 May 2015 | 6:41 am
    It’s no secret that savings groups are the lifeblood of the informal financial economy, especially for smallholder households in developing economies such as Rwanda. Savings groups are seen as a social and financial safety net for those who weather seasonal hardships related to the variability of their harvest or unforeseen emergencies.
  • Four Ways Energy Access Can Propel Financial Inclusion

    Jacob Winiecki
    26 May 2015 | 6:07 am
    East Africa is known as a hotbed of innovation in financial services. Now that mobile money platforms have become widespread, the private sector is using these services to power the delivery of additional services, such as pay-as-you-go (PAYG) solar energy. Interestingly, we are now seeing this relationship work in reverse: usage of PAYG energy services is also propelling financial inclusion.This trend is becoming evident in four critical ways:
  • New Accounts in China Drive Global Financial Inclusion Figures

    Eric Duflos, Leora Klapper
    22 May 2015 | 5:35 am
    Nearly eight in 10 adults in China now have a bank account, according to the 2014 Global Findex. This represents a 15 percentage point increase since 2011. According to the survey, the number of global unbanked has decreased from 2.5 billion to 2 billion in the past three years, and China’s progress has been a major driver of this change. In fact, the 2014 Findex found that of the world’s 500 million newly banked adults, more than one third (180 million) live in China.Three positive trends emerge from this data.
  • Five Things Any Youth Savings Program Needs

    Ryan Newton
    20 May 2015 | 7:47 am
    A piggy bank can be a fun and effective way to teach kids about saving money, but those little containers only go so far. They eventually run out of space, and they’re too easy to access for impulse spending. Working with Women's World Banking, the Dominican Republic’s Banco ADOPEM introduced a more promising strategy in 2010 for teaching kids how to save money: opening a savings account in their name.
  • Financial Innovation and Solar Power: Conquering Energy Poverty

    Jacob Winiecki
    20 May 2015 | 7:29 am
    Over one billion people globally live without access to electricity and another billion have unreliable connections. Can more people get electricity with the help of financial innovation? Early evidence suggests yes.
 
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    Opportunity International

  • Reflections on Living Below the Line - I Couldn't Afford an Apple!

    Allison Kooser
    20 May 2015 | 9:13 am
    David Simms, President, Opportunity US and Global Chief Development Officer, joined Opportunity staff and friends spending five days eating and drinking on less than $1.50 a day as part of the Live Below the Line challenge. He completed the challenge and shared his reflections with us.  Well, it's over. Yesterday I finished my five days of "Living Below the Line" of $1.50 per day, the World Bank's definition of extreme poverty. It was a humbling experience and one which heightened my appreciation for how so many of Opportunity International's clients live each and every day. Last Sunday, Kim…
  • Clevis Transforming Her Community

    Allison Kooser
    19 May 2015 | 1:26 pm
    When Clevis Berrio looked around her community in Cartegena, Colombia, she noticed a need. Pregnant women had nowhere to shop for maternity clothing. In a city with more than a million people, Cartegena did not have a single maternity store. Clevis, a seamstress by trade, operated a small clothing business with a friend. When she noticed the need, she and her business partner decided to make and sell maternity and children’s clothes – eventually expanding the shop to employ four others. Today, six women have joined together to form the Sentimentos clothing label – selling at one…
  • Announcing Huffington Post and Crowdrise Partnership

    Allison Kooser
    18 May 2015 | 12:56 pm
    We are pleased to share that the Huffington Post, in partnership with Crowdrise - a crowd funding website - has selected Opportunity International as one of a handful of organizations making meaningful strides toward ending global poverty by empowering women. As part of their 10-year anniversary celebration and NEXT TEN effort, the Huffington Post is focusing on making a lasting impact around the world and creating sustainable change. As part of this initiative, the Huffington Post has partnered with Crowdrise to create a unique fundraising page for Opportunity on their website. We are…
  • Three Questions with a Loan Officer

    Allison Kooser
    15 May 2015 | 5:28 am
    We are always inspired by the many loan officers who impact our clients’ lives, whether for a single encounter or for years. Looking back at some of the amazing stories of these great people, this is one of our favorites… Sarah started her career as a school teacher, but decided to join Opportunity to better serve others in her community. Today, she serves as a loan officer in Uganda, equipping and training entrepreneurs who are working their way out of poverty. We asked Sarah to answer three questions for us – and her answers demonstrate just how influential loan officers can be. Why…
  • Meet Lauren Dillon

    Allison Kooser
    11 May 2015 | 9:39 am
    We sat down with Lauren Dillon, Founder of Triad Resource Group, to learn more about her entrepreneurial journey and hear her advice for other entrepreneurs. Lauren was one of the original members of Young Ambassadors for Opportunity and is a long-time friend of Opportunity International.  Lauren: I’m Lauren Dillon and I’m the Founder and Co-Collaborator of the Triad Resource Group. We’re a fundraising implementation firm; so to liken us to a staffing firm would maybe be a better mistake than to say that we’re a consulting firm, although we do provide some strategic planning…
 
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    Center for Financial Inclusion blog

  • “Would you like a pension with that?”

    Center for Financial Inclusion
    27 May 2015 | 11:42 am
    > Posted by Sonja Kelly, Fellow, CFI #94881934 / gettyimages.com Thanks to a little coordination and a lot of creativity, you can now contribute to your pension in Mexico when you buy potato chips or top-up your mobile phone. Last year, to increase voluntary savings in Mexico’s pension system, the pension regulator teamed up with 7/11 retail stores and Telecomm to create channels for people to contribute to pensions, whether they receive an income within the formal labor market or not. The system added about 3,600 new contribution locations for the 53 million people in Mexico who have a…
  • Combating the Discrimination of Disabled People in Microfinance Lending

    Center for Financial Inclusion
    26 May 2015 | 8:46 am
    > Posted by Debashis Sarker, Centre for European Research in Microfinance (CERMi) and University of Mons, Belgium #473876642 / gettyimages.com With estimates indicating that less than 1 percent of microfinance clients around the world are persons with disabilities (PwDs), it’s clear that sizable barriers exist to the financial inclusion of this largely unbanked population segment. One such barrier is discrimination on the part of microfinance institutions. Two features of microfinance lending make it especially hard to reach definitive statistical estimates of discrimination. One is…
  • Fifty-Eight Percent of Women in India Report Difficulty Accessing Credit, Savings, or Jobs Because of their Gender

    Center for Financial Inclusion
    22 May 2015 | 7:49 am
    > Posted by Center Staff #542571629 / gettyimages.com A new paper from MasterCard corroborates recent findings on persistent gaps in the financial inclusion of women, indicating that in India 58 percent of women report difficulty accessing credit, savings, or jobs because of their gender. The paper is part of MasterCard’s Connectors Project, which examines the migration of excluded populations into progressive economic inclusion. The recently-released Global Findex data found that between 2011 and 2014, the gender gap in access to financial services remained steady at 9 percent in…
  • Pursuing Better Microfinance Governance in South Sudan

    Center for Financial Inclusion
    21 May 2015 | 9:44 am
    > Posted by Alison Slack, Associate, CFI #108095698 / gettyimages.com As CEO of the South Sudan Microfinance Development Facility, Elijah Chol is tasked with helping develop the financial inclusion sector in his fledgling country. Elijah is a member of the inaugural class of the Africa Board Fellowship (ABF) program, who begin their six-month fellowship in June in Cape Town, South Africa. We recently sat down with Elijah to learn more about his work in microfinance, and the governance challenges he faces. South Sudan is a country striving to emerge from decades of crises on many fronts.
  • Kicking off the Africa Board Fellowship Program

    Center for Financial Inclusion
    19 May 2015 | 10:29 am
    > Posted by Center Staff In two weeks the first class of the Africa Board Fellowship (ABF) program will kick-off the fellowship in Cape Town, South Africa. The convening seminar marks the start of the inaugural fellowship, a six-month program aimed at strengthening the governance expertise of microfinance leaders in sub-Saharan Africa. The first class is composed of 31 board members and CEOs, coming from 13 institutions throughout 12 countries in Africa. Given the diversity of backgrounds and experience these fellows bring, in addition to our seasoned faculty, advisors, and subject expert…
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    microfinance news - Google News

  • Jamii Bora sheds micro-finance tag - The Standard Digital News (satire) (press release) (registration) (blog)

    25 May 2015 | 9:39 pm
    The Standard Digital News (satire) (press release) (registration) (blog)Jamii Bora sheds micro-finance tagThe Standard Digital News (satire) (press release) (registration) (blog)Jamii Bora sheds micro-finance tag. BY Moses Michira. Updated Tuesday, May 26th 2015 at 00:19 GMT +3. Share this story: Jamii Bora Bank has announced that it is now targeting Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), in major change of strategy that has ...and more »
  • Will capitalize on microfinance biz: Bandhan Bank - Moneycontrol.com

    25 May 2015 | 5:34 am
    Moneycontrol.comWill capitalize on microfinance biz: Bandhan BankMoneycontrol.comIn an exclusive conversation with CNBC-TV18's Manasvi Ghelani, Bandhan chairman and managing director Chandrashekhar Ghosh says that the bank will fully capitalize on its current microfinance business that grew 55 percent year-on-year in FY15.and more »
  • MICROCAPITAL EVENT: 5th Pacific Microfinance Week: Next Mile Financial ... - MicroCapital

    24 May 2015 | 10:12 pm
    MICROCAPITAL EVENT: 5th Pacific Microfinance Week: Next Mile Financial MicroCapitalEvent Summary: Pacific Microfinance Week (PMW) 2015 is a series of workshops, field visits and formal conference sessions focusing on providers of financial services for poor people in the Pacific region. The topics that will be discussed include
  • CBK licenses Choice Microfinance Bank - The Standard Digital News (satire) (press release) (registration) (blog)

    23 May 2015 | 2:00 pm
    CBK licenses Choice Microfinance BankThe Standard Digital News (satire) (press release) (registration) (blog)The Central Bank of Kenya has given its approval to Choice Microfinance Bank to conduct microfinance business in Kenya. This is after the Rongai-based institution fulfilled regulatory requirements.and more »
  • Microfinance loans climb to P11.4B - ABS CBN News

    22 May 2015 | 8:52 pm
    Microfinance loans climb to P11.4BABS CBN NewsMANILA, Philippines - Microfinance loans continued to increase last year, reflecting sustained efforts of the government to achieve financial inclusion, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said yesterday. BSP Governor Amando M. Tetangco Jr. said ...and more »
 
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    The Big Picture

  • Nuclear Explosions Since 1945

    Barry Ritholtz
    27 May 2015 | 4:00 pm
    Source: Radical Cartography h/t Know More
  • Rental Fever

    Barry Ritholtz
    27 May 2015 | 10:30 am
      Rental costs are increasing faster than home values for the first time since 2012. Rental increases outpaced property values in 20 of the 35 largest U.S. markets last month, according to Zillow .   Source: Bloomberg
  • A 14 Percent Infrastructure Fix?

    Barry Ritholtz
    27 May 2015 | 7:15 am
    My wife leaves for work earlier than I do, giving her first choice of which car to drive. She has a longer drive than my three-minute jaunt to the train station, so I don’t mind. That often means I get the rear-wheel drive convertible in the snowy winter months, and the all-wheel drive Jeep in the summer. But recently she keeps taking the bouncy Orange Crush Rubicon. The reason? The broken roads and potholes make the tight suspension of the BMW a horror to drive, despite the fair-weather retractable hardtop. I was thinking about this as we kick off a new federal budget season. About this…
  • 10 Wednesday AM Reads

    Barry Ritholtz
    27 May 2015 | 4:15 am
    Hand curated, dry aged, lovingly selected: Our mid-week morning train reads: • Robo Advisors Take On Wall Street: Technology is transforming the insular world of financial advice. That’s good news for investors. (Barron’s) • Can your investment portfolio survive rising interest rates? (Fortune) see also How Should Investors Prepare for Rising Rates? (Irrelevant Investor) • Predictions and Prognostications: “It is exceedingly difficult to make predictions, particularly about the future” (Alpha Capture) see also The Courage of Outrageous Predictions (Phil Pearlman)…
  • Feedback on Fox News

    Bruce Bartlett
    27 May 2015 | 3:30 am
    My little paper on Fox News has gotten an extraordinary amount of attention, downloaded 25,000 times already. I added a follow-up on how unskewed polls may have cost the Republicans the 2012 election by creating self-delusion about how well Romney was doing. Perhaps this is why 58 percent of Republicans thought the 2012 election was stolen. I discussed my Fox paper on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” on Sunday. Jack Shafer phoned-in a column discussing it in Politico that mostly attacks me for things I didn’t say. However, Jim Fallows thought I was “lucid” in The Atlantic. A writer at TPM…
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    ThinkChangeIndia.org

  • Now That EMR Is Mainstream, A Look Back

    Dr. Leonard
    12 May 2015 | 6:17 pm
    To hear it from a couple of dozen enthusiastic vendors, the concept of putting personal health histories on a safeguarded Internet site is logical and laudable. Providers get access to vital information in emergencies and better information in the everyday situations that call for all the clues they can get to diagnose a problem. Personal medical records are appearing on the Internet in various forms and stages of development. The field, which scarcely existed a year ago, is exploding with activity. “It’s very early on, but in a couple of years, we’re going to look …
  • How Data Recovery Gets Done In Irvine

    Dr. Leonard
    7 May 2015 | 10:12 pm
    Even if you are not a computer expert, hard drive problems can be killer, but fixable. The first thing that you have to do is to obtain all the necessary cables, an extra computer and other equipment and tools. As soon as you have these materials, search online in order to get the step by step guide for your computer. There will be certain commands to be entered in the computer system so be careful when inputting all the information. You can also download a data recovery software product. Of course, there is a corresponding …
  • Is Medical Data Really Safe In The “Warehouse?”

    Dr. Leonard
    3 May 2015 | 6:10 pm
    The American Medical Group Association’s plan to partner with a major pharmaceutical firm and create a national data warehouse is being met with reactions ranging from wholehearted support to wary skepticism. “I think this is a glimpse into the future, that we can substantially improve the quality of care,” says Molly Joel Coye, M.D., CEO of the Health Technology Center of Menlo Park, Calif., a not-for-profit medical technology assessment group. “I am skeptical that they won’t be identifying people,” says Betsy Mahoney, coordinator for the Medical Privacy…
  • US Exports Add Up

    Dr. Leonard
    1 May 2015 | 6:55 pm
    Ever heard a line like, trade is vital to American agriculture? Or, agricultural trade is an important contributor to the nation’s economy? We’ll bet you have. You may even have used these lines yourself. But what are the facts behind these oft-repeated generalities? How does agricultural trade really measure up? We scrutinized the data and consulted trade analysts. Here are some of the answers we found — compiled in this special selection of ratings, rankings, top ten lists and other factual morsels that are worth a byte in any exporter’s laptop files. In an age…
  • Should Facebook Be Considered By Your Search Engine Optimization Company?

    Dr. Leonard
    28 Apr 2015 | 11:15 pm
    If you remember first days of Facebook (as a social network available for citizens), you will have to admit that it was understood as a new type of entertainment. But ask any search engine optimization company and they will explain to you that although it was used for fun in the beginning, Facebook is now a great source for internet marketing. It is often used for promoting online businesses and if you own a company, it would be a good idea that you open a fan page and post there regularly. But opening a fan …
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    IFMR Blog

  • Battle of Economic Ideas – Part II

    admin
    20 May 2015 | 11:14 pm
    By Ravi Saraogi, IFMR Investments This is the second post in our blog series on the Battle of Economic Ideas. You can read the first post here The underlying theme in the previous post was the emergence of a rational and modern society during the Age of Enlightenment (1650s-1780s). Thinkers like Rene Descartes and John Locke questioned feudal doctrines of the past, paving the way for the rise of scientific thinking and political freedom. The subsequent era of the Classical Liberals (1750s to 1880s) witnessed the birth of modern economics through the works of Adam Smith. Smith’s ‘invisible…
  • Battle of Economic Ideas – Part I

    admin
    7 May 2015 | 4:42 am
    By Ravi Saraogi, IFMR Investments The power of ideas cannot be undermined. While the people and the events linked to them may wither, ideas can live for eternity. It is perhaps for this reason that John Maynard Keynes had written, “…the ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed the world is ruled by little else…”[1] In this blog series, we attempt to trace the evolution of economic ideas that have shaped history and influence policy discourse even today. The evolution of…
  • Insights from a Deep dive exercise in Sahastradhara KGFS, Uttarakhand

    admin
    22 Apr 2015 | 12:14 am
    By Arjun Sood & Gayathri V, IFMR Rural Finance Sahastradhara KGFS started its operations in the year 2008 with a mission “to maximise the financial wellbeing of every individual and every enterprise by providing complete financial services in remote rural Garhwal”. Currently, we have thirty one branches serving the districts of Uttrakashi, Chamoli, Rudraprayag, Tehri, Dehradun. While Sahastradhara KGFS has gone where no private financial institution has gone before and proven its commercial case, we continue to think there is enormous untapped potential and room for improvement in the…
  • GDP Mapping Exercise – Illustrations from recent studies

    admin
    5 Apr 2015 | 3:59 am
    By Surabhi Mall, IFMR Rural Finance In the previous blog post of the KGFS Model Incubation series, we drew out the implications of mapping the GDP of a branch’s service area on strategic decisions related to district selection, branch potential, product suitability and customer centricity. In this context, some of the pertinent follow-up questions that arise are – How much will this activity cost? Should this capability be harnessed indigenously or simply outsourced? What is a statistically approved research design to follow? This post essentially focusses on understanding the ABC of…
  • Designing a Framework for Event Risk & Loss Estimation: Understanding Natural Disasters

    ifmr
    24 Mar 2015 | 4:01 am
    By Vaibhav Anand, IFMR Capital In the previous post of this series on Event Risk & Loss Estimation, we discussed briefly the motivation and key modules of a framework for estimating capital against event risk. Before we discuss the approach and components of such a framework in detail, it is important to understand the nature of the extreme events and how such events impact borrowers, lenders and credit portfolios. In this post, we will discuss the former in the context of some of the extreme and not-so-extreme events. Not-so-extreme because either there may be some predictability in the…
 
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