Kenya: Still reeling from the effects of post-election violence, drought

Microfinance institutions (MFIs) are emerging from one of their lowest business ebb in the last two years due to the 2008 post-election violence, a severe drought and dried fund taps from donors as a result of the global financial crisis.
According to the industry players, the last two years have been the toughest for their businesses.
“The [...]

ACCION gets green light in Brazil…

BOSTON, Jan. 25 — ACCION® International, a pioneer and leader in global microfinance, announced today that Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has approved its application to establish ACCION Microfinancas, a new microfinance organization in the state of Amazonas in Brazil’s remote northern region.  It was in Recife, Brazil that ACCION first pioneered the concept of microlending, in [...]

Dean of Wharton on Microfinance, M. Yunus…

Each generation of business students has a prototypical hero. Past generations have revered masters of possibility: the self-made millionaire, the architect of the corporate takeover, the Silicon Valley entrepreneur.
Throughout my career, I have come to admire many different kinds of leaders, but perhaps none more than the father of microcredit, Muhammad Yunus. As founder and [...]

Grameen Foundation Releases New Version of Mifos

Latest Release of Open Source Software for Microfinance Includes Support for Spanish and Firefox 3.0 Browser and Interface for Banking Systems
SEATTLE, Jan. 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Grameen Foundation announced today the latest release of Mifos, its award-winning open source software platform for microfinance.  Mifos 1.4 is the first version available in Spanish and also provides support for [...]

Microfinance Could Be Hazardous For Teens…

Microfinance is on the rise and not only reaching women, but a growing number of female teens. One industry participant warns that lenders must step carefully with this age group to avoid causing unintended harm.
UNITED NATIONS, New York (WOMENSENEWS)– Microfinance might be a panacea for women’s poverty, as many claim, but concern is growing in [...]

India: Investors happy as microfinance lenders discipline growth…

Microfinance institutions (MFIs)—firms that offer tiny loans to low-income groups—are moderating their pace of growth, but private equity (PE) and venture capital (VC) funds that have invested in them aren’t complaining.
MFIs are going slow on opening branches and acquiring loan customers. In an attempt to improve quality control, the industry has prepared a code of [...]

From Mobile Healthcare to Payments to Microfinance, SMS Remains ‘Tip of the Spear’…

In less than a decade, mobility has gone from a mere convenience to an absolute must-have, both in the US and globally. In the US, mobility is most commonly used for social connections, and is gaining momentum for high value transactions and mobile services such as banking, healthcare, government, and more, albeit on a slower scale, [...]

Indian Microfinance Sector Demand Exceeds Current Fundraising…

With more than Rs. 1,000 crore capital inflow into the microfinance sector in 2009, new avenues to raise funds have come under scrutiny of microfinance institutions to meet the demand for rapid expansion that the sector is witnessing in the last two years despite the global financial meltdown in the mainstream banking sector.
Led by SKS [...]

Microfinance meltdown in Bosnia…

A market-led lending scheme some hoped would be the driving force behind economic revival in Bosnia after the civil war ended in 1995 is facing meltdown. Its harshest critics say the scheme is not only in crisis, but that it has done more economic harm than good. Microfinance, where modest loans are distributed to tiny start-ups, is [...]

New York Times: The Role of Microfinance

Does the aid world exaggerate the benefits of microloans? How much do they help? Here’s a thoughtful, evidence-based analysis by three economics professors: Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee and Esther Duflo of M.I.T, and Dean Karlan of Yale. Their work is sometimes cited in critiques of microlending, so here’s their take:
Microcredit is undoubtedly the most visible innovation [...]

MIX Market Partners with The MasterCard Foundation for Re-Launch…

Next generation mixmarket.org features expanded data set
WASHINGTON, Dec. 21 — The Microfinance Information Exchange, Inc. (MIX) announced the re-launch of MIX Market (www.mixmarket.org), the global platform for microfinance data, analytics and business information. The website was redesigned and the underlying database rebuilt to allow for the rapidly expanding network of microfinance institutions and their broader [...]

Grameen: Using Technology to Advance the Fight against Global Poverty

Microfinance has grown tremendously in the last decade, moving from little NGOs working in tiny villages to large institutions providing loans, savings accounts and insurance to hundreds of thousands of poor women and men.  Grameen Bank in Bangladesh alone has more than seven million clients, while institutions like Grameen Koota in India serve more than [...]

WSJ: Microfinance’s Financial and Social Objectives

Wall Street Journal
According to the 2009 Microfinance India State of the Sector (MISS) Report, the microfinance industry’s client outreach has grown by 30% over the last year to 76.6 million and the total outstanding loan portfolio has grown by a staggering 56% to INR 359 Billion over the same period.
The growing integration of the sector [...]

WSJ: As Microfinance Grows in India, So Do Its Rivals

Mahabubnagar, India
The practice of making tiny loans to poor people, or microfinance, was supposed to help drive traditional village moneylenders from rural India.
Instead, traditional moneylenders, who typically charge high interest rates, are thriving, even in areas most heavily targeted by microfinance, which was begun as a way to help combat poverty by granting the poor [...]

BBC: Lessons from microfinance…

Nils Blythe
Business Correspondent, BBC News
It is hard to imagine that a £12 loan can be life-changing.
But for Margaret Chunga, living in the tiny village of Chipepete in central Malawi, a tiny loan has made a huge difference.
She used the loan to buy wheat flour, salt and sugar in order to set up a road-side [...]

Study: Size does matter when it comes to microfinance…

Kolkata: Size does matter when it comes to microfinance. That and the pace of expansion mark the difference between success and failure, according to a study into the industry.
One out of three microfinance institutions (MFI) in India made losses in fiscal 2009, says a study of some 230 lenders conducted by ACCESS Development Services, a [...]

Microfinance “no big deal”?

Official Financial Times Posting and Accion response:
Perhaps microfinance isn’t such a big deal after all
By Tim Harford
Published: December 5 2009 00:10
Last December, I showed some unwitting prescience by worrying about a backlash against microfinance, the practice of providing small loans – or perhaps savings products or insurance – to poor people. I fretted that there was [...]

WWB: The tradeoff between commercialization and women’s empowerment…

No one better understands the paradoxes and potential of microfinance as vehicles for empowering women and lifting communities out of poverty than Mary Ellen Iskenderian. As President and CEO of Women’s World Banking (WWB, www.swwb.org) – the World’s largest network of microfinance institutions (MFIs) and banks across 30 countries, spanning 4 continents – she knows [...]

Citi today announced that its partnership with ACCION Texas has made a significant impact at the one-year mark despite the economic downturn and weak small business sector performance. Citi’s partnership with ACCION Texas generated $6 million in loans to help finance small business investments in underserved communities, which allows ACCION Texas to further expand its business [...]

THE Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, says an apex association for microfinance banks in Nigeria will not only strengthen and boost rural economy but is capable of strengthening the national economy, generally.
Speaking at the recent harmonization of two strong microfinance banking associations in the country into the National Association of Microfinance Banks (NAMB) from the [...]

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