MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Microfinance Innovation Center for Resources and Alternatives (MICRA) of Philippines to Join Grameen Foundation’s Bankers without Borders Alliance, Organize Volunteer Consultants Working with Microfinance Institutions

Bankers without Borders (BwB) Alliance, a volunteer initiative of the US-based nonprofit Grameen Foundation, recently announced that Microfinance Innovation Center for Resources and Alternatives (MICRA), a microfinance consulting and advisory firm in the Philippines, will become the fifth member of the alliance [1]. The existing members of BwB are: Promuc of Peru, Contactar of Colombia, Access Development Services of India and Grameen-Jameel, which operates in the Middle East and North Africa. BwB also collaborates with the US-based Association for Enterprise Opportunity. BwB helps microfinance institutions (MFIs) to improve their reach, impact and sustainability by engaging volunteers to provide onsite and remote technical assistance, training and consulting.
As part of the membership, MICRA will receive funds, technical assistance and operational support to arrange “skill-based” volunteer engagements with local MFIs such as Metro Ormoc Community Credit Cooperative Incorporated, (OCCCI), Bangko Kabayan and Paglaum Multi-Purpose Cooperative (PMPC).
MICRA, founded by US-based nonprofit Mercy Corps in 2006 as an Indonesian foundation, expanded to the Philippines in 2008. MICRA’s mission is to build “the institutional strength and outreach of the microfinance sector in the Philippines by providing a range of high quality, best practice, technical inputs and support to all industry stakeholders, through a sustainable and demand-driven model.” MICRA Philippines is affiliated with MICRA Indonesia.
By Nisha Koul, Research Associate
About Grameen Foundation: The Grameen Foundation, a nonprofit based in Washington, DC, aims to help microfinance institutions throughout the world replicate the Grameen Bank’s joint liability model. It provides financial, technological and managerial support to provide new business opportunities and telecommunication services for poor people in rural areas. Though the Grameen Foundation is independent of the Grameen Bank, Muhammad Yunus, the founder of the Grameen Bank, serves on the foundation’s Board of Directors. Grameen Foundation reported total assets of USD 33.1 million as of March 31, 2010.
Sources and Additional Resources:
[1] Grameen Foundation, Press Release, “Grameen Foundation Selects MICRA to Join Bankers without Borders Alliance,” http://www.grameenfoundation.org/press-releases/grameen-foundation-selects-micra-join-bankers-without-borders%C2%AE-alliance
MicroCapital.org story, January 26, 2011 “MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Grameen Foundation Bankers Without Borders Initiative Provides $150,000 in Funding for Alliance Program to Expand Volunteer Work in Sub-Saharan Africa,” http://www.microcapital.org/microcapital-brief-grameen-foundation-bankers-without-borders-initiative-provides-150000-in-funding-for-alliance-program-to-expand-volunteer-work-in-sub-saharan-africa/
MicroCapital.org story, August 17, 2010, “MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bankers Without Borders (BwB) Receives $150,000 in Seed Capital for Alliance Program from JP Morgan’s Social Finance Unit,” http://www.microcapital.org/microcapital-brief-bankers-without-borders-bwb-receives-150000-in-seed-capital-for-alliance-program-from-jp-morgan%E2%80%99s-social-finance-unit/
MicroCapital Universe Profile: Grameen Foundation, http://www.microcapital.org/microfinanceuniverse/tiki-index.php?page=Grameen+Foundation
MicroCapital Universe Profile: Bankers without Borders, http://www.microcapital.org/microfinanceuniverse/tiki-index.php?page=Bankers+Without+Borders+%28BwB%29
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