- If about microfinance or inclusive finance, I write about things which I hear, about events I go to, or articles I read. There is a small bias towards mobile payments, alternative delivery channels, and alternative data for credit scoring since I am am very interested in these topics. When I do not blog about interesting topics, I am an impact microfinance investment officer at the European Investment Bank (EIB).
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I have spent a big part of my career on Africa. Either working in the DRC for three years financing microentrepreneurs and small businesses, or working as a consultant on mobile banking agent networks in Tanzania, DRC, Madagascar, and Senegal. I was many times disappointed by how many African countries “shoot themselves in the foot around five times a day” (many people who know me will have heard this expression many times when discussing Africa with me). Continue reading
The sales process of Procredit banks continues… after they exited Africa in May 2015 and in December 2014 a few affiliate banks in Latin america (nicaragua, etc.) were sold, the same process seems to continue in Eastern Europe, where Procredit always held the largest part of its portfolio and made the largest share of profit. For a long time already, Eastern European Procredit banks were SME banks, and had already left the microsegment.
Probably also since MyBucks is a Luxembourg based company, I felt even more surprised about the article “Mybucks and Opportunity International Partner to Drive Financial Inclusion for 460 Million Unbanked Citizens of Africa” I found in the internet.
Opportunity International, in their press release mentions that the microfinance network we all know, has entered into a share purchase agreement to sell six of their banks serving sub-Saharan Africa to the MyBucks Group, a Luxembourg-based financial technology (fintech) company which holds the three brands GetBucks, GetSure and GetBanked. Continue reading
I had a meeting five weeks ago at the EIB and was going through their publications while waiting for my contact. I found some publications on their work on microfinance and small and medium enterprise (SME) finance, and thought I tell you about it as well as about their ReM, their Results Measurement Framework.
A few interesting facts:
The EIB is active within and outside the European Union helping leading microfinance providers, investment fund managers, and other stakeholders to increase sustainable and responsible access to finance; Continue reading
I still remember how a CGAP colleague and I wrote the first report on investment funds investing into microfinance. The task was not so easy since the real financial sector terminology and our donor-focused microfinance lingo was very much out of tune. We would ask for “committed” capital or “disbursed” and where only answered by blank eyes or silence. It was difficult to report on debt and equity going into microfinance since we were also not quite clear if we were looking for the overall portfolio or the amounts newly invested every year. Some of the resulting CGAP publications were “MIV Performance and Prospects” and “Microfinance Investment Vehicles.” The investment funds were coined “microfinance vehicles (MIVs)”, the CGAP MIV Disclosure Guidelines were published, and the exercise is now in its ninth edition which is now prepared annually by Symbiotics. Their latest report just came out on September 15 2015 which they announced in a press release on September 16 2015. Let me tell you a little about its findings: Continue reading
The Helix Institute launched another of their Agent Network Accelerator Surveys. This time on India.
For those who do not know them yet, The Helix Institute of Digital Finance, was founded in November 2013 as a partnership between MicroSave, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), and the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF). In Addition to world-class Training, they also conduct cutting-edge Research on digital financial service Providers and I suggest you should definitely check out their blog and the discussion it generates on LinkedIn. Continue reading