Category Archives: Africa

I’m one of those people who believe in the nonexistence of luck. I define luck as when preparedness meets an opportunity. I concur with what Wesley Cohen and Daniel Leventhal would call it in their studies: “Fortune favors the prepared firm”. I so believe because even at my level as a graduate student and intern at Zidisha, most of the good things that have come my way have happened because they found me at … Read More >>

Benefits of E-Banking

                  Although mobile banking isn’t a new concept, it still blows me away how many banks and people around the world don’t have access to internet banking. I’ve always seen the positive side to mobile banking in terms of helping people have access to banking, but it was interesting reading this article about the National Microfinance Bank in Tanzania and how it’s … Read More >>

Kiva Opens an Office in Nairobi

Very cool to see that Kiva has opened an office in Nairobi! Here’s a short video…

Islamic Microfinance on the Rise

An estimated 1.28 million clients around the world use Sharia-compliant microfinance services, a four-fold increase since 2006, according to a Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) study released Wednesday April 3rd.  Nearly a third of all institutions reported the launch of their Islamic microfinance operations in the last five years, and the number of providers offering these products has doubled since 2006.  Ninety-two percent of Sharia-compliant loans are concentrated … Read More >>

The number of people around the world who have access to microcredit financing has fallen for the first time in 13 years, reflecting turmoil in the sector and fall out from the global financial crisis.  The total number of people with access to microloans and other financial services fell by 10 million in 2011 compared to 2010.  The sector had ballooned since the 1990s, reaching hundreds of millions of people and … Read More >>

My Year with Microfinance

2013 is here, and like many of you I’m taking a moment to reflect on the year that was. 2012 was a great year! I joined Zidisha (a microfinance platform) in February and have since immersed my self in the interesting world of microfinance. I came to Zidisha with a basic understating of how microfinance works. Like many of you, I had seen what kind of differences Kiva was making … Read More >>

Who said you need a financial institution for microfinance? These ladies certainly don’t! About 160 kilometers outside the capital of the African nation Burkina Faso, a group of women have come together to form their own microcredit system.  They raised the capital, and then spread it out to their members like a microfinance institution would do.  The capital comes from and is returned to the actual beneficiaries of microfinance.  The … Read More >>

There are a number of microfinance connections I know, all over the globe. Some of them I’ve met in person (like Sloane), some I haven’t. One of the ones I hadn’t met was James Beshara. The relationship history is an interesting one. I first interacted with James through my best friend, Kayla, who works at Esperanza International(an MFI focused on the Dominican Republic) a few years ago. James worked at an MFI called Kuyasa in … Read More >>

Opportunity International has given us a quick and easy way to send young girls to school in the developing world! One hundred and thirty million young people around the world are not in school, and seventy percent of those children are girls.  Additionally, when money gets tight in these regions, it’s usually girls who have to drop out of school first.  When girls attend school, they have a better chance … Read More >>

Egypt’s National Bank for Development has allocated 200 million Egyptian pounds (about 32 million US dollars) to fund small and micro enterprises.  All of these funding programs will be consistent with Islamic banking rules, as NBD is the only bank in Egypt that offers Islamic compliant microfinancing.  NBD wants to provide financial services to the segment of the population that does not normally receive this kind of funding.  In 1989, NBD … Read More >>