Category Archives: Industry News

Voting for Microflicks Begins

Last year, WorldVision and VisionFund launched Microflicks, which sends filmmakers around the world to film microfinance. Today, voting just opened up for the top 5 selections out of 120 videos that were submitted. Go to Microflicks to view the films and vote for your favorite microfinance film    

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 >>

When we typically think of microfinance, we think of it in the context of alleviating poverty in the developing world.  But microfinance is also hard at work here in the U.S!  Four member organizations of the Accion U.S. Network conducted the U.S. Microfinance: Small Loans, Big Results study in partnership with California microlender Opportunity Fund.  Nearly 500 businesses participated in the study, painting a vivid picture of local microloan outcomes … Read More >>

Live Below the Line Challenge

Want to see what it’s like living below the poverty line? Spend 5 days feeding yourself with $1.50 a day.  Get a glimpse of what it is like for 1.4 billion people in the world. Live Below the Line is an initiative of the Global Poverty Project, an education and campaigning organization whose mission is to increase the number and effectiveness of people taking action against extreme poverty. Learn more … Read More >>

Imagine a life without access to financial services: no deposit account, no pension, no debit card, no fire insurance, no college savings plan, and no home mortgage. Life would be an incredibly stressful roller coaster ride, and most dreams would remain unfulfilled. For us, life without financial services is unimaginable. Highlighting the importance of a diversified financial sector, his book describes the financial market system, the functions within it, and … 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 >>

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 >>

I came across this great article on CGAP that looked at some of CGAP’s predictions in 2006 about the future of microfinance.  Overall, the predictions were pretty good.  In the article Elisabeth Rhyne discusses how each of the preidctions did.  Here’s a look at a few: “1. Hundreds of millions of poor and unbanked clients gain access to cell phones. Absolutely. If anything, this prediction was too timid. At that … Read More >>

Global Islamic Microfinance Forum

Islamic banking, banking in accordance with the religious laws of Islam, has been around for thousands of years and still prevails today in its modernized form. Islamic banking has restrictions that are, at times, very different from Western banking. These include profit-sharing between entrepreneur and investor and the prohibition of charging interest. In Islam, one of the five pillars is zakat: the giving of a portion of one’s income to … Read More >>

Throughout the developing world, it is crucially important to empower women when trying to lift a country out of poverty.  By not allowing women to work, you are eliminating half of the work force for the country.  Evidence has surfaced recently that microfinance in some countries may not be as successful at reaching female clients as previously thought.  When it comes to Pakistan, only fifty-nine percent of microfinance clients are … Read More >>