On the 6th of June the June Conference Call was held, entitled ‘For richer, for poorer: Is our love affair with micro finance over?’ You can listen again to the recording here.
Microfinance is an International Development success story, with steady growth since the 1970’s and its emergence as a key tool to fight poverty, recognized with a Nobel Peace Prize in 2006. These days, though, there are a growing number of concerns with the microfinance sector: lack of regulation, the influx of private capital and the pursuit of microfinance as an investment tool. This is why we decided to make microfinance the focus of our June Conference Call, to reclaim microfinance and ask more complex and nuanced questions. The guest speaker on the call was Tom Sanderson, UK director of Five Talents, a Christian Microfinance charity.
As you will have seen from previous posts, the APPG on Microfinance (which RESULTS supports) is holding an inquiry looking at how Donors and the UK Government should seek to contribute to the microfinance field, with a particular focus on how microfinance tackles poverty. The APPG plans to provide recommendations to the Department for International Development (DFID) based on its findings.
Anyone who would like to contribute is very welcome to make a submission – details are on the APPG website. The final deadline for submissions is next Friday the 14 January 2011.
Last night we held our August conference call – click on the link to listen to a recording. We were joined by Alexia Latortue, who is acting CEO of the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP).
Alexia gave a helpful overview of microfinance and how microfinance has evolved over the past few decades from the provision of microcredit alone to the creation of an entire financial system that serves the poor not only with loans but also with savings, payments and insurance services. Microfinance is used by the poor to manage their small and irregular cash flow in order to cope with seasonal events such as harvests, and unforeseen circumstances such as illnesses or funerals. Continue reading
Posted in Microfinance, Monthly Actions
Tagged Alexia Latortue, Capacity-building fund, CGAP, DFID, Financial Services, Microcredit, Microfinance, Microinsurance, Microloans, microsavings, Monthly Actions, World Bank
The Africa-Middle East Regional Microcredit Summit took place last week from the 7 to the 10 April in Nairobi, Kenya. The meeting was the 14th global get-together organised by the Microcredit Summit Campaign, the organisation that was set up in 1997 by RESULTS Educational Fund in order to support the goal of reaching 100 million of the world’s poorest families with microloans – a goal that was met in 2007.
Similarly to the previous Summits, this year’s gathering was aimed at assessing progress toward the Campaign’s new 2015 goals – which include ensuring that 100 million of the world’s poorest families rise above the $1 a day threshold – and sharing best practices as well as updates on most recent innovations. Continue reading
A couple of weeks ago the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced they would give some $38 million funding in grants to encourage microfinance institutions (MFIs) to establish an array of savings products presenting clients with safe and affordable places to save money.
“We see it as a major step to drive change and help broaden the microfinance business model to include savings,” said Bob Christen, the Foundation’s Director of the Financial Services for the Poor unit.
The support for microsavings is a relatively new activity for the Gates Foundation, which has mostly been working in global health, agricultural development and US education.
While microcredit has been progressively gaining attention and funding, specialists are now encouraging efforts to experiment ways for poorer people to save small sums that are less hazardous, costly and inefficient. Continue reading