April 27, 2013 by Microfinance Africa
STERLING, Va., April 26, 2013 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — Members of the Milepoint frequent flier community have teamed up with the nonprofit Zidisha Microfinance to raise over $1 million in charitable microloans for disadvantaged, internet-savvy individuals in the world’s poorest locations. Zidisha is the world’s first direct...
STERLING, Va., April 26, 2013 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — Members of the Milepoint frequent flier community have teamed up with the nonprofit Zidisha Microfinance to raise over $1 million in charitable microloans for disadvantaged, internet-savvy individuals in the world’s poorest locations.
Zidisha is the world’s first direct person-to-person lending service to offer direct interaction between individual lenders and borrowers across the international wealth divide. Zidisha offers a Facebook-style social networking platform that allows lenders to interact directly with individual borrowers in Kenya, Senegal and other developing countries. Lenders and borrowers use the platform to negotiate credit terms, or simply to share stories and converse about their lives.
Unlike the well-known microfinancing website Kiva, there are no intermediary organizations between the lender and the borrower. Eliminating intermediaries brings down the cost of loans dramatically, enabling borrowers to offer interest to lenders while still paying far less than the cost of traditional microfinance loans.
Milepoint members have found in Zidisha a new way to leverage their affinity for reaching out across geographic barriers to make a positive social impact. Members of the frequent flier community have become Zidisha’s largest lending group, lending over $115,000 to developing country entrepreneurs through the Zidisha.org website.
“From Milepoint we have learned that direct contact is a gift not only when we travel, but in our charitable endeavors,” says Randy Petersen, Milepoint’s founder. “And Zidisha allows us an even more direct form of communication in helping others. Zidisha for us is a new form of pen pals for the future and with this channel of charity it brings giving to a personal level.”
Zidisha Microfinance website: www.zidisha.org
Milepoint website: www.milepoint.com
SOURCE Zidisha Microfinance-->
April 26, 2013 by Microfinance Africa
By Bassey Udo, Premium Times Nigeria The minister emphasised the need to provide an enabling environment for rural businesses. The Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory, Olajumoke Akinjide, on Thursday, asked providers of financial services to get their services to the vast majority of the un-serviced entrepreneurs, particularly...
By Bassey Udo, Premium Times Nigeria
The minister emphasised the need to provide an enabling environment for rural businesses.
The Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory, Olajumoke Akinjide, on Thursday, asked providers of financial services to get their services to the vast majority of the un-serviced entrepreneurs, particularly rural dwellers, the aged, socially excluded groups ,and the youth in the country.
The minister was speaking at the commissioning of the Kwali Micro-Finance Bank located in the Kwali Area Council Secretariat- a fulfillment of the promise by the Federal Capital Territory Administration to encourage financial services to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
The Kwali Micro-Finance Bank commenced operations with a paid-up capital of N120 million.
The minister stated that the Abuja Administration was committed to ensuring the provision of enabling environment for residents of rural communities in the area for the support of their businesses in order to achieve self-reliance and economic emancipation.
“There is need to promote financial inclusion services for MSMEs and indeed the culture of micro credits and savings in Nigeria. Needless to emphasize that lack of access to finance and enthronement of necessary globally acceptable standards pose serious threat to economic growth and development,” Ms. Akinjide said.
“It is on this premise that the FCT Administration set out to encourage the establishment of Micro Finance Banks in the six Area Councils of the FCT with the Abuja Enterprise Agency (AEA) as promoters,” she added.
She described the AEA as the FCT’s vehicle for wealth creation, employment generation, poverty eradication and value reorientation with a mandate to ensure business growth within the Territory and advised that the system of financial exclusion and low level of bank penetration in Nigeria should be tackled head-on.
“Needless to remind that inadequate funding of MSMEs affects positive economic growth. The FCTA is committed to the expansion of Kwali Micro-Finance Bank to all the Area Councils of the FCT to ensure easy access to financial services for our business operators.
“We are positioned to encourage value addition and linkages and ensure the establishment of business clusters, trade zones and business incubators in the FCT,” she added.
The Managing Director of AEA, Aisha Abubakar, explained that the need to promote business growth and economic empowerment in the six area councils informed the establishment of the micro-finance bank.
“The establishment of Kwali Micro-Finance Bank is targeted at micro enterprises in underserved communities to promote community development. It aims to deliver friendly, flexible and enduring capital access to credit and other financial services for the benefit of all segments of the population at affordable costs to the customers,” Ms. Abubakar stated.-->
April 24, 2013 by Microfinance Africa
The Kaduna state Industrialization and Micro-Finance Board said it is set to disburse the sum of N400 million to small scale businesses in the state as part of its renewed vision and strategies to create employment for the people in the rural areas. Addressing participants at a microfinance intervention brainstorming workshop organized for small scale...
April 18, 2013 by Microfinance Africa
By Stanley Njenga, The Star A Kiambu based microfinance K Unity will open up its services in Gikomba Market in Nairobi and other parts of the country as a strategic plan of becoming a bank. Speaking yesterday in the offices in Kiambu town during a signing of documents with Kenya union of commercial food and Allied workers in enhancing good working...
April 12, 2013 by Microfinance Africa
The beleaguered Chief Executive Officer of Microfinance And Small Loans Centre (MASLOC), Bertha Sogah has served strong notice she might take legal action against people she claims have denigrated, maligned and defamed her. Madam Sogah, maintains she is innocent of allegations of embezzlement at MASLOC and has stated that she will go to court after...
April 10, 2013 by Microfinance Africa
By Francis Kagolo and Violet Nabatanzi, New Vision Finance minister Maria Kiwanuka has launched a $6.6m (about sh17b) housing programme aimed at expanding microfinance services to build houses for about 6,000 disadvantaged families in Uganda. The five-year project is financed by Habitat for Humanity International in partnership with the Toronto-based...
By Francis Kagolo and Violet Nabatanzi, New Vision
Finance minister Maria Kiwanuka has launched a $6.6m (about sh17b) housing programme aimed at expanding microfinance services to build houses for about 6,000 disadvantaged families in Uganda.
The five-year project is financed by Habitat for Humanity International in partnership with the Toronto-based MasterCard Foundation. Under the partnership, the organisations intend to support microfinance institutions to start customer-friendly housing loan schemes for low income earners in Uganda, Kenya and Ghana.
A total of $102m (about sh262b) has been earmarked to benefit 17,500 households in the three countries. Launching the project at the Kampala Sheraton Hotel last week Kiwanuka said the partnership had come at an opportune moment when the country was grappling with severe housing shortage.
Statistics from the ministry of lands and housing show that Uganda is currently short of over 1.6 million housing units. The 2002 population and housing census revealed that only 18% of households in Uganda lived in permanent units. The situation was worse in rural areas where only 11% of the households lived in dwellings with permanent materials.
Minister Kiwanuka revealed that with the standard occupancy of 4.8 persons per housing unit, close to half a million people are not housed adequately as many people are forced to live in congested environments with relatives or friends.
She expressed optimism that “The programme will enable the local financial institutions to leverage more resources to expand the product range available for house construction by the low income groups.”
Kiwanuka said there are many households which cannot afford formal finance because of costs or the necessary requirements such as land titles and viable business with substantial cash flows.
She advised that the program should enable households to realize their dream house while spreading the payments over a long period so as to maximise benefits from a given amount of regular income.
“Growth in the housing sector is skewed towards a few people who either have own savings or can access the relatively costly financing from commercial banks,” she explained.
“The limitation on funding options especially mortgage products means that households have to sacrifice present consumption and other investments or pay more through expensive commercial loans that are not suitable for housing.”
Kiwanuka appealed to financial institutions to join the partnership to ensure decent housing for all Ugandans. “With such a great demand for housing pegged to increasing levels of incomes and falling poverty levels, the housing market will continue to grow and provide a viable long-term portfolio for financial institutions,” she observed.
Ezekiel Esipisu, the Habitat for Humanity housing finance director, explained that $100m of the $102m will be lent out to microfinance institutions (MFIs) which will later use it to advance housing loans to low income families in the three countries.
The other $2m will go into developing MFIs’ capacity to start efficient housing loan schemes tailored to the construction needs of the poor. This follows a revelation that the portfolio for housing finance is just 1% in the whole of sub-Saharan Africa.-->
By Roland Mbonteh, Cameroon Tribune The hoodlums carted away over FCFA 70 million and valuable assets in two separate assaults. Residents of Buea are now living in panic following two incidents in a Microfinance establishment (First Trust) and a popular hotel in town. The two armed robbery attacks occurred just within two days; Saturday 23 March and...
The embattled Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC), Bertha Ansah-Djan, otherwise known as Bertha Sogah, has openly admitted taking an amount of GHS 500,000 from the accounts of the state-run organisation and handing it over to a private company owned by her husband. However, Mrs Sogah, who was asked to...
April 4, 2013 by Microfinance Africa
The Ghana Association of Microfinance Companies (GAMC) on Wednesday held a Directors Breakfast Forum in Accra with a call on members to make client service management a priority. The Forum, sponsored by Star Microfinance Services Limited, and dubbed “Grow to greatness: Smart Growth for Private Businesses”, brought together Directors and CEOs of...
April 3, 2013 by Microfinance Africa
WASHINGTON, April 3, 2013 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — An estimated 1.28 million clients use Sharia-compliant microfinance services, a four-fold increase since 2006, according to a CGAP report released today. Despite this growth, the sector remains limited in terms of number of service providers, product offerings and overall outreach. The...
WASHINGTON, April 3, 2013 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — An estimated 1.28 million clients use Sharia-compliant microfinance services, a four-fold increase since 2006, according to a CGAP report released today. Despite this growth, the sector remains limited in terms of number of service providers, product offerings and overall outreach.
The report, Trends in Sharia-Compliant Financial Inclusion, finds that the overall supply of Islamic microfinance products is still small relative to the conventional microfinance sector, but it is growing rapidly. Nearly a third of all institutions reported a launch of their Islamic microfinance operations in the last five years, and the number of providers offering these products has doubled since 2006. According to the report, 255 financial service providers offer Sharia-compliant microfinance products globally, with 92% concentrated in two regions – East Asia and the Pacific (164 providers) and the Middle East and North Africa (72 providers). The majority of institutions offering Sharia-compliant services are rural banks, but when measured by the number of clients served, commercial banks are the largest providers.
“With around 650 million Muslims living on less than $2 a day, Islamic finance models could be the key to providing financial access to millions of poor Muslims,” says Mayada El-Zoghbi, microfinance specialist at CGAP and co-author of the report. “Many traditional microfinance products conflict with the Sharia’s ban on interest-based transactions or are otherwise not in line with Islamic financial principles, making them inaccessible to observant Muslims.”
The report draws on results from a 2011 survey conducted by CGAP and the French development agency Agence Francaise de Development (AFD) and found that 82% of Islamic microfinance clients reside in just three countries: Bangladesh (445,000 clients), Sudan (426,000 clients) and Indonesia (181,000 clients), which is home to the largest outstanding portfolio ($347 million).
It remains challenging for providers of Islamic microfinance to create sustainable business models. Forty-three percent of institutions surveyed reported that they relied on donations to finance at least some portion of their business because the operating costs of Sharia-compliant products, particularly profit-and-loss sharing products, are so high.
“While Islamic microfinance is definitely gaining momentum, it is a sector still dominated by a handful of service providers in a handful of countries offering primarily two products,” notes Michael Tarazi, senior regulatory specialist and co-author of the report. “The key is to drive down costs so that clients don’t have to choose between their religion and their wallet.”
Read the report in its entirety at CGAP.org.
About CGAPThe Consultative Group to Assist the Poor works toward a world in which everyone has access to the financial services they need to improve their lives.
CGAP develops innovative solutions for financial inclusion through practical research and active engagement with financial service providers, policy makers, and funders. Established in 1995 and housed at the World Bank, CGAP combines a pragmatic approach to market development with an evidence-based advocacy platform to advance poor people’s access to finance. Our global network of members includes over 35 development agencies, private foundations, and national governments that share a common vision of improving the lives of poor people with better access to finance.
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