MFIs should focus on quality microfinance: MicroSave director

Microfinance institutions should continue to focus on providing quality microfinance services rather than attempting to offer livelihoods services, said Graham A.N. Wright, Programme Director of MicroSave India, in an exclusive interview with Microfinance Focus.

He pointed out that majority of institutions are focusing only on microfinance which he said was a sensible decision. “There are very few organisations that can credibly do both. I think strategic alliances with high-quality livelihoods support agencies is a good idea, but I think there . . . → Read More: MFIs should focus on quality microfinance: MicroSave director

Is There a Microfinance Bubble in South India?

By, Daniel Rozas, Microfinance Consultant

By most standards, microfinance is a young sector, and in many countries it can be said to still be in its infancy.   Yet its continuing spectacular growth, especially in India, should give one pause – every time promoters celebrate another multi-million-client threshold, I wonder – how many more such thresholds are left?  How do we know when we’ve arrived?

This is not a philosophical question – normally, markets send signals.  New customer demand drops.  Prices . . . → Read More: Is There a Microfinance Bubble in South India?

How to provide for sustainable development AND a Social Mission

By Jerome Peloquin

In recent issues of this magazine, We have been an outspoken critic of what has been called:  Commercial Microfinance.  That is, an MFI operating without transparent loan or operating policies and having no BDS component, essential in an installment lending operation without a visible social development component.  Our attention has been focused upon those MFI’s that, in our opinion, have essentially abandoned the original mandate of service, in blatant pursuit of profit.   Recently articles in respected . . . → Read More: How to provide for sustainable development AND a Social Mission

Will the new Bill be a damp squib again ?

By Naagesh Naaraayana | Microfinance Focus | Bangalore

The Indian government is likely to introduce a revised version of the much-awaited Micro-Finance Regulation Bill, 2009 in the winter session of parliament. While the passage of it will take few months, it is bound to trigger debate and discussions.

Essentially, the passage of the Bill would result in the regulation of micro-finance organizations not being regulated by any law for the time being. Some features of the old bill, that was . . . → Read More: Will the new Bill be a damp squib again ?

Is microfinance the answer to the missing middle? If not, what is?

By Peter Burgess , New York Bureau Chief –Microfinance Focus

The missing middle is in the conversation again … maybe because the microfinance industry is heading towards the SME segment of the market that needs financial services and is not getting services … but maybe simply because MFIs think that bigger loans will earn them more profit and improve their financial performance.

What is the missing middle? A small business can be started using the resources of family and friends. . . . → Read More: Is microfinance the answer to the missing middle? If not, what is?

Product Line Extension or Product Line Expansion?

By Bruce Meraviglia , Technology & Marketing Editor [ Microfinance Focus ]

Unfortunately for most small businesses in the developing world, the levels of venture capital that are available exceed what they can either qualify to receive, or effectively use if it were provided to them; in a growing business, oftentimes too much success (or, in this case, venture capital) can be as deadly as too little success.

This, then, is the basis for both this month’s column as well . . . → Read More: Product Line Extension or Product Line Expansion?

The Missing Middle

By Jerome Peloquin

The Missing Middle describes to the lack of funding for small to medium sized enterprise, (SME) who have progressed to the limits of MFI lending.   (around 1,500 USD).  It is the absence of funding options for small growing businesses at the bottom of the financial services pyramid.  Traditional venture capital firms are interested in much larger investment of ten to twenty million dollars and have largely ignored this potential market.

The missing middle as defined by ANDE . . . → Read More: The Missing Middle

The Mystery of Marketing Sales and Marketing are not the same thing!

By Jerome Peloquin , Managing  Editor –US [ MF Focus ]

What is the difference between sales and marketing?   If you are in sales, can you be a marketing rep?  Well, not to be too equivocal: yes and no.   A definition of Marketing:  It is the management and administration of the four “P’s” (Price, Place, Product, & Promotion).  Marketing provides the answers to these four questions:  (1) How much do we sell it for? (2) Where and to whom do . . . → Read More: The Mystery of Marketing Sales and Marketing are not the same thing!

Intelligence is Key in Information revolution Era

By Bruce Meraviglia, Technology & Marketing Editor

The 18th Century was considered the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, in which new forms of mechanical devices and machines were introduced to improve productivity, lower cost, and allow for the manufacture of products that otherwise were not practical to produce.  In the 20th Century, we witnessed the beginning of the Information Revolution, the revolution which, more than any other, has eliminated considerations of strength, gender or wealth of the individuals who . . . → Read More: Intelligence is Key in Information revolution Era

Need For ‘Capital’ Shift

By Naagesh N.  | Managing Editor – India

The microfinance sector has become more vibrant and dynamic as never before. True, it took a leap of imagination for Mohammad Yunus  to create a bank that lends to the poor without any collateral or credit histories. His Grameen model of microfinance has had a transformatory impact not only on the lives of millions of poor and unbanked entrepreneurs but also on the way self-help groups world over raise money for their . . . → Read More: Need For ‘Capital’ Shift

How Does IT Defend its Value?

By Bruce Meraviglia, Technology & Marketing Editor, Microfinance Focus

In the early 1990’s, Robert Kaplan, a PhD-level professor of accounting at Harvard University, wrote a series of papers on how business should (could) consider the value of IT.  His principal position was that traditional accounting standards had no valid methodology for quantifying the value of IT in terms of its benefits to the organization (beyond the level of saying that an administrative assistant could type more letters with a computer . . . → Read More: How Does IT Defend its Value?

Me and Microfinance

By Garret Wyse ,Microfinance Focus | Tramore (Ireland)

Growing up in a small town on the south east coast of Ireland, I had my first bank account while still in school and a credit union account also.  Having completed third level qualifications in business and law and worked in pre-Celtic tiger Ireland, the exponential increase in Ireland’s GDP in recent years, which meant you worked abroad for a few years, I went back to college and completed a degree in . . . → Read More: Me and Microfinance

What is a Socially Responsible Investor?

By Jerome Peloquin , Microfinance Focus | Washington D.C.

Recently I participated in an online conference on Social Investment under the auspices of the SEEP Network.  It proved to be quite interesting, as I did not identify myself as being affiliated with this magazine, but as a small NGO with whom I consult.  I learned some interesting things and discovered a few issues with which I was not previously acquainted.

First, it appears that an investment fund that calls . . . → Read More: What is a Socially Responsible Investor?

Learning a Lesson

By Naagesh Naaraanaa , Microfinance Focus | Bangalore

The Wall Street Journal report on Indian microfinance sector is skewed with conspicuous effort to derail the global movement that began with the likes of Prof. Muhammad Yunus and Ela Bhatt. Every financial sector undergoes ups and downs as great social values often get eroded by detractors who are aplenty. What happened in India is just one such instance but  the furor it sought to generate is surely unwanted.

When microfinance institutions . . . → Read More: Learning a Lesson

WWB to focus on women’s leadership: Mary Ellen

Microfinance Focus, Nov. 4, 2009: Wherever Women’s World Banking CEO Mary Elen goes, she faces one obvious question from the audience or the media. That is the microfinance sector’s focus on women. But she is happy to answer, as ever with a smile on her face, that she is glad that the microfinance sector has not deviated from its prime focus on women as borrowers, come what may, whether credit crunch or recession.

So did she when Microfinance Focus . . . → Read More: WWB to focus on women’s leadership: Mary Ellen

Microfinance Bill required to streamline smaller MFIs

Mr. U.C. Sarangi, Chairman, NABARD

Microfinance Focus, Nov. 3, 2009: Though major MFIs are against the Microfinance Bill, it is still required to address the needs of small and start-up MFIs, especailly in the NGO segment, said Mr. U.C. Sarangi, Chairman, National Bank for Agriculture & Rural Development (NABARD), on the sidelines of Microfinance India Summit in New Delhi last week. Speaking to Microfinance Focus, Mr. Sarangi said the Bill would benefit those who do not come under . . . → Read More: Microfinance Bill required to streamline smaller MFIs

Women’s Leadership in Microfinance

I was lucky enough to listen to a round-table discussion on Day 2 of the Summit on Women Leadership in Microfinance.  This particular table was ringed by luminaries in the sector including Ms. Vijay Lakshmi Das of FWWB, Deidre Boyd – Country Director of UNDP, Frances Sinha of EDA Rural Systems, Naina Lal Kidwai – HSBC, and WWB President Mary Ellen Iskenderian.  The discussion was headlined and moderated by Cherie Blair, wife of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who was . . . → Read More: Women’s Leadership in Microfinance

Creditworthiness of MFIs tops our criteria

Naina Lal Kidwai

Naina Lal Kidwai, CEO of HSBC India, has more praise for the creditworthiness of microfinance institutions when she talks about lending to the sector.

The Chief Executive Officer of The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, (HSBC) India, who is also the first Indian woman to head the operations of a foreign bank in India, has pointed out that despite the global credit crisis, microfinance sector has withstood its record in repayments and creditworthiness. In an exclusive . . . → Read More: Creditworthiness of MFIs tops our criteria

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