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April 6, 2015

Oikocredit records solid financial results while preparing for its 40th anniversary

Tags: microfinance, Oikocredit, financial and social performance | by David Díaz de Quijano i Barbero.

In 2014 Oikocredit recorded a net consolidated result of € 17.1 million, up from 2013 €13.4 million in 2013, which entails an increase of 28% over the previous year, and is a great motivation for adding up to the celebration of the organization's 40th anniversary this coming year. 

Oikocredit managing director, Mr David Woods, said the results were testament to a sound business model that balances social, environmental and financial goals. “In 2014 we were well positioned to diversify into new sectors as well as strengthen our operations which in turn lowered our risk profile,” said Mr Woods.

With a portfolio of 805 partner organizations across 63 countries, Oikocredit continued its strategic investment focus on inclusive finance, agriculture and renewable energy in 2014, that according to Woods generated immediate results. Furthermore he added that a "plus" approach was taken to development financing to provide the partner organizations with resources to responsibly grow their businesses. 

In the last 40 years Oikocredit has financed 1.670 MFIs and social enterprises and disbursed €2100 millions in development financing, of which more than half have been disbursed in the last 5 years. It is precisely the observation of the behaviour of last year's growth tendencies what motivated Mr. Woods to point out that “In the next five years we see ourselves as being the most socially responsible impact investor in the world, with a true mix of social, environmental and financial goals" and to add that social performance would remain a priority, with a focus on impact studies to assess the long-term benefits of social financing, while staying true to our social mission. 

Read here the full press release on Oikocredit's 2014 financial results>

January 12, 2015

The connection between idealism and realism: the case of ethical banking

Tags: ethical banking, social enterprises, microfinance | by David Díaz de Quijano i Barbero, OikoCredit Catalunya

Faced with an economic system that is heightening social inequalities and environmental impact

December 3, 2014
Tags: microfinance, European Microfinance Week | by Verónica López Sabater

e-MFP would like to thank the over 400 participants from 56 countries who gathered at European Microfinance Week, 12th - 14th November in Luxembourg.  Feedback from the event was excellant - see some comments and impressions in the e-MFP video clip!

e-MFP

October 7, 2014

remEX will participate in the European Microfinance Week 2014

We are pleased to announce that the Spanish Microfinance Network (remEX) will be actively participating in the forthcoming European Microfinance Week, to be held in Luxembourg November 12th to 14th, 2014. 

Fundacion Afi as remEX technical secretariat and Afi, Analistas Financieros Internacionales S.A. as founding member, will both participate in this important event focused on the challenges of microfinance development in emerging and developing countries.

remEX's active participation  will materialize in the session scheduled for Friday November 14th at 13.30horas under the title "Client protection and regulation". We will be accompanied by representatives of the Netherlands' network for inclusive finance (NpM) and Earst and Young.

The full program is available here.

August 5, 2014
Tags: microfinance, research, E-MFP, award | by UMM

Dear students, professors and practitioners,

We would like to inform you about the upcoming deadline for the call for master's theses and PhD articles for the University Meets Microfinance (UMM) Awards Program 2014.

UMM invites Master's students who have completed their final thesis and PhD students who have written an article on a financial inclusion-related topic and who are enrolled at universities in the European Union to submit applications for the “University Meets Microfinance” (UMM) Awards Program.

DEADLINE: September 1st, 2014 (23.59 GMT+1)

 Click here to learn more and apply!

Please send your complete application to umm@planetfinance.org.
Please contact us for any further information you may need: umm@planetfinance.org.

 

UMM team

May 8, 2014
Tags: Morocco, Islamic microfinance | by Verónica López Sabater

As a result of the collaboration ties between two individual remEX founding members (the International Master in Microfinance for Entrepreneurship and Fundacion Afi), we are pleased to share the results of the research done by the student Elisa Ferrer.

Elisa replied to a question that many of us were hanging around without having the time and the resources to investigate and reach an objective and convincing answer.

 

We really hope you find this report interesting. We will soon have it translated into French.

 

March 12, 2014
Tags: microfinance, Masters, Spain | by Diana Schvarztein

 

In recent decades, microfinance has expanded all over the world as a tool to promote entrepreneurship, as well as social and financial inclusion of society’s most marginalized members. At present, microfinance programmes are attempting to improve the living conditions of more than 200 million poor families.

The International Master in Microfinance for Entrepreneurship (6th edition) offers specialized up-to-date and high quality training in microfinance, starting late October 2014 until May 2015. 
 

This Master programme is lectured 100% in English by main experts and professionals of the microfinance sector. It is targeted towards students and professionals who desire to work in microfinance institutions, banks, NGOs or international agencies. Most of our students are currently performing middle management and leadership positions in the sector worldwide.

Take a look at the programme and be one of the first to enrol.

February 18, 2014

Financial Inclusion for those less fortunate

Tags: mobile financial services, Mexico, financial inclusion, m-wallet | by José María Basagoiti Caicoya, Executive President of Pademobile and Founder of Agromóvil

The demographics of Mexico consist of: a variety of races, a variety of social and economic characteristics, a variety of cultural conditions due to the diversity and a great variety of traditions. These factors, added to the diversity of the climate and geographical conditions, can explain the complexity of the Mexican market for any kind of product and service.

One of the significances of this complexity, is the population’s limited access to the financial system: approximately 30% of the adult population in Mexico has access to a financial account, which confirms BANAMEX’s estimations that 77% of the population uses cash as a method of payment. This situation is no longer efficient or safe; therefore the banks’ biggest challenge is to offer quality and accessible financial services to the population.

There are approximately 110 million people living in Mexico, 65% of the population are 18 years and older, and surprisingly there are more than 100 million mobile phones in the country, given that a mobile phone is not intimidating or scary for anyone, regardless of his or her demographic, social or economic characteristics.

With this background, PADEMOBILE is born with the goal of creating mobile wallets thru a system that will allow every citizen turn their mobile phone into a digital wallet, evolving in time and with the confidence of bringing financial services closer to the population, through a mobile payment network connecting the users with payments, and with the goal of “financially” including more and more citizens. Truth be told, this financial inclusion is only the means to an “Integral Inclusion” of the Mexican population (Cultural Inclusion, Social Inclusion, Economic Inclusion).

Therefore, Pademobile is a mobile financial platform that turns a mobile phone into a digital wallet, multi bank, multi operator, multi service, and multi wallet. Our platform allows physical and online payments, remittances, cash withdrawals, SMS balance consultation, as well as withdrawing money from ATMs using only a mobile phone – in addition, our users can use Bitcoins as a source of funds. It is, also, a great way of cash management and funds dispersion, given the security we provide to our users. Pademobile offers services such as: local and international money remittances, balance top up in our network (7-Eleven, Extra, Paynet and more), cash withdrawal, product and services purchase, mobile payroll, mobile top up, among others.

Our differential values in the industry are: the integration of the banked and unbanked population, the fact that we are multi operator and multi service, plus we can operate with any cell phone model.

We have targeted our strategies taking into account the different spectrum of customers and their characteristics. Therefore, by the understanding of the demographics in the agricultural and rural communities of Mexico, we have created a division that addresses specific communities of 2,500 people and less, reaching a total of 20 million people. This division, a Pademobile spinoff, is branded AGROMOVIL, dedicated to develop the agricultural and rural segments of the Mexican population, which require financial support and bringing benefits to the small producers as well as the bigger companies, by lowering their risks in the payroll.

 

 

Laborer consulting his account balance with a text message, Valle de la Trinidad, México.*Source: Pademobile Mexico

Our main goal is to engage the Mexican market with a democratic* concept, by motivating and guiding the population towards an “INTEGRAL INCLUSION” with a specific mission: “To offer alternative payment and collection services of great quality and accessibility, through an excellent technical support and advanced security, with the main objective of reducing the use of cash and facilitate money transfers. Promoting growth and a healthy working environment.”

And a long-term vision: To become the industry leader in the agricultural/rural market by adding value to our products, and generating jobs that enhance the community development. Without forgetting our values:With Honesty, Integrity, Social Responsibility, Solidarity and Subsidiarity, our values are: 

  - Offer a safe platform to operate to the unbanked population.

  - Create strategic alliances to the accurate operation of the product.

  - Constant research and development.

  - Create platforms and models to match in several communities.  Some other segments are: informal trade, small businesses, the construction industry – laborers, independent occupations (carpenter, plumber, electrician, etc.), drivers, popular restaurants, and remittances. 

 

*Democratization is a process of development of the liberal social institutions that lead to the strengthening of the civil society, guarding the basic human rights and diminishing the socio-economic differences.

 

 

 
February 3, 2014
| by Verónica López Sabater

We are pleased to share with all of you the latest note published by Afi, Analistas Financieros Internacionales S.A. from the series "Access to Finance".

This edition is devoted to highlighting the great challenges faced by researchers and practitioners when measuring and comparing levels of financial inclusion among different countries.

The publication, titled "Global Financial Inclusion: examining regional applications and variation using the World Bank´s Global Findex Database" builds on an analysis of data gathered in the most extensive and rigorous database on financial inclusion: the World Bank’s Global Findex.  

 

 

As a result of their research, the authors claim that there are relevant and objective weaknesses when measuring financial inclusion, based on the diversity of concepts involved, the hypothesis at stake and the different regulatory and institutional frameworks at the national level.

 The combination of all of the above reinforces the need to devote higher efforts in the measurement and standardization of financial inclusion at the country level, a pending issue in most countries. We hope that you find the reading interesting and look forward to your feedback.

We at remEX will be looking forward to transfer any comments to the authors form our readers and visitors.

Our first note on “Access to Finance”, focused on one of the most relevant aspects in responsible finance: transparency and consumer protection, can be found here

December 17, 2013

Tecnocom Report on Payment Trends, 2013

Tags: payment instruments, Latin America, Spain | by Afi, Analistas Financieros Internacionales

Tecnocom and Afi have presented their 2013 Tecnocom Report: Trends in Payment Instruments on 16 December. This is the third edition of a study that has become a benchmark for followers of payment developments in Spain and Latin America.

The presentation ceremony was presided by Ladislao Azcona, president of Tecnocom, and was attended by Javier Rey, managing director of banking and insurance at Tecnocom; Emilio Ontiveros, president of Afi; Álvaro Martín, director of international affairs at Afi; Miguel Angel Prieto, director of business development at Tecnocom; and Javier Martín, CEO of Tecnocom.

Executive summary

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Initiative financed by: Initiative financed by AECID
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