Caribbean Microfinance Alliance

Industry News

Micro Loans Make Gains In Formal Banking System in Jamaica

Kingston, Jamaica, March 6, 2015 - The Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) is reporting that loans to the smallest of firms, microenterprises, were recorded in statistically significant numbers for the first time in the September quarter. More

Hard times pushing micro-entrepreneurs to save — study

Montego Bay, St James, June 5, 2014 — Hard times are forcing local micro-entrepreneurs into the habit of saving, according to a new study which found that 90 per cent of the 202 respondents put away cash on a consistent basis to mostly pump back into their businesses. More

Increasing Financing for Caribbean SMEs with Credit Ratings

Trinidad and Tobago, February 12, 2014 - The Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), a member of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group, has approved a US $150,000 grant to support the Caribbean Information & Credit Rating Services (CariCRIS) in Trinidad and Tobago to expand its small and medium enterprise (SME) rating activities, and to work with commercial banks to incorporate CariCRIS’ SME ratings in their loan appraisal process. More

Five Indian Microfinance Institutions Certified for Keeping Clients First

New Delhi, India, December 10, 2013 - The Smart Campaign, a global initiative to incorporate strong client-protection practices into the microfinance industry, on Monday, December 9th publicly recognized 5 Indian Institutions that have become Client Protection Certified for meeting strong standards of client care. Read more

FSC aims to introduce new microinsurance regulations by 2015

Kingston, Jamaica, November 6, 2013 - THE Financial Services Commission (FSC) hopes to have a regulatory framework to supervise the new microinsurance sector by 2015. Insurers have begun to offer coverage to low-income persons and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSME), which are generally more exposed to risk than the wealthy. Read more

Most Microfinanciers Excluded From Credit Reporting Network

Kingston, Jamaica, November 3, 2013 - Although Jamaica has nearly 100 microfinanciers, very few of them will be tapped immediately as providers of credit data, as only those lenders with exemptions under the Money Lending Act are permitted by law to share information. Read more

Moneylenders To Be Licensed Under Micro Credit Bill

Kingston, Jamaica, November 3, 2013 The Ministry of Finance last week revealed details of the proposed Micro Credit Act to regulate microfinanciers and protect their customers. The bill will replace the Moneylending Act under which some micro lenders gain exemptions from the Ministry of Finance that allow them to retail short-term loans - also referred to as payday loans in some jurisdictions - at high rates. Read more

MFIs get grant to upgrade MIS infrastructure

Kingston, Jamaica, November 1, 2013 - FOUR microfinance institutions (MFIs) are the beneficiaries of US$75,000 in grant awards to upgrade their management information system (MIS) infrastructure. The grants come under the Caribbean Microfinance Capacity Building Project (CARIB-CAP II), a regional project sponsored by the Multilateral Investment Fund (a member of the Inter-American Development Bank Group), European Commission, Caribbean Development Bank and Citi Foundation. Read more

Six vie for Citi microentrepreneurship awards

Kingston, Jamaica, October 18, 2013 - THREE Caribbean microfinance institutions and three microentrepreneurs are the finalists for the 2013 Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards for the Caribbean, the financial institution said yesterday. Read more

Microfinance CEOs Make Six Major Commitments at 2013 Partnerships Against Poverty Summit

Washington DC, USA, October 17, 2013 - The CEOs of eight leading global microfinance networks – Accion, FINCA, Freedom from Hunger, Grameen Foundation, Opportunity International, Pro Mujer, VisionFund International, and Women’s World Banking – made six significant commitments at the Microcredit Summit Campaign’s Partnerships Against Poverty Summit last week in Manila. Read more

Global Microscope Finds the World Getting More Microfinance-Friendly

Guadalajara, Mexico, October 3, 2013 - Peru ranks as the developing country with the best environment for microfinance, followed by Bolivia, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Kenya, in that order. Latin America and the Caribbean is ranked as the best region in the world for microfinance, followed by Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and lastly the Middle East and North Africa. Read more

Guyana opens Credit Info Bureau

Guyana, September, 28 2013 - Guyana's first Credit Info Bureau (CIB) was launched Friday evening at the Georgetown Club. It was described as a significant and important milestone in development of the financial sector in Guyana. Delivering the feature address at the launch of the Iceland-based credit facility, acting President and Prime Minister, Mr. Samuel Hinds, said: “The Credit Bureau is just one of the many initiatives supported by the Government of Guyana which plays a vital role in economic development. Read more.

Loans For Ladies - Women Acknowledged As Main Beneficiaries Of Microfinance

Kingston, Jamaica, September 22, 2013 - Frank Whylie, consultant to microfinance company JN Small Business Loans Limited (JNSBL), says easier access to microfinance has played a significant role in the development of women entrepreneurs in Jamaica and the Caribbean. Read more

Citi accepting submissions for Caribbean micro-entrepreneurship awards

Kingston, Jamaica, August 6, 2013 - CITI Foundation in partnership with the Caribbean MicroFinance Alliance (CMFA) is now accepting submissions from outstanding micro-entrepreneurs and institutions for the 2013 Citi Micro-entrepreneurship Awards for the Caribbean. Read more

Jamaica, T&T Friendly To Female Entrepreneurs

Kingston, Jamaica, July 31, 2013 -Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago have been ranked among 20 in Latin America and the Caribbean that provide the best environments for female entrepreneurs, according to a new tracking index. The two were the only CARICOM countries to feature in the top ranks of the debut edition of the Women's Entrepreneurial VentureScope Index (WEVenture Scope) released by the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), and developed by the Economist Intelligence Unit. Read more

Caribbean MicroFinance Alliance members certified

Kingston, Jamaica, July 26, 2013 - TWENTY-FIVE credit officers from several Caribbean microfinance institutions (MFIs) have been certified to deliver financial literacy training to their clients, following completion of a three-day Financial Education Training of Trainers workshop under the Caribbean Capacity Building Microfinance Project II "CARIB-CAP II". Read more

DBJ To Lend J$1.5b Through Mobile Banking Platform

Kingston, Jamaica, February 13, 2013 - The Development of Jamaica (DBJ) has launched a 'non-commercial' pilot of a new mobile money facility for microfinance loans, called M3, and has made J$1.55 billion available to 10 approved lenders for distribution in the test phase. Read more

Smart Campaign Announces First 'Client Protection Certified' Institutions

Washington DC, USA, January 24, 2013 - As of today, the microfinance industry has new client protection standards and a Client Protection Certification Program aimed at retail financial institutions serving the world's poor. Read more

MIF and its partners promote sustainable microfranchise in Suriname

Washington DC, USA, January 17, 2013 - The Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), a member of the IDB Group, will work with Surinamese public foundation Fonds Ontwikkeling Binnenland (FOB) to create job opportunities in communities in the country’s interior through the establishment of microfranchised authorized service workshops for engine maintenance in three districts. Read more

Habitat for Humanity and the Citi Foundation unveil housing microfinance toolkit for product development for financial institutions

Atlanta, USA, October 29, 2012 - Habitat for Humanity and the Citi Foundation announced the publication of a new toolkit designed to provide technical training and tools to encourage microfinance institutions to include or enhance housing microfinance products in their portfolios. Read more

Barbados to pilot Green Business Certification program for SMEs

Bridgetown, Barbados, Thursday, October 11, 2012 – The Future Centre Trust has received a US$150,000 grant from the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), a member of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group, to strengthen its Green Business Barbados initiative. Read more

Barbados to play pivotal role in regional financing for small businesses

Bridgetown, Barbados, Thursday, August 16, 2012 - The biggest annual microfinance and microenterprise development event in Latin America and the Caribbean will be brought to Barbados for in October. Read more

Development Bank of Jamaica Pilots Mobile Solution to Microfinancing

Kingston, Jamaca, July 29, 2012 - In a bid to reduce loan costs for small-scale commercial borrowers, the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) is piloting a mobile money product that was given the green light by the Bank of Jamaica mid-year. Read more

Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards for the Caribbean

Kingston, Jamaica, June 27, 2012 - The Caribbean Microfinance Alliance, the Multilateral Investment Fund, and Citi Foundation cordially invite microfinance institutions in the Caribbean to nominate themselves and their microentrepreneurs for the first Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards for the Caribbean. The application process is online at Applications are due by July 18th, 2012.

Microfinance comes to Saint Lucia

Castries, St Lucia, Thursday, May 24, 2012 – After taking off in the Indian sub-continent with much success, the microfinancing trend has now come to St Lucia. Read more

Microfinance Training Round-Up

Looking to sharpen your skills or jump start your microfinance career? Don't miss these upcoming training opportunities. Read more from Microfinance Gateway and SEEP Network.

Bangladesh Nobel winner in Glasgow poverty battle

London, UK, March 12, 2012 - Bangladeshi microfinance pioneer Muhammad Yunus is gearing up for his latest assault on poverty and welfare dependency - in Scotland. Read more

‘Yunus Was Right,’ SKS Microfinance Founder Says

New York, USA , February, 27 2012 - “Professor Yunus was right,” Mr. Akula said, referring to Muhammad Yunus, the Grameen Bank founder, economist and a frequent critic of Mr. Akula and others who tried to turn microfinance into a for-profit industry. “Bringing private capital into social enterprise was much harder than I anticipated,” he said. 

Read more

Fiji: State's Role in Developing a Financially Inclusive Eco-system

Suva, Fiji, February 22, 2012 - The Government of Fiji has taken an active role in developing a financially inclusive ecosystem and a key component has been the implementation of the first electronic government-to-person (G2P) payment program through the Department of Social Welfare (DSW). 

Read more

MIF Supports Improvement of Microfinance Client Protection Practices in Latin America and the Caribbean

Washington, DC, January 27, 2012 — The Smart Campaign, a global initiative to incorporate strong client protection principles across the microfinance industry, will receive support from the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), member of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group to help Latin American and Caribbean  microfinance institutions  incorporate client protection practices into their operations.

Read more

2011 Latin America & the Caribbean Regional Snapshot

Learn about the performance of microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Latin America and the Caribbean in 2011. The graphs and tables: illustrate the rural dimension of loan portfolio across the region; describe of the concentration and evolution of deposits; show heterogeneity and portfolio quality in the Mexican market; and provide analysis of Nicaraguan performance in times of crisis.

Read more

Visa Launches Prepaid Product for Developing Countries

Johannesburg, South Africa, November, 17 2011 - Visa has announced a significant step to bringing access to secure financial services and electronic payments to consumers in developing countries by introducing a new product serving the needs of unbanked and under-banked consumers. The new product, a Visa prepaid account that can be accessed through a mobile phone, offers consumers in developing countries a secure, reliable, globally interoperable electronic payment account.

Read More

137 Million of World's Poorest Received a Microloan in 2010

VALLADOLID, Spain, Nov. 10, 2011 - More than 137.5 million of the world's poorest families received a microloan in 2010—an all-time high, according to a report released today by the Microcredit Summit Campaign. Assuming an average of five persons per family, these 137.5 million microloans affected more than 687 million family members, which is greater than the combined populations of the European Union and Russia.

Read more

A First Look at How 300 MFIs Measure Up on Client Protection

Washington DC, November, 08 2011- The Smart Campaign today published an unprecedented compilation of third-party assessments of client protection at microfinance institutions. “Implementing Client Protection in Microfinance: The State of the Practice, 2011,” is a first look at how the microfinance industry is doing when it comes to client protection. The short answer is: It’s doing pretty well.

Read more

Foromic closes with call to expand financial services into new and underserved markets

SAN JOSÉ, Costa Rica, October 12, 2011 - At the 14th Inter-American Forum on Microenterprise (Foromic 2011), leaders in the microfinance industry in Latin America and the Caribbean debated ways to increase access to financing in underserved sectors, particularly rural areas; and develop services and products tailored to meet the needs of low-income populations and micro, small and medium-sized businesses, especially those owned by women entrepreneurs.

Read more

Microfinance Lending in Latin America and the Caribbean rose 23 percent in 2010

New data shows that faster economic growth in the region is fueling demand for microfinance. SAN JOSÉ, October 12, 2011 - Lending by microfinance institutions in Latin America and the Caribbean grew at its fastest pace in four years as stronger economic growth fueled demand for credit among low-income families and microentrepreneurs in the region.

Read more

Latin America tops Global Microscope Index on the Microfinance Business Environment 2011

Peru and Boliva have the best environments for microfinance in global ranking. Washington DC, United States, October 11, 2011 - Eight of the top dozen countries with the best business environment for microfinance are from Latin America, according to the Global Microscope on the Microfinance Business Environment 2011 prepared by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

Read more

The Smart Campaign Adds Seventh Client Protection Principle

Client Protection Principles modified to embrace wider product array and non-discrimination principle. Washington, DC, July 20, 2011 - The microfinance industry's Client Protection Principles (CPPs) are now seven. They have been expanded to address multiple financial products and the concept of "non-discrimination".

Read more