NpM Annual Report 2018

Caveat Venditor: Towards a Conceptual Framework for Buyer Selection in Responsible Microfinance Exits

As microfinance equity sales grow, so does the importance of selecting a suitable buyer – the obligation on the seller to exit ‘responsibly’. This research project involved consultation with various equity investors, to ascertain what is current industry practice on buyer selection processes, and the priority that investors give to different criteria in selecting a buyer. We find a consensus around a process which first excludes clearly unqualified buyers but, beyond that, gives primacy to the financial offer. A minority view places more importance on protecting the social mission of the MFI, and ensuring the new buyer provides the necessary strategic value for the MFI to grow congruent with its social mission. We have developed a conceptual framework for buyer selection that imports elements of both approaches, and can guide investors and their advisors in future exits.

Financial Services for Women: Women’s Participation in Savings and Credit Cooperatives in Ethiopia

NpM commissioned a study on women’s participation in financial cooperatives as part of a broader study on promotion of women entrepreneurship in agriculture through access to finance. Our rural finance working group observed that women often do not access financial services in agriculture and, in particular, that larger loans are needed to continue their participation in the agricultural value chain.

This paper presents the results of the case study “Women’s participation in savings and credit cooperatives in Ethiopia”. It describes the experiences of female members and leaders of two Savings and Credit Cooperatives (SACCOs) in Ethiopia, Lelewut Eninesa and Wub Bahil. The SACCOs were selected out of the SACCOs that are supported by the ICCO-Terrafina Microfinance capacity building program funded by the Church of Sweden.

The study started with a desk review of recent studies on women’s participation in SACCOs, followed by a field study in the end of 2017. For the analysis, we used the ‘reach, benefit and empower’ framework. This framework points out that simply reaching women (e.g. by including them as clients, as member of a cooperative or in trainings) does not ensure that they will benefit or that they will be empowered. In general, projects should aim to go beyond merely reaching women and strive to empower them to strengthen their ability to make strategic life choices and to put those choices into action.

Financial Services for Women: Agri-finance Products for Female Farmers in Vietnam

NpM, Platform for Inclusive Finance commissioned a study on suitable agri-finance products for female farmers in Vietnam as part of a broader study on the promotion of women entrepreneurship in agriculture through access to finance. The NpM rural finance working group observed that women often do not access financial services in agriculture and, in particular, that larger loans are needed to continue their participation in the agricultural value chain.

This paper presents the results of the study aimed to analyse if and how women encounter constraints to effectively access financial services in agriculture and if they benefit effectively from accompanying non-financial services. The study explored the potential strategies for women to access larger loans. Furthermore, it intends to explore the business case for financial institutions to include women in larger lending segments. The study distinguished three categories of female rural clients: (1) poor rural women, (2) female farmers on family farms and (3) female entrepreneurs of micro, small and medium enterprises. The study focusses on the second category.

Expanding Financial Inclusion of Refugees in Uganda

Lack of access to financial services can represent a major impediment to income opportunities and economic welfare of individuals, particularly for the poor and vulnerable, and those engaged in the informal economy. Affordable access to financial services can help refugees cope with negative shocks, reduce exposure to risk, and stimulate economic activity at community levels.

In order to develop more inclusive financial markets it is necessary to address the specific constraints in each context that prevent an efficient match between demand and supply of financial services, limiting access, use and quality of available services. While legal and policy barriers remain, the biggest constraint to increased financial inclusion of refugees is a familiarity gap between refugees and FSPs, fuelled by ingrained stereotypes and preconceived ideas. The support system around FSPs, while growing, remains fragmented, and many FSPs continue to be constrained by a lack of (easy) access to the information, guidance and support needed to identify, assess, and potentially serve refugees as customers.

This state of play paper aims to provide a brief overview of the global potential market scope of refugees, and review the progress to improve access to finance by refugees in the past few years. Remaining barriers are briefly described, including policy clarity, relevant information, legal barriers, and funding. This list of gaps is by no means complete but it is hoped that the International Conference Finance for Refugees – Making it Work can contribute to filling the void.

Finance for Refugees: the State of Play

Lack of access to financial services can represent a major impediment to income opportunities and economic welfare of individuals, particularly for the poor and vulnerable, and those engaged in the informal economy. Affordable access to financial services can help refugees cope with negative shocks, reduce exposure to risk, and stimulate economic activity at community levels.

In order to develop more inclusive financial markets, it is necessary to address the specific constraints in each context that prevent an efficient match between demand and supply of financial services, limiting access, use and quality of available services. While legal and policy barriers remain, the biggest constraint to increased financial inclusion of refugees is a familiarity gap between refugees and FSPs, fuelled by ingrained stereotypes and preconceived ideas. The support system around FSPs, while growing, remains fragmented, and many FSPs continue to be constrained by a lack of (easy) access to the information, guidance and support needed to identify, assess, and potentially serve refugees as customers.

This state of play paper aims to provide a brief overview of the global potential market scope of refugees and review the progress to improve access to finance by refugees in the past few years. Remaining barriers are briefly described, including policy clarity, relevant information, legal barriers, and funding. This list of gaps is by no means complete but it is hoped that the International Conference Finance for Refugees – Making it Work can contribute to filling the void.

Geodata for Inclusive Finance and Food – Inventory of Technology

This inventory of technology report gives an overview of 34 geodata applications and their potential added value for inclusive finance. The report states that for a long time the application of solutions involving satellite data was considered only appropriate for large, commercial farms but thanks to advances in mobile communication, availability of free data and the Geodata for Agriculture and Water (G4AW) Facility satellite applications become feasible for smallholders in developing countries. The main areas in which geodata can support financial inclusion are:

1. Support for financial operations,
2. Improving agricultural performance,
3. Provision of historical records,
4. Risk management.

scroll to top