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Video Blog: Visit to Tanzania

 
Tanzania-barefoot-baby

FINCA’s President and CEO visited recently Tanzania, where he met with FINCA clients and employees.

He also visited a few clients of FINCA’s Barefoot Consultants project – a pilot where FINCA gives  $100 to “ultra” poor people – people in poverty so extreme they would not qualify for a loan. This helps them to start a business in the most difficult of circumstances, and hopefully push them out of poverty in the long run.


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Video of Social Enterprise Podcast Two Now Online

 

This month FINCA’s President and CEO Rupert Scofield meets with FINCA founder John Hatch and microfinance pioneer Jeff Ashe to discuss their respective roles in the microfinance revolution and share their unique, first-hand experiences. Watch how John recalls inventing his revolutionary village banking concept while flying over the Andes mountains on his way to Bolivia in 1984, as well as their collective hopes for microfinance and the eradication of poverty.

For the full conversation, listen to Rupert’s Social Enterprise Podcast »

FINCA Is Named Best Microfinance Institution in Malawi

 

FINCA Malawi Named 2014 Best Service Provider

 
Finca Malawi

Last month at Malawi’s 26th Annual International Trade Fair FINCA Malawi was awarded the title of “Best Service Provider” and featured on the front page of Malawi’s Maravi Post. A number of factors contributed to FINCA Malawi’s success, all centered around their dedication to customer service. In the face of difficult economic times, including local famine, credit crunches, and currency devaluations, FINCA Malawi continued to make loans to Malawi’s poorest and neediest. To better serve clients, FINCA Malawi launched a new customer-care training program for all its staff. Additionally, FINCA Malawi has revamped their system for resolving customer complaints in a more timely manner. Clients can easily access information not only about FINCA’s services, but also about how the competitors’ services compare to those at FINCA.

Founded in 1994, over the past decade FINCA Malawi has grown to serve now over 40,000 clients at 22 locations across the country. With over half of the population living below the poverty line and 4 of every 5 people excluded from traditional financial services, Malawi counts as one of the poorest countries on earth. Despite these challenges, FINCA Malawi has made a meaningful impact in the lives of thousands. Their recent award recognizes FINCA Malawi’s commitment to the FINCA values of trust, warmth and responsible banking. Keep up the great work!

YouthStart Creating Opportunities in Uganda

 

How financial services, like savings prepare young people in Uganda to set and attain goals that make them economically empowered.

Allison Scuriatti

Allison Scuriatti

Allison Scuriatti manages the Executive Office, Corporate Governance, Corporate Communications and Policy functions for FINCA. She has more than 20 years’ experience in corporate affairs and communications in nonprofits, intergovernmental organizations, and the private sector.

Prior to joining FINCA, Allison worked with Phakamani Foundation, a South African microfinance organization. Allison holds an M.A. in International Relations from the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva, Switzerland, and a B.A. (Hon) in Political Science and Economics from the University of Manitoba, in Canada. She also holds a Certificate in Microfinance Management from the South African-based Centre for Inclusive Banking in Africa.

 

FINCA Receives $30 Million to Help MicroEntrepreneurs in 9 Countries

 

FINCA Receives Innovative Multicurrency Loan

FINCA International Receives Innovative Multicurrency Loan to Fund Micro-Entrepreneurs in Nine Countries;
Deal Is Innovative Asset Class for Socially Responsible Investors

Washington, DC, June 27, 2014 – Earlier this month, FINCA International received the third tranche in a series of ground-breaking transactions: a US$30 million loan made simultaneously in the local currencies of nine emerging and frontier markets. The multiple local currency loans will help fund financial inclusion services to low-income micro-entrepreneurs by global microfinance organization FINCA International, one of the world’s oldest and largest microfinance organizations with a 30-year successful track record and outreach in 22 countries.

Commenting on Local Currency Microfinance Note III, Rupert Scofield, President and CEO of FINCA, said: “This transaction represents a milestone event in FINCA’s 30-year history, greatly reducing the foreign currency exposure risk to FINCA’s participating Subsidiaries while, most importantly, reducing risks and costs to clients. Microfinance investment products like these Notes align perfectly with FINCA’s strategy for expanded outreach by partnering with socially responsible investors who share our poverty alleviation mission.”

Local Currency Microfinance Note III is the third and largest tranche in a series of notes funded by dozens of private and institutional socially responsible investors, building on the positive track record of Local Currency Microfinance Notes I and II, which were launched in 2011 and 2013 respectively. Note I, for US$10 million, matured in August 2013 and delivered solid financial returns, as well as the anticipated social benefit. During the same month, Note II, for $25.5 million, was successfully placed and continues to yield well even during volatility in emerging markets currencies.

These Local Currency Notes address the strong and unmet demand from the microfinance sector for funding in local currency while offering investors an opportunity to combine investment objectives with positive social impact. They also offer investors full exposure to a number of local currencies from emerging and frontier markets, providing portfolio diversification. The Notes provide unusual potential security against the devaluation of emerging market currencies through local currency risk hedging.

An international Europe-based commercial bank structured and placed all three Notes as part of its mandate to provide innovative solutions for clients like FINCA who are addressing key social challenges while generating a financial return. The portfolio includes nine senior unsecured loans in local currency made today to Subsidiaries of FINCA International in Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Jordan, Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Tanzania and Uganda. While removing the foreign exchange risk inherent in typical hard currency loans for FINCA’s micro-entrepreneur clients in those countries, the local currency facility will allow these nine FINCA Subsidiaries to disburse an estimated 100,000 additional micro-loans over a two-year period to some of the world’s lowest-income entrepreneurs.


About FINCA International

FINCA is a leading international microfinance organization with over US$1 billion in assets that provides financial services to the world’s lowest-income entrepreneurs, helping them create jobs, build assets and improve their standard of living. For three decades, FINCA has been committed to breaking the cycle of poverty by providing community-based credit and savings opportunities, as well as other financial services including insurance, money transfers and payment services. FINCA operates with a distinctive, integrated business model that leverages donations and socially responsible investments, an approach that provides borrowers greater access to capital and promotes greater transparency, financial sustainability and higher standards of business practices. This has allowed FINCA to achieve balanced financial and social performance while opening the path to socioeconomic development for the lowest-income citizens of the world. Based in Washington, D.C., FINCA currently reaches more than one million clients through 22 FINCA Subsidiaries in Africa, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East and South Asia. FINCA manages its Subsidiaries through FINCA Microfinance Holding Company LLC, which is majority-owned by FINCA and supported with investments from socially responsible international investment partners. For more information, please visit www.FINCA.org.

For More Information, contact:
Brigitte Herschensohn
Director of Global Communications & Engagement
Brigitte.Herschensohn@finca.org
 

National Financial Literacy Week at FINCA Malawi

 
Jana Chmelnizki Kadian (FINCA Malawi CEO)

Jana Chmelnizki Kadian (FINCA Malawi CEO)

One of the key tools to break the cycle of poverty is education! FINCA Malawi recently participated in National Financial literacy Week with a donation of monetary prizes. The cash donation was made during the launch of the national financial literacy week by the Reserve Bank of Malawi (central bank). National Financial Literacy Week is aimed at imparting knowledge to empower people with the skills to budget, save and invest their finances wisely. To this end, the Reserve Bank of Malawi arranged for managers (and employees) of the banking sector, insurance and pension and microfinance sector to deliver financial literacy to the nation.

Ensure people are able to budget, save and invest their finances wisely.

The four winning students were featured on the most popular Zodiak radio station and national MBC television. FINCA like other financial institutions hosted walk-in customers for the one-week period and provided financial literacy information which was prepared by the central bank.

Innovations from Africa

 
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Banks often consider low income customer too risky and too expensive to serve. This leaves poor people with no choice but to resort to informal, unregulated and often unreliable means of savings, credit and insurance.

FINCA is breaking new ground bringing financial services to the Democratic Republic of Congo by employing an innovative business model of agent banking. To make the service as simple as possible, FINCA uses an advanced biometric identification system where clients use their fingerprint to access their accounts.

The project is supported by IFC and The MasterCard Foundation through the Partnership for Financial Inclusion, an initiative that aims to scale microfinance and advance mobile financial services in Sub-Saharan Africa.

“Before only rich people had access to banks, but now we are really, really happy that they’re helping us poor people save little by little. That’s how we’ll be saved.” says Eliza, FINCA DRC client.


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