Microfinance Archive


Trade finance and SMEs – Bridging the gaps in provision

The World Trade Organisation (WTO) has released a new study focusing on SMEs’ lack of access to trade finance, providing a list of recommendations to address the gap.

WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo has issued a call for action to help close the gaps in the availability of trade finance that affect the trade prospects of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), particularly in Africa and Asia. In a new WTO publication, “Trade Finance and SMEs: bridging the gaps in provision”, which examines the problem and looks into possible solutions, DG Azevêdo says that easing the supply of credit could have a big impact in helping small businesses grow and in supporting the development of the poorest countries.

WOT Report May 2016

The WTO’s strategy focuses on three fronts: firstly, encouraging global financial institutions to stay engaged, ensuring that regulations are not prohibitive; then, enhancing local financial institutions’ capacity to supply trade finance to SMEs; finally, supporting multilateral development banks’ programmes increasing the availability of trade finance.

A six-point recommendation list tackles additional issues, from enhancing existing multilateral banks’ trade finance facilitation programmes, to closing the trade finance knowledge gap, strengthening training programmes, as well as maintaining a closer dialogue with regulators and improving monitoring of trade finance provisions. The report also suggests that setting specific targets could help in mobilising and co-ordinating efforts to improve SMEs’ access to trade finance. Source: smefinanceforum.org


Inter-American Development Bank calls for solutions for financial inclusion of people with disabilities

Most voted projects may receive up to $50,000 in grants

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) announced a call for innovative ideas to promote the inclusion of people with disabilities as financial sector clients and workers in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The competition organized by the IDB’s Innovation Lab is open to public and private financial institutions, either regulated or non-regulated, from the Bank’s 48 member countries for projects to be carried out in Latin America and the Caribbean. Participants must register and submit their proposals at the lab’s website, bidinnovacion.org.

Proposals, which must be submitted by December 31, 2012, will be put to a vote by the general public. The most voted ideas will be evaluated by a panel of experts, who will select the best ones to receive grants of up to $50,000 for their implementation.

The call for solutions is financed with resources from the Italian Cooperation, in coordination with the Multilateral Investment Fund (FOMIN) and the beyondBanking program of the IDB’s Structured and Corporate Finance Department.

About the Innovation Lab

The Innovation Lab, a virtual platform managed by the IDB’s Competitiveness and Innovation Division, uses crowdsourcing to foster the exchange of original ideas and find high-impact solutions to diverse development problems in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The lab currently has two other competitions underway:

Inclusion in Firms: open to public and private companies and organizations with innovative solutions for labor inclusion of people with disabilities. Priority will be given to proposals with a focus on gender. The most voted ideas will qualify for a second phase, in which a panel of experts will select the best proposals. Projects may receive grants of up to $50,000 for their implementation. Applicants must register and submit their proposals at www.bidinnovacion.org/inclusion-in-firms.

Disruptive Ideas: open to organizations and individuals with ideas to break barriers to labor inclusion of people with disabilities. Participants with the most voted proposals will be invited by the IDB to present their ideas and discuss their implementation with the Innovation Lab’s staff. Participants must register and submit their ideas at www.bidinnovacion.org/disruptive-ideas.


at #EDD12: Making Finance Work for Inclusive Development

Stream at http://live.eudevdays.eu


at #EDD12: Inclusive Business Models

Stream at http://live.eudevdays.eu


The Private Sector and Poverty Reduction | World Bank IEG

The Independent Evaluation Group’s evaluation, Assessing IFC’s Poverty Focus and Results, aimed to contribute to the enhancement of IFC’s poverty focus and its effectiveness for greater poverty impact. Findings from field studies included in the report illustrate that success, or lack thereof, is a result of the manner in which each project addressed the fulfillment of a need.

The fundamental lesson emerging from these four case studies is that development projects work better when they are based on a sound and thorough understanding of the micro-economic and cultural conditions prevailing among the people for whom the projects are intended. A corollary, more practical lesson is that this kind of grounded understanding is best gained by systematic inquiry based largely on listening to intended beneficiaries in the communities where they work and live.

IEG_Poverty_Case_Studies.pdf (application/pdf-Objekt).


EU: Access to finance major problem for SMEs

The European Commission published the results of the new ”Flash Eurobarometer: SMEs’ access to finance”. The survey, conducted with 9071 firms in 27 EU Member States, Croatia, Iceland and Norway, was set up to assess EU companies’ use of various sources of finance, to get a picture of the magnitude of companies’ difficulties in getting access to finance, and to obtain an overview of companies’ expectations for financing their future projects and developments. Overall, the survey revealed that businesses face difficulties in accessing finance, as almost half of them have problems to access bank loans. Despite the fact that availability of bank loans has deteriorated over the last six months for 46% of SMEs, over 70% of small businesses were able to receive all or part of the bank load they wanted, and only 15% were fully rejected. http://tinyurl.com/yantrpd


Launch of a new financial product for development

AFD and Crédit Agricole Asset Management have launched CAAM AFD Avenirs durables (Sustainable Futures), an innovative mutual fund that allows savers to participate in financing projects in developing countries. This innovative product aims to create new sources of financing for development, while at the same time meeting the demands of savers seeking socially responsible investments http://www.caamafdavenirsdurables.org


CfP: The Microinsurance Innovation Facility

The Microinsurance Innovation Facility and the European Development Research Network (EUDN) invite academic researchers to submit proposals for research that will contribute new knowledge to support microinsurance development in developing countries. Deadline: 30 October 2009. http://www.eudnet.net/microinsurance.html


The Global Financial Crisis: What does it mean for microfinance?

In most past financial crises – like those of the 1990s in Asia, Mexico, and Russia – financial services for poor people have been remarkably resilient. In fact, the quality of the loan portfolios of microfinance institutions (MFIs) during the Asian crisis and in Latin America during various banking crises barely quivered, while corporate portfolios collapsed. ”Our present crisis is like no other,” says CGAP CEO Elizabeth Littlefield. ”Microfinance is far more connected now. While it still has deeply shock-resistant roots, and many places seem unaffected today, there is little doubt that there will be impact.” Integrating microfinance into the mainstream has many benefits but it also has some costs. MFIs that depend on foreign capital investments are suffering, and the medium and longer term effects of a global recession are likely to be hard on microfinance clients in some countries. http://www.cgap.org/p/site/c/template.rc/1.26.4511