Montreal- October 31, 2018- FINCA Canada (FINCA) has partnered with a leading Canadian business law firm, Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP (Blakes), to help expand its outreach with an increased participation in the BrightLife program to accelerate financial inclusion through the availability of technology, innovation, and women’s empowerment. “As we increase our participation in the BrightLife Lighting Up Africa program, the support and expertise of Blakes will help us solidify and maximize our impact on improving the livelihood of those living in rural, hard-to-reach places,” says FINCA Canada’s Executive Director Marie-Claude Guay. Across sub-Saharan Africa, 590 million people live without electricity. Grid expansion has struggled to keep pace with population growth, and in the absence of reliable energy, people’s health, safety, and productivity suffer. FINCA uses innovative practices and cutting-edge technologies to transform finance in underserved markets, including credit scoring and analytics, e-wallets and point-of-service biometrics. In Uganda, the BrightLife program has benefited over 100,000 people with life-enhancing clean energy products such as solar lanterns, solar home systems and improved cookstoves. In partnership with Government Affairs of Canada, FINCA is now running two financial inclusion programs, one in Haiti and the other in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Blakes Montréal office will be advising on the expansion of the BrightLife program through its pro bono program, so FINCA can reach more people living without electricity or reliable energy. “Our partnership is based on our mutual commitment to drive positive change and an understanding that together, we can have a greater impact in improving the livelihoods of families and contribute to global growth,” says Blakes Partner Fabien Lanteri-Massa who has extensive experience working in developing countries in Africa. About FINCA Canada FINCA Canada’s mission is to alleviate poverty through lasting solutions that help people — women in particular— to build assets, create jobs and raise their standard of living. FINCA Canada is a charitable partner organization of FINCA Impact Finance, a global network of community-based microfinance institutions and banks that operate across 20 countries in Africa, Eurasia, Latin America, the Middle East and South Asia. In addition to promoting financial inclusion, FINCA Canada supports programs that address pressing social issues like clean energy, water and sanitation, health care and nutrition. About Blakes At Blakes, we serve a diverse national and international client base, and our integrated office network provides clients with access to the Firm’s full spectrum of capabilities in virtually every area of business law. Blakes has been at the forefront of numerous initiatives that support positive change, improve the lives of those in need, and open communication in the workplace on important issues. From pro bono work and community involvement to diversity and inclusion, women’s initiatives, and environmental awareness, Blakes believes in giving back and leading forward.
Toronto, ON (June 12, 2018) – FINCA Canada, a microfinance charitable organization, announced today the naming of Chloe Wilde as the organization’s national ambassador in Canada. This partnership will see Wilde advocate for women’s empowerment and financial inclusion. Wilde, a reporter for CTV’s ‘Etalk’ – Canada’s popular entertainment show, as well as ‘E! Canada’ – will work alongside FINCA Canada to raise public awareness for the organization’s mission and help mobilize resources to support FINCA’s efforts to decrease poverty, empower women and grow financial inclusion worldwide. Recently, Wilde returned from a trip to Cap-Haitien, Haiti where she met with FINCA clients and witnessed firsthand the vital role of financial services in empowering women entrepreneurs. “Advancing gender equality and empowering women economically is central to each of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, and could add trillions to our global growth, and yet few people are talking about it” says Stephanie Emond, Executive Director, FINCA Canada. “With Chloe lending her voice to our courageous clients and to our mission, FINCA will be able to change individual lives, while creating a brighter future for everyone.” For more than thirty years, FINCA has been a catalyst for women’s empowerment and financial inclusion of poor and marginalized individuals. FINCA believes in delivering a sustainable approach that empowers people—women in particular—to pursue and achieve their dreams. These often include starting or expanding a business, saving for a child’s education, paying for health care or saving for the future. However, a lack of access to capital can limit a woman’s ability to pursue her goals. With microfinance loans from FINCA, poor entrepreneurs can get the financial support they need to build and grow their businesses. As their businesses expand and generate profits, their self-confidence grows, their family’s health improves, and they can send their children to school—thus transforming the community. “Every woman should have the opportunity to pursue her dreams and to create her own path in life,” says Wilde. “With FINCA, these women have that opportunity. I am humbled and inspired to serve as an ambassador for FINCA Canada, working together to catalyze greater opportunity for low-income women to achieve their goals, provide for their families and thrive.” Wilde has a passion for empowering women and is constantly leveraging her voice to improve the world around her. She recently re-launched her Healthy Is Hot website and content channels, which serves as a platform to inspire individuals to be their best-selves through shared stories about fitness, nutrition, wellness, career and travel. Chloe has an ability to connect with people almost instantly on any level, whether she is interviewing some of the entertainment world’s top celebrities or speaking with the local community in Toronto. If the topics are serious in nature or require a humorous approach, Chloe has always been able to keep viewers engaged. She has interviewed some of the biggest names in pop culture; Joan Rivers, Kings of Leon, Daniel Radcliffe, 50 Cent, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Julianne Moore, just to name a few. About FINCA Canada FINCA Canada’s mission is to alleviate poverty through lasting solutions that help people—women in particular—build assets, create jobs and raise their standard of living. FINCA Canada is a charitable partner organization of FINCA Impact Finance, a global network of 20 community-based microfinance institutions and banks that provide socially-responsible financial services to enable low-income individuals and communities to invest in their futures. In addition to promoting financial inclusion, FINCA Canada supports programs that address pressing social issues like clean energy, water and sanitation, healthcare and nutrition. For more information, visit www.FINCACanada.org or follow us on Twitter @FINCACanada or Instagram @FINCA.Canada. For more information on Chloe Wilde Website: www.healthyishott.com Facebook: @TheChloeWilde | @healthyishott Twitter: @TheChloeWilde | @healthyishott Instagram: @thechloewilde | @healthyishott ## FOR MEDIA INQUIRIES, CONTACT: Matt Bontorin Public Relations Manager SBX Group P: (647) 381-1463 E: [email protected] [email protected]
June 1, 2018, Montreal, QC —FINCA Canada and its financial services partner company FINCA Impact Finance announced that Deetken Impact, an asset management firm based in Vancouver, Canada, will provide a USD 1 million loan to FINCA Haiti SA for on-lending to individual, micro, small- and medium-sized businesses (MSMEs). The three-year loan facility is the first of its kind extended by Deetken to a FINCA Impact Finance subsidiary. FINCA Haiti SA is a microfinance institution that currently serves more than 45,000 customers—85 percent of whom are women—across its eight branches. Last year, it distributed its first mobile loan via Moncash, a mobile banking system created with mobile operator Digicel now used by 13,000 FINCA Haiti clients. In 2017, FINCA Haiti SA entered into a CAD 7 million partnership with FINCA Canada, part of a contribution agreement between FINCA Canada and Global Affairs Canada, to scale up financial inclusion efforts, targeting low-income Haitian women in particular, to help them increase their revenues and improve their family’s living conditions. According to FINCA Canada Executive Director, Stéphanie Émond: “With 85 percent of the poorest Haitians still unbanked, this partnership with Global Affairs Canada and Deetken Impact will extend our outreach to more women in Haiti. It will provide them with impactful financial services that enable them to increase their incomes, create employment in their communities and build brighter futures for themselves and their families.” Over the next five years, funding from Global Affairs Canada will enable FINCA Haiti SA to grow its network of branches and digital financial services and enhance its capacity to develop customer-centric and gender-sensitive financial products. Moreover, the funds will enable it to better serve smallholder farmers and agricultural businesses. The Deetken loan facility will provide FINCA Haiti SA with the capital needed to support its growth path to further financial inclusion. “We are proud to partner with FINCA for our first investment in Haiti,” said Alexa Blain, Chief Operating Officer at Deetken Impact. “This is an example of how public and private sector financing can, together, support the growth of impact businesses in emerging markets.” FINCA uses a blended funding approach, leveraging philanthropic and public funding to mobilize private sector investments—loans and equity—to bring the programs and social enterprises it supports to scale. The partnership between Global Affairs Canada and FINCA Canada enabled FINCA Haiti to directly attract private investments; since August 2017, it has mobilized more than $2.5 million in loans from private sector investors. About Deetken Impact Deetken Impact’s asset management team focuses on impact investments in the Americas with a deeper focus in Latin America. Through deep financial and strategic analysis, and strong local relationships in the countries it works in, Deetken is able to generate sustainable, long-term returns on investments. For more information, visit deetkenimpact.com or follow on Twitter @DeetkenImpact. About FINCA Canada FINCA Canada’s mission is to alleviate poverty through lasting solutions that help people—women in particular—build assets, create jobs and raise their standard of living. FINCA Canada is a charitable partner organization of FINCA Impact Finance, a global network of 20 community-based microfinance institutions and banks that provide socially-responsible financial services to enable low-income individuals and communities to invest in their futures. In addition to promoting financial inclusion, FINCA Canada supports programs that address pressing social issues like clean energy, water and sanitation, healthcare and nutrition. For more information, visit FINCACanada.org or follow us on Twitter @FINCACanada and Instagram @FINCA.Canada. Media Contact [email protected] 1-855-903-4622
September 19, 2017, Montreal, QC —Today, FINCA, in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation, released a case study to highlight FINCA’s journey in deploying agency banking in Africa over the past four years. The case study outlines ten strategic, operational and technical learnings that other finance and microfinance institutions can consider when creating or building upon a similar program. Working jointly, FINCA and the Mastercard Foundation have deployed various digital solutions, such as agency and mobile banking, to scale up financial inclusion efforts and reach more underserved and unbanked communities in Sub-Saharan Africa. Agency banking utilizes a network of local merchants and shopkeepers, in areas where FINCA usually doesn’t have a presence, to provide basic banking services. The agents are equipped with POS (Point of Sale) machines, a portable device that securely connects to FINCA bank accounts through biometric fingerprints. Since launching agency banking in the DR Congo in 2012, over 80 percent of all transactions by FINCA clients in that country are done through banking agents. Agency banking has since expanded to FINCA’s subsidiaries in Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania and Zambia, working with over 1,400 agents in the field. FINCA’s approach is to adopt and scale technology to deliver efficient, customer centric products while still maintaining close relationships with our customers. Other key lessons detailed in the case study include the importance of gaining institutional buy-in, aligning strategic goals and gaining customer trust to drive uptake and usage. According to FINCA Impact Finance CEO Andrée Simon, “Agent banking removes a lot of the logistical barriers that prevent people from fully leveraging the financial tools available to them. FINCA is now developing financial products and services to be delivered through this increasingly important channel.” “We’re pleased to support FINCA,” said Sumaiya Sajjad, Program Manager at the Mastercard Foundation, “as it expands agency banking to reach remote and underserved communities in Africa and offer critical banking solutions. This partnership shows that, by investing in agent networks and value-added services, financial service institutions can better serve their clients and help to close the gap of the financially excluded.” The new case study can be accessed here: https://www.fincacanada.org/mastercard-partnership/case-studies/ About FINCA Canada FINCA Canada’s mission is to alleviate poverty through lasting solutions that help people – women in particular – build assets, create jobs, and raise their standard of living. For more information, please visit www.FINCACanada.org or follow us at @FINCA on Twitter. About Mastercard Foundation The Mastercard Foundation works with visionary organizations to provide greater access to education, skills training and financial services for people living in poverty, primarily in Africa. As one of the largest private foundations, its work is guided by its mission to advance learning and promote financial inclusion to create an inclusive and equitable world. Based in Toronto, Canada, its independence was established by Mastercard International when the Foundation was created in 2006. For more information and to sign up for the Foundation’s newsletter, please visit www.mastercardfdn.org. Follow the Foundation at @MastercardFdn on Twitter.
28 August, 2015, Bishkek – Today, FINCA Bank Kyrgyzstan announced that the Netherlands Development Finance Company (FMO) has reached agreement on a USD 15 million local currency syndicated loan facility for on-lending to micro and small businesses in Kyrgyzstan. FMO will contribute USD 10 million and an additional USD 5 million is expected from another international lender. This transaction is the second syndication arranged by FMO for a subsidiary of FINCA International, following the USD 40 million deal for FINCA Azerbaijan in November 2014. This five-year loan will support FINCA Bank Kyrgyzstan’s efforts in servicing over 15,000 entrepreneurs, particularly in rural and remote areas where the supply of banking services is still limited. The local currency facility is entirely in Kyrgyz Som, helping FINCA Bank Kyrgyzstan to sustain its local-currency loan portfolio, reducing currency risk for its clients. FINCA Bank Kyrgyzstan currently provides a range of financial services – including individual and agricultural loans, savings accounts, and money transfers. Nanno Kleiterp, FMO’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “By supporting micro and small entrepreneurs in Kyrgyzstan, the economy will grow, bringing opportunity and financial inclusion to a larger part of the population. We are therefore very pleased to finance FINCA Bank Kyrgyzstan, an institution reaching out to remote areas and serving more than 125,000 clients.” Margarita Cherikbaeva, Chief Executive Officer of FINCA Bank Kyrgyzstan, thanking FMO, said: “This is a substantial expansion in funding received from FMO and is our first syndicated loan facility. This key transaction will allow us to expand the financing of small businesses, especially in the agricultural sector and across the rural regions of Kyrgyzstan.” ”This landmark syndication is particularly strategic for FINCA Bank Kyrgyzstan, as it marks the start of a partnership with two international financial institutions that are very active in supporting microfinance,” remarked Azamat Maksytbekov, Chief Financial Officer of FINCA Bank Kyrgyzstan. “We look forward to cooperating with FMO and other international lenders on many initiatives in the field of responsible banking, helping to further diversify the Kyrgyz economy.” About FINCA Bank Kyrgyzstan FINCA Bank CJSC is the leading microfinance bank in Kyrgyzstan, operating in the country since 1995. On March 3, 2015, FINCA Bank Kyrgyzstan received a commercial banking license from the National Bank of the Kyrgyz Republic. FINCA Bank Kyrgyzstan provides full range of financial services to more than 125,000 active clients through its 104 branches covering the country, with a gross loan portfolio of more than USD 125 million. About FINCA International FINCA International’s mission is to alleviate poverty through lasting solutions that help people build assets, create jobs, and raise their standard of living. Together with leading, socially responsible investment partners, FINCA owns and operates a network of microfinance institutions serving nearly 2 million clients in 23 countries. For more information on FINCA, visit www.FINCA.org. About FMO FMO is the Dutch development bank. FMO has invested in the private sector in developing countries and emerging markets for more than 45 years. Our mission is to empower entrepreneurs to build a better world. We invest in sectors where we believe our contribution can have the highest long-term impact: financial institutions, energy and agribusiness. Alongside partners, we invest in the infrastructure, manufacturing and services sectors. With an investment portfolio of EUR 8.8 billion spanning over 85 countries, FMO is one of the larger bilateral private sector development banks globally. www.fmo.nl
FINCA Surpasses $1M in Loans to Microenterprise and Small Business Owners in Nigeria, Within 6 Months of Opening for BusinessJune 25, 2015, Washington, DC – FINCA’s newest subsidiary, FINCA Microfinance Bank Ltd. in Nigeria, surpassed USD 1 million in small loans to microenterprise and small business owners within its first six months of operation, it was announced today by President & CEO Rupert Scofield during his remarks at the Spring meeting of the Financial Inclusion Equity Council (FIEC), hosted this year by FINCA at its headquarters building in Washington, DC. [Read more…]
FINCA’s experience in Tanzania offers lessons learned for development practitionersJune 8, 2015, Washington, DC—FINCA today released a case study to guide microfinance institutions wishing to implement mobile technology to increase financial inclusion. Since introducing mobile banking to clients in Tanzania over a year ago, with support from The MasterCard Foundation, nearly one-third of FINCA Tanzania’s clients are now using the service for savings deposits and other transactions. Mobile technology and e-wallet applications have tremendous benefits for clients in Sub-Saharan Africa, including reduced travel time to bank branches, lower risks associated with carrying cash—such as loss or theft—and no more need for third-party banks. FINCA Tanzania has partnered with mobile operators so that clients can access a mobile wallet platform like M-PESA to make safe, convenient and cost-effective transactions. One of the challenges FINCA faced working with a large mobile operator like Vodacom was the company’s sheer size and market power. It is important to discuss not only technical issues like system compatibility, but also to stipulate how the relationship will be managed. The case study outlines that a Service Level Agreement is critical for laying out the terms and expectations for both parties and ensuring the best customer experience for FINCA’s clients. Another important recommended practice is to develop an effective customer awareness and education campaign to provide clear, step-by-step instructions and information on how the channel works. These were made available in English as well as Kiswahili, and were shared not only in print format but also as live demonstrations, for the benefit of illiterate clients. “By publishing these lessons learned from experiences in Tanzania, we and FINCA hope to help other microfinance organizations who might be considering developing this type of channel,” said Ann Miles, Director of Programs, Economic Opportunities for Youth & Financial Inclusion at The MasterCard Foundation. “For so many people living in poverty, lacking access to finance and not having the means to be productive is a significant hindrance to improving their standard of living. With the advent and adoption of new banking technologies, financial service providers like FINCA are able to innovate like never before—reaching more people with better services.” Rupert Scofield, President and CEO of FINCA International, added: “The speed and scale of opportunity presented by digital financial services to reach the most remote and marginalized communities is tremendous. Traditional banks and telecom companies don’t have the experience working with our client base. The MasterCard Foundation has been an excellent partner, helping FINCA build on our 30 years of work with microfinance clients. We really believe it’s partnerships like this that can maximize financial inclusion for the poor.” About FINCA FINCA International’s mission is to alleviate poverty through lasting solutions that help people build assets, create jobs and raise their standard of living. Together with leading, socially responsible investment partners, FINCA owns and operates a network of microfinance institutions serving nearly 2 million low-income entrepreneurs and their communities in 23 countries. For more information, please visit www.FINCA.org or follow us at http://twitter.com/finca. About The MasterCard Foundation The MasterCard Foundation works with visionary organizations to provide greater access to education, skills training and financial services for people living in poverty, primarily in Sub-Saharan Africa. As one of the largest, private foundations, its work is guided by its mission to advance learning and promote financial inclusion to create an inclusive and equitable world. Based in Toronto, Canada, its independence was established by MasterCard when the Foundation was created in 2006. For more information on the Foundation, please visit: www.mastercardfdn.org or follow us on Twitter @MCFoundation. Contact SETH SPIRO 202-971-4703 [email protected]
Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan – FINCA Kyrgyzstan is pleased to announce its Client Protection Certification by the Smart Campaign, a global initiative promoting the adoption of high ethical standards in the treatment of clients in the micro financing industry. Through this achievement FINCA joins an exclusive group of 28 certified financial institutions worldwide. [Read more…]
Project will broaden financial service delivery channels, strengthen staff capacity, scale up savings, and measure social performance. Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (31 July 2013) – The MasterCard Foundation and FINCA International today announced a $12.7 million partnership that will allow the region’s financially underserved people to more easily access savings products and services through the development and deployment of new technologies. By making access to savings accounts and services more readily available, it is anticipated that the number of people creating their own financial safety nets will increase dramatically in coming years. The partnership also supports expansion of FINCA’s innovative social performance management system, focused on ensuring that FINCA’s operations, products and services are both responsive to client needs and reach the clients who can receive the most benefit. According to FINCA President and CEO Rupert Scofield, FINCA’s business model has reached a stage to radically expand its footprint and product offerings in the Sub-Saharan Africa, with the goal of bringing a wide range of financial services to over 500,000 previously excluded savers and nearly 300,000 borrowers in Malawi, Tanzania, and Zambia by 2017. The partnership allows FINCA to capitalize on technological advancements in the delivery of financial services, to making the services more widely accessible at anticipated lower costs, and with greater safety. “The advent of new technologies has the potential to transform how millions of women and men on the continent gain access to financial services, especially when it comes to savings mobilization,” Mr. Scofield said. “FINCA’s more than 20 years providing financial services in Sub-Saharan Africa, coupled with The MasterCard Foundation partnership, will allow us to catalyze the expertise and investments we’ve amassed to create even greater value for the unbanked people in the region.” “This is an innovative project that will help us understand the impact technology has in bringing responsible, cost-effective financial products to people in rural communities,” said Reeta Roy, President and CEO of The MasterCard Foundation. “We share with FINCA a commitment to rigorously documenting the impact financial services have on the lives of people who live in poverty.” FINCA and The MasterCard Foundation share the same values and belief that people have the potential to transform their lives if given the opportunity. By increasing access to high quality microfinance services in Sub-Saharan Africa, FINCA and The MasterCard Foundation will enable low-income individuals and households to realize their potential, and improve the lives of their families, and their communities. Consistent with FINCA’s mission, this initiative will target low-income and unbanked individuals in Malawi, Tanzania, and Zambia with a focus on women. On a consolidated basis, currently 47% of FINCA clients in the region live on less than $2.50 per day, and 60% are women. FINCA will build upon its current regional pilot programs and industry best practice to develop and roll out new product delivery channels, including point of sale devices, light branches and kiosks, agent networks, and mobile services in rural and underserved communities in the three countries. FINCA will train its middle management and front-line staff to support the roll-out of its new delivery channels and products. The program will also support the continuing development, integration, and analysis of social performance metrics into every aspect of FINCA’s operations. The use of these metrics will ensure FINCA is providing clients the products and services they need, reaching its target audiences, and more effectively tracking and understanding the impact of financial inclusion on the well-being of clients. FINCA Africa currently provides financial services to more than 295,000 borrowers and nearly 417,000 savers living in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.