A great idea is not enough in successful NGO work – you also need to tell others about it. Kiva.org, a website letting private lend (almost) directly to developing world borrowers, is innovative in its support and use of a wide range of viral marketing tools.
Why write a blog while you’re supposed to write your thesis? Procrastination is one answer, and here’s a great video on that from the online legend Frank Ze. Don’t watch other 3 min. videos than this one, if you’re supposed to do something else : -)
C4 is a Danish platform aimed at providing investment opportunities and knowledge exchange to businesses in developing countries for private investors all over the world. Most likely, they will also be investing and/or co-operating with MFI’s and this makes them a really interesting and innovative initiative on the microfinance scene. They have already been discovered by the entrepreneur-site Springwise, even though they are not launching their first beta-version until later this year.
It’s not easy being a philanthropist, an international financial institution (IFI)or even a socially responsible investor these days. Even if you’re not actually giving away funds, but lending at an interest rate, some will accuse you for not doing the right thing. A recent study by MicroRate point to the fact that even thogh social investors like IFIs and philanthropists were meant to take risks which commercial investors thought was too risky, in fact, they don’t. Instead they have “grown lazy”, as The Economist phrases it in a recent article. They are lending to the large MFI’s and the less risky funds, probably because it is easier.
This is nothing new. Large MFI’s have lots of funds. Small MFI’s don’t. As the FIG – Fonds International de Garantie, Geneva – says:
“The global microfinance industry is experiencing an unprecedented resource gap in which the largest MFIs receive the bulk of financial resources. As a result, small and innovative MFIs, especially those working with marginalized and rural populations, are being increasingly neglected.”
Who should close this investment gap? Clearly, the IFI should look for the more risky investments, but some other vehicles might be appropriate for small MFI’s too. Kiva has the possibility of channeling investment for small MFI’s, and C4 – a Danish initiative – could turn out doing that as well, using an innovative eBay like credit history platform.
I have moved my blog from a web hotel to the free WordPress service. This is the reason for the change in formatting, and in process some the links broke, too. I have fixed those, I could find, but if you experience any errors, please let me know. An added advantage is that this new blog should be more reliable.