Articles in Responsible finance

bKash

Mobile banking changes lives in Bangladesh

31 March 2015
bKash is the fastest growing provider for mobile financial services in Bangladesh. Despite an already saturated market, bKash has managed to differentiate itself against its competitors by focusing more on mobile services and thus providing greater reach to those that lack access to finance. read more
Small coffee business Ashoka -Root Capital

Capital impact for SME fund managers

17 March 2015
UPSIDES RECOMMENDS - Over two-thirds of SMEs in emerging markets lack sufficient access to capital. Specialised SME investment funds are increasingly stepping in to fill this financing gap. By financing and nurturing SMEs, these fund managers often realise positive social and/or environmental impacts alongside a financial return. Measuring these extra-financial effects is called impact measurement. Doing so has several benefits for investors: better access to capital, an enhanced reputation and a basis for better business analysis. However, measuring impact is no straightforward exercise. This article identifies the four main challenges in impact measurement faced by SME fund managers, and provides potential solutions. read more
Charles Belanger in front of i-Finance building

Meet the banker: Charles Belanger in the DRC

16 March 2015
Upsides talks to bankers from around the world. Why did they start working in the financial sector? What does the financial landscape look like in their country? And how does this landscape influence their actions? read more
Indian woman farmer - women-led sme

Women-led SMEs and the finance challenge

5 March 2015
UPSIDES RECOMMENDS - Journal of sustainable finance and banking: Mary Ellen Iskenderian, President and CEO of Women’s World Banking co-wrote a piece for the February 2015 issue with Matthew Gamser of the SME Finance Forum and Michael Koenitzer of the World Economic Forum. The piece explores the market opportunity of financing women-led SMEs and features findings from the recent report Women's World Banking published on how to best serve the women-led SME market. read more
Photograph by Brett Matthews-Cambodia

The goldilocks conundrum of MFI returns in Cambodia

27 February 2015
UPSIDES RECOMMENDS – At the end of each month, Upsides publishes a high-quality white paper. We kick off with an analysis by Mekong Strategic Partners of the MFI sector in Cambodia, in particular the returns which are being generated and how they drive further outreach and financial inclusion. The analysis demonstrates how uniquely in Cambodia the Urban centres such as Phnom Penh, are in fact - along with FDI i.e. FMO and Triodos - funding the investment and growth into the rural sector. This is not typical and further demonstrates the success they are having at rural outreach and financial inclusion under a world class regulatory environment. read more
Renuka Fernando

Meet the banker: Renuka Fernando in Sri Lanka

23 February 2015
Upsides talks to bankers from around the world. Why did they start working in the financial sector? What does the financial landscape look like in their country? And how does this landscape influence their actions? read more
women-led sme

Six best practices to best serve women-led SMEs

10 February 2015
UPSIDES RECOMMENDS - For individuals, the new year is typically the time to make resolutions and vow to practice new, better habits. For businesses, the new year might be a good time to look for new opportunity. In the economic development space, one burgeoning opportunity is the small-to-medium enterprise (SME) segment. Over the past few years, this segment has made a significant contribution to the global economy. Women-led SMEs, in particular, are not only creating jobs for themselves but also employing others. In 2012, an estimated 126 million women were starting or running new businesses in 67 economies around the world. read more
financial inclusion

A ‘local’ answer to financial inclusion

29 January 2015
UPSIDES RECOMMENDS - A small ‘local area’ bank and a Business Correspondent (BC) company in India may be showing the way forward in using agent channels to provide savings services to low-income clients. read more