4 Reasons to Read the “2014 Microfinance Barometer”

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As 2014 comes to a close, we would like to share with you the 2014 Microfinance Barometer, published by Convergences, a platform in Europe for learning and exchange around poverty alleviation.

Since 2010, the Microfinance Barometer has been providing updated figures on the sector’s global outreach and performance, monitoring the main trends of the industry, and examining microfinance’s new opportunities both in the North and the South.

Here at the Microcredit Summit Campaign, we encourage you and your colleagues to read the 2014 Microfinance Barometer, looking at “The Future of Microfinance: Towards a New Deal?”

Here are 4 good reasons for you to read it TODAY.

1. The Microfinance Barometer gives you data and key figures.

  • In partnership with the MIX and CGAP, Convergences crunched the numbers on global loan portfolio, number of borrowers, sources of funding, and the remaining number of unbanked people.
  • The Baromerter presents this information on a global scale and broken down by region in several illustrative infographics, which are always useful to have close-by for a clear overview of the microfinance sector.

Global loan portfolio and borrowers in 2012

 2. The Microfinance Barometer targets all stakeholders.

  • Whether you work at a microfinance institution, an international development organization, an investment fund, or you are a policymaker, you will find something of interest in the Barometer. In addition to data analysis, the Barometer also offers articles about the Maya Declaration, technology, and other topics written in collaboration with organizations across sectors.

Microfinance-barometer-2014-Page 13. The Microfinance Barometer has a global scope.

  • The Microfinance Barometer features organizations from all over the world, such as UGAFODE from Uganda and others from West Africa, France, Bolivia, Kenya, Kyrgyzistan, and more. Their contributions offer a diverse landscape of approaches to microfinance and financial inclusion. In addition, Convergences publishes both French and English versions of the Barometer.

4. The Microfinance Barometer highlights innovations and solutions to reach our goals.

  • This year’s publication focuses on major innovations with products, technology, regulations, and more, with a special report on the future of the sector. In an interview with Tilman Ehrbeck, he says that one structural change likely to affect the future of the sector is the advances in technology and a new, low-cost payment infrastructure:

Businesses are using this infrastructure to make solar lanterns or water pumps, for example, available through pay-as-you-go models that require a large number of small, incremental payments. As mobile money services spread in developing countries, so will these types of innovations.

  • These innovations remind us we are not alone in working toward our goals, encouraging us to continue the fight for full financial inclusion and poverty eradication.

CLICK HERE to read the 2014 Microfinance Barometer!

Launched in 2008, Convergences is a platform for learning and exchange in Europe, aiming to build new convergences between public, private, and solidarity-based actors for the promotion of the Millennium Development Goals and the alleviation of poverty and privation in developed and developing countries.

Convergences organizes large-scale gatherings–the World Forums–to debate ideas, advocate for economic alternatives, and frame innovative solutions. The next Convergences World Forum will take place September 7-9, 2015 in Paris and should gather more than 7,000 participants from all sectors to discuss the new international commitments for development agreed to in 2015.

Solar loans for poor people in Tanzania and Uganda

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Social entrepreneurs in Tanzania and Uganda are innovating in the field of green energy. Read this blog post from Truelift to learn about Tujijenge Afrika, who spoke about their solar loan projects at the Convergences Global Forum last week. (And see this interview with Michaël Knaute, special advisor & board member of Convergences, that we posted last week).

2013Summit-banner_nologosAt the 2013 Partnerships against Poverty Summit that we’re co-hosting in just 2 weeks, we will be offering a workshop called “Microfinance Goes Green: Energy Inclusion to Help Alleviate Poverty.” Sebastian Groh (MicroEnergy International, MEI) is organizing this workshop, and it will include speakers Allan Sicat (MCPI), Francesca Randazzo (ADA), Wonjin Seol (ADB), Minh Cuong Le Quan (Prakti Design), and Camilla Hall (special advisor to Dr. Ashok Khosla).

Learn more about the “Going Green” workshop here: http://bit.ly/PaPGoingGreen

Register for the 2013 Summit today! http://bit.ly/Summitreg

Volunteer for a FREE registration to the Summit! We understand that the Summit fees can be costly. We hope to make the opportunity to attend as widely available as possible, so we are re-opening the volunteer application process. You can save as much as $650 on your registration fee by applying to be a volunteer at the Summit.

If you are interested in volunteering, please fill out this online form today!


At this year’s Convergences Global Forum, Tujijenge Afrika executive director, Felistas Coutinho, discussed their solar loan projects in Tanzania and Uganda. Since 2006, Coutinho has been developing and refining the loan programs, with 1,577 clients served in the first year alone.

These projects demonstrate a successful model for product development that meets the needs of poor people through partnership and perseverance. Below are some of highlights, including challenges faced and lessons learned, as presented by Coutinho at the Global Forum.

The need:
Why are solar lanterns needed in Tanzania and Uganda? Especially in in rural areas, some benefits of solar lanterns for people living poverty are listed below:

  • Increased productivity due to availability of light in the evening
  • Children are able to study in the evenings
  • Solar lanterns offer clean, healthier light than other alternatives
  • Less expensive than other alternatives by at least 25%
  • Access to electricity fills the phone…

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