News in Microfinance

Here are two stories from Microcapital.org:

Evening Edition

For your reading pleasure:

  • Government and Inflation: After meeting with the Cabinet Committee on Prices, PM Manmohan Singh announced a multitude of measures to rein in inflation. In related news, rising prices could deal a significant blow to the US-India nuclear agreement due to the potential for political fallout.
  • Microfinance: VC Circle reports that Lok Capital, a micro-finance focused VC fund will be in investing $1.25 million in Delhi based MFI Satin Creditcare Network Ltd. Staying with Microfinance, Govt. of India is introducing a scheme called ‘Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana’ (RSBY), which will provide cashless health insurance to families living below poverty line, using smart-card technology (via igovernment.in)
  • Higher Education: Economic Times reports that 29 Indian students from colleges across the country have been chosen to participate in the Goldman Sachs Global Leaders Program (GSGLP). They get a $3000 grant and a chance to participate in the Goldman Sachs Summer Leadership Institute.

Midday Newsfeed

  • Renewable Energy: The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy in India has announced a demonstration programme to support mega watt size grid interactive solar power generation projects, up to a maximum capacity of 50 MW, in the country. Similar efforts have been pushed by Himachal Pradesh’s CM, in an effort for more hydel power Public-Private Parnterships with entrepreneurs.
  • Insurance: A cashless health insurance program has been unveiled to target those under the poverty line. In a related story, Haryana’s government plans to invest 100RS per month per Anganwari worker for insurance through Life Insurance Corporation of India.
  • Microfinance: Lok Capital LLC, an India focused microfinance venture capital fund, has raised its fund size by about 80 per cent to $22 million from $14.5 million. Also, two Indian MFIs have received funding from Oikocredit, a Dutch cooperative fund.
  • Food supply and prices: UN report claims that Asia’s poorest being harmed by biofuels with regard to rising food prices. In a related news story, the World Bank has come out to say that the era of cheap food may be over. Bringing this problem home, one final story brings to light the likelihood of a food shortage in India. (this article was in the yesterday’s Evening Edition).
  • Human interest/child marriage: 13 year old girl stands up against child marriage.

Late Night Edition

Headlines: 

Government on Wednesday claimed in the Rajya Sabha that over three crore families had benefited from the National Rural Employment Guarantee (NREG) programme and Rs 8,000 crore had been transferred to the accounts of the beneficiaries. 

Lok Capital LLC, an India focused microfinance venture capital fund, has raised its fund size by about 80 per cent to $ 22 million from $14.5 million (as of November 2007). The investors in this final close is not known.  Lok Capital has already invested a total of $3 million in two MFIs – Janalakshmi in Bangalore and Spandana (alongwith JM Financial) in Hyderabad.

Google has launched a dedicated portal of Google services for non-profit organizations. Google for Non-Profits offers “a one-stop shop for tools to help advance your organization’s mission in a smart, cost-efficient way.” This site includes ideas and tutorials on ways Google tools can be used to promote non-profits, raise money and operate more efficiently.

More headlines after the break. Continue reading