September 2007 Issue of Intellecap’s Quarterly Magazine Highlights Microfinance Innovations that have Made a Difference, Challenged Established Norms and Reached Out to Millions of Financially Excluded
Intellecap recently released the fourth issue of Microfinance Insights, its quarterly thematic magazine. The focus of the fourth volume is on innovations in the area of delivery of financial services. The Issue was also unveiled at the Microfinance India Conference in New Delhi on October 9-10, 2007.
Making financial services more accessible and their delivery more efficient, while diversifying the traditional areas of financial support, has been on the mind of the industry for some time now. Drawing from the experiences of various microfinance institutions, research bodies, and sector experts, the Issue looks at how best industry knowledge and practice can be leveraged to add value and diversify delivery mechanisms for those at the bottom of the pyramid (BOP). Articles in this Issue highlight several big and small examples of innovative delivery mechanisms that have attempted to make a difference, challenged established norms and reached out to the millions of poor, financially excluded.
The cover story tracks evolution in businesses and presents an interesting ‘wave theory’ of innovation in microfinance. Articles recognizing the power of social networks cite examples from ITC, a corporate firm which innovates and downscales to tap the potential of BOP market, an MFI Spandana and an NGO Swayam Shikshan Prayog that have succeeded in mobilizing the rural poor to establish successful business partnerships with multinational firms. A feature on an innovative lending model that supports grassroots businesses covers an initiative that makes farm mechanization affordable through combining the delivery of low-cost implements. Another feature explores community-based interventions in microinsurance delivery. The issue also covers two fast emerging areas in microfinance technology innovations, namely that of peer-to-peer online lending platforms and alternative/micro exchanges. Additional features in the fourth issue of Microfinance Insights include a book review, news, resources and a compilation of microfinance market indicators.
Only four issues old, the magazine is already catching the attention of some of the most reputed names in the sector. It has highlighted contributions from sector experts and practitioners like Blaine Stephens, Brad Swanson, David Satterthwaite, Caitlin Baron, Veena Mankar, CS Ghosh, Manish Khera, Wim van der Beek, William Foote, Colin Howard, Vineet Rai, amongst others. Microfinance Insights attempts to fill the gap within the sector which has a dearth of regular and quality publications. Readers and subscribers have been all praise for the initiative and have been vocal in acknowledging the magazine as “a refreshing change” that could prove to be an effective knowledge building mechanism for the microfinance sector. Reflecting one such sentiment Arindom Datta, Director of Rabo India Finance Ltd. says, “I found Microfinance Insights to be very informative. This is definitely the best reading in microfinance among all the literature available in India.”
Every quarter, Microfinance Insights attempts to effectively gauge the trends in the industry. Previous volumes have touched upon the issue of Governance in microfinance institutions (Vol.1), urban microfinance (Vol.2), and the role of capital markets in microfinance (Vol.3). The next issue due in December 2007 will focus on microinsurance and will have David Dror (Hon. Professor of health insurance, Erasmus University Rotterdam) as its Guest Editor. Published from India, the focus of the magazine is emphatically global and this is reflected through an increasing number of articles focusing on global activities.
Subscriptions to the magazine are cost effective starting at Rs. 125 for an individual annual subscription and are available for purchase online. The magazine also offers value for money advertising packages for financial institutions, MFIs, NGOs, technology firms and market facilitators.
For subscription details, article contributions and to advertise, write to firstname.lastname@example.org or call +91-22-32535292 or +91-22-28801572. To know more about the magazine and to subscribe online visit www.microfinanceinsights.com.
Intellecap (www.intellecap.net) is an advisory firm that incubates innovative businesses, enables capacity building, and facilitates investment initiatives in the development sector. Working in direct design, execution as well as indirect strategic advisory roles, Intellecap seeks to leverage mainstream tools and techniques to create unique solutions in order to efficiently and effectively address development problems. An integral part of its work is to created knowledge about various aspects of the development sector, and to channel its expertise into serving the sector’s increasing knowledge needs. Microfinance Insights is one such initiative. Intellecap also carries out its share of innovations through initiatives such as IntelleCash (www.intellecash.com) which help entrepreneurs start microfinance franchisees, and the India Development Gateway (www.indiadevelopmentgateway.org). Intellecap has also recently attracted an equity investment of US$8.4 Million from Legatum.