Sheldon Rampton's blog
The Evolution of Fixed Income Investment in Microfinance - Identify the Opportunity, Negotiate and ExecuteSubmitted by Sheldon Rampton on Thu, 2008-05-15 16:14
Roland Dominicé, Senior Manager, Investment Services, Symbiotics
Investment strategies: Pioneer funds, development funds, social investment funds, blended value funds, global balanced funds, commercial funds, leveraged funds. There's a diversification of ways to look at the market and structure the strategy of the fund. There's more and more control of the risk into these funds, whereas the later funds have a strategy. The return of these funds has increased over time and is increasing. The efficiency, more importantly, has improved.
Vineet Rai, co-founder and director, Intellecap
Intellecap stands for "intellectual capital."
60% of the company is owned by Vineet, friends and employees.
Microfinance and india is an exciting market. Estimated market size is between 57.9 and 245.7 million clients. (57.9 million households are below the national poverty line.)
Together there have been disbursals of around US$3.7 billion, addressing "almost seven percent of our demand estimates of US$51.4 billion).
Louise Westerlind, CGAP:
Five big things in 2007:
- Exponential growth of socially responsible investment (SRI): (>US$4 trillion)
- Investors made big strides in addressing the need for local currency products
- Compartamos IPO triggered healthy discussion about investors' motivations. (Stock ticker BMOSF).
- THe handful of IFIs and the 95 MIVs investing in microfinance are doubling their aggregate portfolio
The following are my notes from the Global Microfinance Congress, which I'm attending today with Emily Allred from the Wisconsin Coordinating Council on Nicaragua. I'm catching these notes on the fly, so I can't promise that I'm quoting everyone accurately or fully.
Comments by Arnaud Ventura, vice president, PlaNet Finance
Banks and international finance institutions are becoming important players in microfinance. It's more than just the talk and noise about it; it's concrete actions in the field.
Here's a photo of my "Stairmaster desk," which I've developed as a Stairmaster alternative to the Treadmill desk.
The idea of a treadmill desk stems from research done by Dr. James Levine of the Mayo Clinic. Levine studies "non-exercise activity thermogenesis" (NEAT), which is medical lingo for "activities that aren't strenuous enough to be considered exercise but still burn calories." He finds, for example, that just walking at a casual pace burns about 100 more calories per hour than sitting. He's therefore worked with a company called Steelcase to design a "walkstation" that consists of a treadmill attached to a desk, where people can walk at a slow pace throughout the workday.
The only problem is, the Walkstation costs about $4,000, so hacker ingenuity is stepping in to develop cheaper solutions. Jay Buster (see link above) added a desk surface to a used treadmill, using $49 in materials. I don't own a treadmill, and I'm not sure I have the space for one, but I do own a Stairmaster (which I bought used a few years ago via eBay). I wanted to see whether a Stairmaster desk would work as well as a treadmill desk.
I created it using Apple's iTunes Link Maker.
The Madison Capitol Times had a story today about my friends Mike and Gini Zirkel who have done some volunteering to help victims of Hurricane Katrina:
I first met Mike and Gini through my involvement with the Wisconsin Coordinating Council on Nicaragua. They're the sort of people who look for ways to help others. It's good to see it recognized.
I never thought that this is where I'd settle down.
I thought I'd die an old man back in my hometown.
They gave me this plot of land,
Me and some other men, for a job well done.
There's a big White House sits on a hill just up the road.
The man inside, he cried the day they brought me home.
They folded up a flag and told my Mom and Dad:
"We're proud of your son."
This weekend I was exercising at home with the TV on for company, and when I started flipping channels, all of a sudden the face appeared of Walter Kirn, one of my old Princeton classmates. He was on CSPAN talking with Brian Lamb about his life as a novelist and literary critic and his recent adventures blogging on Andrew Sullivan's website.