SEVEN Fund Awards Grant: Improving Flows of
Foreign Capital to the Microfinance Industry
Microfinance Investor Information Service to be
Developed by Microrate Inc.
December 15, 2008 – Cambridge, Massachusetts - The SEVEN Fund is pleased to announce that it has awarded MicroRate, Inc. a grant for its “Improving Flows of Foreign Capital to the Microfinance Industry” to support their proposed year-long Microfinance Investor Information Service (MIIS) – Pilot Project.
MicroRate’s MIIS – Pilot Project seeks to promote long-term growth in microfinance by facilitating informed investment through improved transparency. While objective, reliable investment information is taken for granted in today’s investment fund industry, there is currently no independent source of information for microfinance funds, putting investors at risk and endangering sustainable, long-term growth in the sector. The MIIS – Pilot Project will leverage MicroRate’s vast microfinance experience to develop a framework for evaluating and disseminating information about microfinance funds, known in the industry as microfinance investment vehicles (MIVs). “By collecting data on MIVs and making them available to the public, investors will be able to compare microfinance funds, just as they do other capital market investments,” says MicroRate’s founder and CEO, Damian von Stauffenberg.
MicroRate’s proposal, selected through a competitive peer review process that included leading business executives and development authorities, was chosen for its use of rigorous and innovative research approaches to address this important question within enterprise solutions to poverty.
MicroRate is the premier international microfinance rating agency, dedicated to evaluating microfinance institutions (MFIs). Since its inception, MicroRate has done over 450 ratings in Latin America, Africa and Eastern Europe. As the first organization of its kind, MicroRate was founded to promote effectiveness and growth in microfinance by providing independent evaluations to create transparency and facilitate the flow of funds from capital markets to this sector.
“SEVEN is pleased to have partnered with MicroRate to support this effort,” says Fund co-Director Andreas Widmer. “MicroRate is uniquely positioned to help address this critical issue for the microfinance sector as it further integrates into global markets.”
This competition was initially supported through a generous grant from the John Templeton Foundation.
SEVEN (Social Equity Venture Fund) is a virtual non-profit entity run by entrepreneurs whose strategy is to markedly increase the rate of innovation and diffusion of enterprise-based solutions to poverty. It does this by targeted investment that fosters thought leadership through books, films and websites; supporting role models - whether they are entrepreneurs or innovative firms - in developing nations; and shaping a new discourse in government, the press and the academy around private sector innovation, prosperity and progressive human values.
MicroRate is the premier microfinance rating agency, dedicated to evaluating performance and risk in microfinance institutions (MFIs). As the oldest and most well-respected organization of its kind, MicroRate was founded to promote growth in the microfinance industry by facilitating fund-ing flows through independent evaluation and increased transparency. Since its founding in 1997, MicroRate has conducted over 450 ratings of 200 MFIs throughout Latin America, Africa and Europe.
Entrepreneurs create products, services and jobs. They expand economies, improve people's lives, provide employment (high and rising wages) and bring about competition. A competitive environment, in turn, gives rise to efficiency, meritocracy and further innovations and entrepreneurial drive.
The potent combination of entrepreneurship and technological innovation can forge an environment that is conducive to further enterprise, involving even government policy in supporting entrepreneurship and innovation.