Georgian Representatives Make an Exposure Visit to Romania

A delegation of representatives from the Georgian government, microfinance institutions and agribusinesses made a visit to Cluj-Napoca and Bucharest in Romania between March 5 and March 9, 2017. The visit, organized by Business & Finance Consulting (BFC), took place within in the context of the PAFAI (Promoting Access to Finance and Agri Insurance) project, which is funded by the Swiss Cooperation Office for the South Caucasus (SCO).

Rooting for Kale

Have you heard the stories of a ‘wonder-vegetable’ that is easy to grow, delicious, and extraordinary healthy? It may sound too good to be true, but humans have actually been eating it for thousands of years. Meet Nero di Toscana, a legendary variety of kale.

Trends in Agricultural Finance at the European Microfinance Week 2016

Michael Kortenbusch, Managing Director of Business & Finance Consulting (BFC), hosted a panel discussion on the trends in agricultural finance on November 17, 2016 as part of European Microfinance Week. Mr. Kortenbusch invited Ms. Mariel Mensink, Mr. Bart de Bruyne, Dr. Jonathan Agwe, and Ms. Patricia Richter to each give a brief presentation followed by a discussion regarding an aspect of agricultural finance. In particular, the panel discussed agricultural value chain financing, warehouse receipt lending, and agroinsurance.

APMA and Georgian Insurance Companies Make Exposure Visit to Spain

On October 18–21, 2016, the Agricultural Projects’ Management Agency (APMA) and Georgian insurance company representatives from Aldagi, GPI Holding, Ardi and IC Group visited Madrid, Spain for an exposure visit financed by PAFAI project. The exposure visit was organized by Business & Finance Consulting (BFC) within the framework of the project PAFAI (Promoting Access to Finance and Agri Insurance) funded by Swiss Cooperation Office for the South Caucasus (SCO).

The main aim of the visit was to study the model of the Spanish insurance market and adapt it for use in Georgia. (more…)

Why We Need to Start Talking about Operational Inefficiencies

2pottery_vietnam_11021Can you think of any industry more efficient than microfinance? Every day, lenders around the world master the challenge of lending small sums of money to otherwise disenfranchised clients, all the while tracking portfolio data, managing an array of risks, and conforming to complex banking regulations. Now that most markets have matured, the increased competition has driven them to target ever more challenging groups—all the way down to remote, off-the-grid farmers. In their quest to survive (and turn a profit), microlenders continually focus on increasing efficiency and reducing internal costs, making them champions in operational efficiency.

The only catch to this familiar, compelling narrative: It’s not true.

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