Fintech Forum – “A Complete Guide to SHGs”

Here at the Mifos Initiative we are going to begin posting a rundown of the most pressing topics and trends in fintech for financial inclusion providing you a place to follow the latest news and a forum to openly discuss what’s happening with other members of our open source community. This is the second article of this campaign. Expect to see these on our blog on a weekly basis.

Typically we’ll post snippets from several announcements or articles on a topic but this week, we’re lucky enough to have one of our partners, Habile Technologies, share a post from their blog on Self-Help Groups:

Self-help groups. Sound familiar? Perhaps you recognize the name, but do you truly understand what a self-help group is? Well, thanks to Shivasankari Bhuvaneswaran, now you can truly grasp the origination, concepts, and practices of a SHG.

Shivasankari dives into the topic of self-help groups and presents them in a detailed manner so the reader can realize their dramatic impact. Read the blog post here to learn how SHGs are playing a crucial role in “promoting gender-equality, economic independence, political participation, shared responsibility, and social development”.

Learn more about Habile Technologies by visiting their website at www.habiletechnologies.com. They’re always posting insightful information on financial inclusion and fintech.

Fintech Forum – “Mobility in Lending”

Here at the Mifos Initiative we are going to begin posting a rundown of the most pressing topics and trends in fintech for financial inclusion providing you a place to follow the latest news and a forum to openly discuss what’s happening with other members of our open source community. This is the first article of this campaign. Expect to see these on our blog on a bi-weekly basis.

Typically we’ll post snippets from several announcements or articles on a topic but this week, we’re lucky enough to have one of our partners, Habile Technologies, share a post from their blog on Mobility in Lending:

Mobile phones are completely changing the lending sector. Mobility is unlocking the full potential of the lending process. The overall TAT (turnaround time) of the loan process can be significantly reduced with the emergence of these new technologies. Mobility is improving the efficiency, transparency, and user experience of the loan process. A once cluttered and confusing cycle can be simplified to a smooth and productive process. Learn how mobility is granting access to financial services to individuals coming from underdeveloped countries who once lacked the proper tools to be reach their true potential.

Read “How Mobility is transforming the Lending Sector” written beautifully by Shivasankari Bhuvaneswaran. Shivasankari comes from our partner organization, Habile Technologies. Habile Technologies, based out of Chennai, India, has proven to be very active in the Mifos community. We like to feature their post as they join us in the fight for financial inclusion. Read the entire post here!

Learn more about Habile Technologies by visiting their website at www.habiletechnologies.com. They’re always posting insightful information on financial inclusion and fintech.

 

Star Contributor of the Month – Raunak Sett

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We are recognizing Raunak Sett, one of our great GSOC interns, as our Star Contributor for the month of August. Before, during, and hopefully for many years to come, Raunak has been a rock star contributor to the Mifos Community, going above and beyond in everything he touches. On top of building out a beautiful online banking app for customers, he has shared his design expertise by providing the UI design for both the Android mobile banking app and collection sheet in the field officer app. He is always patient and so ready to help customers and others in the community – on our weekly check-ins, Raunak is always eager and willing to share advice and lessons to help his fellow interns. A recent graduate from the University of Delhi, Raunak has a very bright future ahead of him. Join us in thanking Raunak for all of his hard work and contributions to the Mifos community!
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Partner Spotlight – iDT Labs

This regular blog series will shine the light on some of our top Partners. Not only do we want to recognize them for their accomplishments, we want others to learn from the approach they’ve taken to promote and implement Mifos.

Mifos Partners are one of the most crucial links in our community – they are the driving force that is promoting and supporting Mifos worldwide.  Aside from championing our product and bringing the Mifos technology to new markets, they act as the fundamental bridge feeding in MFI requirements to be developed by the community. Partners don’t stop there as many are also developing and localizing the product to fit their local market.  For all these reasons, we focus our full energy on making Partners successful – they are the primary channel to market, the eyes and ears on the ground, and the entrepreneurial force that will help us sustainably scale. We’d love to recognize your partner organization in this monthly spotlight so please reach out if you’d like to be featured.

In this month’s Partner Spotlight we are featuring iDT Labs from Sierra Leone. Their team is led by Salton Massally and are bringing forth an innovative complete banking as a service solution to Sierra Leone and the neighboring countries. Salton and his team are fully committed to the community and are working on contributing back enhancements they’re making.

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Connecting The Mifos Community Through Mobilize

We here at the Mifos Initiative have begun to use mobilize for our communication needs. We strongly encourage you to create an account, which is free and takes under five minutes. Mobilize, a “communication hub for large groups”, allows members of the Mifos global community to stay connected. Everyone knows that communication is key. Through Mobilize, Mifos community members can communicate on a global scale.

Mobilize will be used to power communications within our chapters, collaboration amongst our volunteers, and to connect partners and customers in our marketplace.

At its broadest level, we also aim to use Mobilize to create a global directory, allowing the members of our community to collaborate. Whether you join a local chapter, our volunteer group, or the Jobs Board, you’ll have global profile so everyone can put a face to your name.

Mifos local chapters can use Mobilize to chat, discuss topics, promote their chapter, share files, conduct polls and surveys, and create events and manage a chapter calendar. 

Mifos volunteers can use Mobilize to work together on projects, even if they are working from separate continents.

Our Mifos partners can use Mobilize to respond to jobs posted on our “Mifos Jobs Board” that require assistance for solutions built on the Apache Fineract platform.

Below are some links to join our groups on Mobilize

Star Contributor of the Month – Mexina Daniel

 

We’re recognizing Mexina Daniel of Singo Africa from Dar es Salaam, as our Star Contributor. Mexina has been one of our most active community members, making a storm of contribution on our mailing lists, wiki, and issue trackers in her role as lead software developer. She has reported nearly 3 dozen bugs, requested multiple new features including specifications for Fixed Asset Management, and fixed 10 bugs. Mexina is thorough in all her work and deeply committed to the community. Join us in thanking Mexina for her valuable efforts and we look forward to more of her leadership as Singo Africa expands its presence in Tanzania and beyond.  Read more

Google Code-In Grand Prize Trip

I remember the day, around 2 weeks before the GCI was scheduled to start, when I told Edward Cable, “Ed! I have my last semester exams from 15th November to 15th December. So I won’t be able to apply in GCI as a mentor!”. However, by the end of the week, I had realised that the organisation had given me a lot. So, I changed my mind and decided to give it a try!

During the GCI period, it was common for students to ask for help, so I talked to them, and discussed with them about various things like git and Android, helping them resolve their issues.

Believe me when I say, I wasn’t aware of the trip to Google until late January. I came to know about it from a friend, and my reaction was all surprised. “What! Which trip? Where? Where was this mentioned?”

On 7th February, I got an email from my the head of my organisation, Edward Cable, stating that I had been selected for the Google Trip. The same was confirmed by Mary Radomile soon enough.

I was extremely excited to meet Stephanie Taylor, Mary Radomile and the Open Source team.

Dinner at Google San Francisco Office (Day 1)

Anubha, the mentor from an organization called Systers, and I started out day by meeting with Edward Cable, followed by a visit to the Facebook headquarters and the LinkedIn office, both being great experiences! We came back to Hyatt Regency, San Francisco, to meet the Google Open Source team.

Later that day, I met Stephanie Taylor, Helen Hu, Mary Radomile and Josh Simmons. I felt proud! Once we had all gathered in the hotel lobby and collected our badges, we went to the Google office. There, we met with Cat Allman, one of the core members of open source team. It was extremely great meeting each of them!

As if it wasn’t already great, all the students and mentors were given various goodies (T-shirts, stickers, notebooks and a jacket for mentors, an awesome backpack for the students). To top it all off, specially for a foodie like me, we got to dig into the awesome food at Google. We spent an hour, eating and talking to the other mentors I was with: Damini Satya, Milindu Sanoj Kumarage, Rostyslav Zatserkovnyi, Anubha Kushwaha, Ignacio Rodríguez, Sam Reed and Ben Ockmore. We interacted with various students present there, with their parents. It was a great experience, and a view of several cultures all at once. Read more

Star Contributor of the Month – Maulik Soneji

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We’re recognizing Maulik Soneji  from Gandhinagar, India, as our Star Contributor for March. Maulik has only been a part of the Mifos community for a couple of months but in that time he’s really demonstrated his commitment to our cause for many years to come. It’s rare when you get volunteers that proactively come and are eager to contribute. Maulik showed up with an interest in mentoring for GSOC and immediately begin working with Mohit on the re-skinned Community App. He’s been an enthusiastic supporter of other contributors and always has great ideas to help improve our apps and our collaboration. He’s deeply aware of Fintech from his experience at Morgan Stanley and is eager to use that knowledge to help those at the Base of the Pyramid. We’re looking forward to working Maulik as a mentor for this GSOC and seeing all the impact he’ll have on our community.  Read more

ThitsaWorks Hosts Fintech Workshop for Myanmar

The following is a guest post from May Thu Myint, Communications Officer of ThitsaWorks, Inc. I had the pleasure of attending and speaking at their workshop which was attended by more than 160 individuals and 17 different media outlets!

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On Monday March 13, ThitsaWorks held an event in Yangon titled ‘Fintech for Myanmar’s Financial Sector: How to Grow and Manage Risk in Microfinance by Leveraging Technologies’. Held at the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI), the event was well attended and brought together people from the microfinance and banking sector of Myanmar, technology providers and media. The opening remarks were given by Dr. Maung Maung Lay, the vice-President of UMFCCI.

Then Nyi Nyein Aye, the CEO of ThitsaWorks, gave a presentation on ThitsaWorks, as well as the microfinance landscape in Myanmar. According to Nyi, with a high mobile penetration rate and 70% of population living in rural area in Myanmar, digital financial services are key to financial inclusion. The estimates show that the demand for credit is four times that of current supply and there is a huge potential for MFIs to grow.

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Star Contributor of the Month – Mohit Kumar Bajoria

screen-shot-2017-02-24-at-10-52-45-pmWe’re recognizing Mohit Kumar Bajoria of Jammu, India. Mohit has been a member of our community since he joined us a GSOC intern in March of 2016 and worked on adding browser-based offline access to the Community App underneath the mentorship of Gaurav. Since then he’s continued to excel and be an active part of the community first by acting as a GCI mentor and now by taking the initiative to fix the remaining bugs in the re-skin so it can be shipped to the community. These past couple of weeks, Mohit has really demonstrated his leadership by stepping up to become maintainer of the re-skin branch all on his own doing – he’s been mentoring other contributors, squashing lots of bugs, and reviewing and merging incoming pull requests. This call to leadership has been opportune as we seek empowered individuals from the community to stabilize and maintain Generation 2 as we transition to Generation 3. 
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