First Mifos X Customers Going Live! – Taking Elevate Africa to New Heights

2013 will be the year we transition the community over to the new Mifos X platform. We chose to start simple with individual lending support as the scope of our first application built top of the platform. Already this individual lending app is being used by several MFIs in production. Over the coming weeks we’re going to highlight some of our first beta-testers who have been using Mifos X. In this post, we’ll take a look at Elevate Africa, led by Henrik Esbensen – empowering entrepreneurs of West Africa through an in-depth individual lending model. Henrik ran into some challenges in using the current versions of Mifos so he was eager to be a pilot Mifos X user to take advantage of the flexibility it would enable.

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Our Development Philosophy

John and Keith Woodlock have followed a requirements-driven development philosophy as they’ve built out the core for Mifos X. They along with several Specialists in the community including Conflux Technologies, Hugo Technologies, and SolDevelo have been working closely with select MFIs to build out applications that will support the various methodologies of bringing financial services to the poor. All development has been based directly on user requirements that we have been rapidly testing and iterating on with these pilot users. We are now rolling out functionalities to fully support group lending methodologies with a target of having Mifos X reach feature parity with Mifos 2.6 by mid-2013.

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Specialist Spotlight – SolDevelo

We like to focus in on our Specialists every once a while, recognizing their contributions and providing a more personal glimpse into their organization and team. This time around we’re taking a closer look at SolDevelo. SolDevelo has been playing a crucial role as the technical stewards of the Mifos 2.0 codebase. Head over to the COSM blog to read about each member of the team and what their plans are for Mifos in 2013 including continued expansion of their hosted service, MifCloud.

Specialist Spotlight – Sol Develo

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This regular blog series will shine the light on some of our top Specialists. 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 Specialists 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. Specialists don’t stop there as many are also developing and localizing the product to fit their local market.  For all these reasons, COSM is focusing it energy on making these Specialists 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.

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Announcing the Esha K Release

Development is underway on the final major functional release on the Mifos 2.0 codebase. Since this will be the last feature development before before we transition development over to Mifos X, we wanted this to be a big release that closes many existing gaps. This is definitely the case as we’re tackling a number of areas across the product.

Esha – Our Inspirational Marie

This last major release is code-named Esha K in recognition of Esha Omar Athman, a borrower  at Fursa Leo in Mombasa, Kenya.  Esha has been a client at Fursa Leo since July 26, 2011.  In that time, she has taken out 3 business loans and has significantly expanded her business enabling her to uplift the living standards of her family through a new home, better meal, and sending her son to school.

Esha came to Fursa Leo, eight months pregnant seeking start-up capital for her failing ice cube business while her husband struggled to help them pay their bill and provide for their family.  Through Fursa Leo’s mandatory financial literacy program and graduation through three larger loan cycles, Esha has brought her humble ice cube business from failure to prosperity.

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FINA and MFC launch Mifos in Laos

fina_mfcAnother one of the markets where Mifos has gone untouched is Laos.  FINA in coordination with the Microfinance Center of Laos is setting out to change that.  As of the Mifos 2.3 release, the software has been fully translated into Lao by FinA and MFC. Localizing Mifos into Lao is only one of the barriers that must be overcome. Kakhaber and his team are working to address the gaps to support the various forms of microfinance practiced by the MFIs, village banks, projects, and associations throughout Lao.  FINA is strongly committed to providing this region access to open source software and open access to financing resources for the poor.

To promote Mifos and help MFIs learn about the services available to them, the Mifos Lao language website has been launched at http://lao.mifos.biz. The website was designed by FINA and translated into Lao by MFC. Please visit the Mifos Lao portal for a tailored experience to learn about how FINA can support your Mifos needs in Laos.

Quipu Technology leads first Mifos Deployment in Latin America

Latin America is home to one of the most vibrant and mature microfinance sectors in the world. Many MFIs could benefit from our technology and we could learn from the many pioneering MFIs throughout the region. Unfortunately because of language barriers in both our documentation and virtual community collaboration, the Mifos presence in Latin America has been limited to date. That is beginning to change as Quipu Technology and other service providers expand throughout the region.

Quipu Technology recently went live with the first Mifos deployment in Latin America at Fundación Inversión y Cooperación.  Under the umbrella of “Qloud Inclusion” concept for an “Integral Vision of Microfinance for Social Inclusion”, Mr. Oswaldo Lechuga, General Manager of Quipu, is looking to expand across Peru and deliver technology and consulting services throughout Latin America – we’ll detail their plans in a future post with more on Quipu Technology. Oswaldo Lechuga and Milagros Mendoza recounted their experiences deploying Mifos at Fundación I y C in the questions below.

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Quipu Technology leads first Mifos Deployment in Latin America

Latin America is home to one of the most vibrant and mature microfinance sectors in the world. Many MFIs could benefit from our technology and we could learn from the many pioneering MFIs throughout the region. Unfortunately because of language barriers in both our documentation and virtual community collaboration, the Mifos presence in Latin America has been limited to date. That is beginning to change as Quipu Technology and other service providers expand throughout the region.

Quipu Technology recently went live with the first Mifos deployment in Latin America at Fundación Inversión y Cooperación.  Under the umbrella of “Qloud Inclusion” concept for an “Integral Vision of Microfinance for Social Inclusion”, Mr. Oswaldo Lechuga, General Manager of Quipu, is looking to expand across Peru and deliver technology and consulting services throughout Latin America – we’ll detail their plans in a future post with more on Quipu Technology. Oswaldo Lechuga and Milagros Mendoza recounted their experiences deploying Mifos at Fundación I y C in the questions below.

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Outreach on the Ground – May 2012

Head over to the COSM blog for this past month’s Outreach on the Ground blog series. For May, we’re featuring stories exploring the theme of product and service development.  MFIs have a myriad ways towards delivering financial services to the poor.  We’d like to share details on the approaches of various Mifos users:

  • Housing and Water Purifier Loans at Grameen Koota
  • Transitioning to the MwaK program at Nuru
  • A Closer Look at Lumana – Rainmakers interview with Sammie Rayner
  • Missions of Hope International funding entrepreneurship through coffee

Specialist Spotlight: Hugo Technologies

This month we want to bring attention to the strong work that Hugo Technologies is doing in the Mifos community. They are supporting Mifos customers and building new functionality not only in India but in multiple continents around the world. This post is part of the regular blog series, Specialist Spotlight, on the COSM blog that will shine the light on some of our top Specialists. 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 Specialists are one of the most crucial links in our community – they are the driving force that is promoting and supporting Mifos worldwide.

Head over to the COSM blog to read about Hugo Technologies and their global push.

Profamilia Goes Live with Mifos in Mozambique

IMG-20110808-00006Great news from Mozambique as we have another Mifos deployment live and another Mifos user to welcome to the community.  Miguel and Natu from Iniciativa Mifos Moçambique just finished implementing Mifos at Profamilia Moçambique.  Miguel is leading efforts to promote and distribute Mifos all throughout Southern Africa – his team has successfully brought the Mifos technology to Associação Progresso in Cabo Delgado, Mozambique and to Kongalend Financial Services in Namibia. Beyond Mozambique, their team is seeking out additional Mifos users to add to the community in Zambia and Cape Verde.

Profamilia Moçambique’s microfinance operations serve the province of Inhambane, benefiting the populations of the districts of Inhambane, Zavala, Inharime, Morrumbene through the provision of more inclusive financial services. They target their solidarity group loans at low income customers, particularly women.

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