Pakistan-based microfinance organization Wasil Foundation was declared the winner of the Islamic Microfinance Challenge 2014. The global contest is organized by CGAP every year to identify innovative Sharia-compliant financial products.
Islamic Microfinance Challenge 2014
The theme of this years Islamic Microfinance Challenge was “Beyond Murabaha.” and the contest received entries from microfinance institutions based in more than 11 countries.
The Challenge is co-sponsored by the Islamic Development Bank, Al Baraka Banking and Triple Jump. The main aim of the challenge is to spur innovation in an Islamic microfinance market where there is growing demand, but also a narrow product offering, focused mainly around murabaha – a cost-plus-markup product geared toward asset purchases.
Judges of the Islamic Microfinance Challenge selected Wasil’s entry – an “Agricultural Financing Package” of salam and ijara products – for its impact on the lives of its clients, the sustainability of the offering and its potential to scale up in Pakistan and in other predominantly Muslim countries.The winner Wasil Foundation will receive a US$ 100,000 grant award (Rs 60 Lakh).
Other finalists of the Islamic Microfinance Challenge included Sudan’s Bank of Khartoum and the Kyrgyz microfinance institution Kompanion Invest. Both submitted profit- and loss-sharing mudaraba products, which split risk between the institutions and their clients.