Jul 09, 2020
How pivoting from auditing to advising helps financial institutions manage risk during COVID-19 By Richard Shumann,Chief Risk Officer for Vitas Group
This blog entry was originally published on FinDev Gateway   Internal auditors are an essential component of microfinance providers’ internal control and risk management functions, but how should they react to a sudden crisis? Experience in Vitas Group shows that a quick pivot from auditing to advising, supported by management and collaboration among auditors, helps financial institutions adjust internal controls and manage risk. Vitas Group operates micro and small enterprise... Read more
Jun 22, 2020
The COVID-19 crisis has severely impacted the business community around the world. Small businesses in developing economies have been hit particularly hard. Countries like Iraq and Lebanon were experiencing social and political unrest as the pandemic struck, while Jordan and Palestine were already facing economic recessions, further compounding their problems. This report summarizes the results of a COVID-19 client survey among Vitas Group network institutions. Surveys were conducted in May 2020 with clients in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine and Romania, where Vitas served a combined 90,298 active clients and an... Read more
Apr 07, 2020
As in other countries, COVID-19 has led to lockdown in major cities in Iraq and is exerting pressure on the healthcare sector all over the country. As medical facilities and municipal services are essential to sustain overall continuity, Vitas Iraq, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Global Communities, is supporting these organizations with a series of humanitarian initiatives. In one province, a team of Vitas Iraq staff distributed healthcare kits including facial masks, medical gloves and gowns, alcohol and medical disinfectants, and laser thermometers to several hospital emergency units. Masks were also given to local security forces who are working hard to enforce order through this critical time. Vitas Iraq also participated in a municipal conference where measures aiming to contain the... Read more
Mar 23, 2020
Babylon Province Wednesday, 18-3-2020 The corona crisis hit Iraq hard, imposing lockdown in major cities and exerting pressure on the healthcare sector all over the country. As medical facilities and municipal services are essential to sustain overall continuity, Vitas Iraq set a new objective to support these organizations with a series of humanitarian initiatives. The first event was carried out in Hilla, Babylon province, where a team of Vitas Iraq staff set off to distribute healthcare kits including 20 000 facial masks, 12 000 medical gloves, 64 medical costumes, 100 liters of alcohol, 25 liters of medical disinfectants, and 16 laser thermometers to several hospital ECU units. A part of the facial masks was also given out to local security forces divisions, who are working hard to... Read more
Feb 22, 2020
Vitas Group, created by Global Communities is a for-profit holding company that operates a network of microfinance companies, predominantly in the Middle East. They are a unique group of companies with more than twenty years of proven track record of successfully lending to micro, small, and medium enterprises and the only such investment vehicle for impact investors in the region. Since 2004, Vitas companies have disbursed more than $3 billion to over 1 million customers with an annual default rate below two percent. Every two years, Vitas Group surveys clients in its affiliated institutions to assess customer satisfaction, the impact of loans... Read more
Jun 05, 2019
Vitas Group recently issued a report including a Gender Action Plan that seeks to offer tailored services and a better understanding of the needs of women clients, which is expected to result in improved retention and outreach for borrowers. Vitas Group is a Global Communities enterprise established in 2006 as a microfinance holding company with subsidiaries in Lebanon, Romania, Jordan and Palestine, and affiliates in Iraq and Egypt. In 2018 the Vitas Group launched the Vitas Values Equality initiative to raise awareness and secure from all tiers of management a commitment to embracing gender equality across the network. Then in March of this year Vitas Iraq,... Read more
Dec 15, 2018
Message from Elissa McCarter-LaBorde, CEO of Vitas Group The year 2017 marked several exciting developments for Vitas Group. We signed shareholders agreements and closed investments with new commercial partners in Lebanon and Egypt. Saradar Bank purchased a 49 percent stake in Vitas Lebanon and committed $20 million in new debt financing to expand our footprint across the country. Saradar Bank is a premier financial institution in Lebanon and has been at the center of Lebanese banking for over 60 years. Egyptian private equity firm BPE Partners, through its new subsidiary “Ebtikar,” entered a 50/50 joint venture to launch Vitas Egypt. Vitas Egypt will be the first microfinance company in the country... Read more
Dec 10, 2018
By Elissa McCarter-LaBorde, CEO of Vitas Group. Originally published on the Center for Financial Inclusion website. In 2014, Vitas launched a special needs loan program in Iraq, made available to people with disabilities (PwDs), particularly youth. The loan amounts range from US $100 to $3,000. Our current portfolio of almost $200,000 includes nearly 300 clients. What was the need for a product to reach this segment? We realized that there were huge negative misperceptions around and persistent stigmas associated with PwDs. People who are blind, deaf, partially paralyzed, have missing limbs, or have other special... Read more
Feb 09, 2018
Building Economic Prosperity in Iraq, One Small Loan at a Time For a long time, Nada Khoudair considered herself an ordinary housewife and mother who took pride in her role of taking care of her family. But her view of herself altered dramatically when her husband passed away and she found herself the sole breadwinner for herself and her son. She rose to the challenge and opened a small hair styling salon. The space was small and needed a lot of renovations, but she was determined to make it work so she could support herself and keep her son in school. Nada was barely covering her expenses when she learned about CHF Vitas Iraq, a finance institution that provides small- and medium-sized loans to Iraqi entrepreneurs and homeowners. The first loan she took out allowed her to purchase modern... Read more
Aug 14, 2017
Vitas Group Publishes 2016 Annual Report Vitas Group was created in 2006 to help unite the commercially-oriented microfinance institutions owned by Global Communities under one brand and one mission: Financing a Better World. Vitas Group’s staff around the world still worked tirelessly to bring that mission to life. Vitas Group is proud to share this 2016 Annual Report, to showcase the ways our work has a positive social and financial impact on communities around the world. Despite turmoil and uncertainty in many of the places where we work, Vitas remains a partner for good.... Read more
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