Kaah International Microfinance Services (KIMS) has been named the 2017 recipient of the Ethical Finance Innovation Challenge and Awards (EFICA), which is co-organised by Thomson Reuters and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank.
KIMS beat UK-based asset management firm Arabesque and Malaysia’s retirement savings fund the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) for the $100,000 prize. The two runner-ups received $20,000 each.
The three finalists were selected by an advisory board of Islamic finance experts, out of 100 entries from across the world. Following a final pitch to audience members at the EFICA gala dinner held in Dubai this evening, KIMS won with the majority of the audience’s vote.
This is the fifth consecutive EFICA awarded for innovative solutions that promote ethical practice in the financial services industry.
Dr Ahmad Mohamed Ali Al Madani, the former president of Islamic Development Bank and Islamic Development Bank Group was awarded the EFICA Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to the Islamic finance industry.
THE THREE FINALISTS
Formally known as Kaah Islamic Microfinance Institution, KIMS is Somalia’s only dedicated privately-owned microfinance institution, providing responsible and Shariah-compliant financing and micro-savings to micro and small businesses in the country.
According to KIMS, it has provided over $8 million in financing to more than 8,000 Somali entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) since its launch in 2014. Those who have benefitted include refugee returnees, Internally Displaced Persons and groups at risk of leaving the country in search of work.
Arabesque is behind the free-to-use proprietary tool, Arabesque S-Ray, which assesses the performance of more than 6,000 of the world’s biggest corporations, allowing consumers and investors to make better informed investment decisions through assessing companies based on metrics covering principles of the United Nations Global Compact, Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) and the types of activities they are involved in.
As one of the world’s largest and oldest pension funds, Malaysia’s Employees Provident Fund (EPF) recently introduced a Shariah-compliant pension scheme for its 15 million members.