Belstar Investment and Finance, a microfinance institution operating principally in the Southern Indian states of Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry, has received an investment of approximately US$900,000 from the Norwegian Microfinance Initiative (NMI) Frontier Fund.
Other investors include the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Swedfund (the Swedish Development Finance Institution), and Aavishkaar Goodwell, an India-focused Microfinance Investment Vehicle.
Belstar is a non-bank financial company that is affiliated with Hand-in-Hand, a large, well-established non-governmental organization (NGO) focused on livelihood promotion. Hand-in-Hand is converting its microfinance activities from NGO to for-profit status and is transferring its microfinance clients and infrastructure to Belstar.
Belstar will focus on providing loans to low-income households that are unable to access such services from commercial banks.
In conjunction with the investment, NMI will have a seat on the board of directors of Belstar.