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More than 500 million Microentrepreneurs Worldwide

According to estimates, there are approximately 500 million microentrepreneurs across the globe. Approximately 200 million of these entrepreneurs currently receive loans from MFI s, which in turn – apart from public funding – are predominantly refinanced from commercial sources such as investment funds in addition to public and private contributions. Among the most important providers of this type of fund is responsAbility Social Investments AG. which was co-founded by Credit Suisse.

Our Engagement

Credit Suisse offers its clients investment opportunities in the area of microfinance. It also gives microfinance institutions access to the capital markets through the investment bank and facilitates market development and innovation through the Microfinance Capacity Building Initiative.

Because of the large and constantly growing demand for small loans and other financial services, microfinance institutions (MFI s) need access to refinancing, for example through so-called Microfinance Investment Vehicles (MIV). Demand for microfinance investments is rising steadily as they yield both financial and social returns.

Credit Suisse was one of the first financial institutions in Switzerland to recognize the potential of microloans. We have been involved in this field at various levels for many years. For example, together with partner banks we founded responsAbility Social Investments AG in 2001 and now offer a range of microfinance investment funds in conjunction with this company.

  • By mid-2013, the responsAbility Global Microfinance Fund, which reported more than 850 million in assets under management, had provided loans to over 650’000 microentrepreneurs in 66 countries through more than 200 microfinance institutions (MFI).
  • A private equity fund that was launched in 2007 also enables investors to participate directly in small and medium-sized enterprises and microfinance institutions. At the same time, we offer various investment and advisory services

    in the microfinance sector.

  • At the beginning of 2011, we included the IC Asia Women Microfinance Fund in our range of products. This fund is a MIV that focuses on the region as well as women in particular.

responsAbility funds currently invest in more than 350 MFIs in 70 countries, serving more than 700’000 microentrepreneurs. They offer investors access to the worldwide microfinance market, enabling them to invest in a mixture of established and newer, smaller institutions that provide loans to microentrepreneurs.

Credit Suisse has also successfully engaged the sector by providing a variety of advisory services including the landmark IPO for Banco Compartamos in April 2007 and the Indian microfinance institution SKS in July 2010. Since 2005, Credit Suisse has also sponsored various international and regional conferences and symposia in the area of microfinance.

Developing Microfinance Institutions and Innovation

Around the world, only a fraction of those who need financial services are able to access them. Traditional microcredits and savings programs have proven to be effective solutions for micro entrepreneurs and low-income households in developing countries. However, as their financial needs evolve, so does the demand for more sophisticated products and services from microfinance institutions. Through the Microfinance Capacity Building initiative (MCBI), Credit Suisse works with Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) to strengthen their ability to serve the increasingly diverse financial needs of clients living at the BOP. This is done by developing MFIs’ know-how and expertise to better serve clients and innovate at the BOP and also fostering industry knowledge sharing and exchange of expertise.

Microfinance Capacity Building Initiative

The Microfinance Capacity Building Initiative aims to foster market development and innovation by strengthening Microfinance Institutions' ability to serve the increasingly diverse financial needs at the base of the pyramid.

Category: Payday loans

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