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FINCA provides financial services to the world’s lowest-income entrepreneurs so they can create jobs, build assets and improve their standard of living.
To be a global network collectively serving more poor entrepreneurs than any other MFI while operating on commercial principles of performance and sustainability.
Based in Washington DC, FINCA currently reaches nearly one million clients through its worldwide network of 22 subsidiaries in Africa, Eurasia, the Middle East and South Asia, and Latin America. After 28 years of leadership, FINCA's outreach is among the broadest and most comprehensive of today's microfinance networks.
FINCA International is the parent of the 22 operating Microfinance Institutions (subsidiaries), and manages these global microfinance activities through a holding company that allows us to bring additional resources to our mission.
FINCA International, Inc. is a non-profit entity that raises funds to: drive research and development to enhance microfinance services; create new services that enhance the lives of clients; carry out demographic, market, and social research that allows us to better understand and measure benefits to clients; and maintain FINCA’s ownership level in FINCA Microfinance Holdings. FINCA’s current leadership manages the nonprofit, the holding company, and the network to ensure mission compliance.
FINCA Microfinance Holdings (FMH) is a subsidiary of FINCA International, Inc. that leverages the funding of socially-responsible partners including the International Finance Corporation, an arm of the World Bank, KfWBankengruppe, the German development bank, FMO, the Netherlands development bank, responsAbility Global Microfinance Fund, an investment fund advised by the Zurich-based asset manager responsAbility Social Investments AG, Triple Jump, a Netherlands-based microfinance investment manager, and Triodos Investment Management, owned by Triodos Bank, who all share FINCA’s mission of providing services to low-income people so they can increase their employment, incomes, and standard of living. FINCA’s country-based subsidiaries are held by FMH, creating a global network of shared expertise.
FINCA’s Leadership in the Microfinance Industry
Innovation, Client Commitment, and Highest Business Standards
- FINCA’s structure sets a new standard for the industry as an innovative way to focus on its poverty alleviation mission while mobilizing socially-responsible capital, creating positive social impact and financial sustainability. This model encourages more transparency and higher standards of business practices, meeting the rigorous guidelines of the commercial markets as well as the social expectations of the international donor community.
- FINCA established a Social Performance Audit Committee of the Board of Directors whose charter includes: approving and maintaining social performance indicators developed by FINCA management that promote and measure the social performance outcomes of its programs; ensuring staff receive training to understand the importance of FINCA’s social mission; monitoring organizational activities to ensure that FINCA’s mission remains the basis for client attraction and retention; reporting social performance to donors, investors, oversight agencies, and other constituents; and maintaining and leading the development of best social- and customer-protection practices in the microfinance and sustainable service sectors that are devoted to poverty alleviation.
- In addition, FINCA identifies, pilots, and partners with other service providers to bring new life-enhancement services to clients, and funds cutting-edge research to track the benefits to clients allowing FINCA to better serve them.
- In 2012, 95.6 percent of all funds received by FINCA International were sent to the field to support our programs; 3.0 percent of funds were used to cover administration costs, and 1.4 percent covered fundraising activities.
- FINCA pioneered “village banking,” which brings together groups of between 10 – 30 people in a community, mostly women, who guarantee small loans for each other. These small loans enable them to create income-generating opportunities.
Unique Approach to Each Community
- FINCA provides clients with a range of financial and other products and services, enabling them to improve their livelihoods, including: savings accounts; group and individual loans; credit-life, short-term disability, and hospitalization insurance; home improvement loans; and remittances/bill payment services.
- Each country operation is run by a local team of dedicated professionals that possesses intimate knowledge of the local market. This localized, client-driven approach has facilitated FINCA’s global expansion, and will continue to do so in the coming years.
- Our loan officers are committed to helping clients build successful businesses while ensuring that they are protected from unnecessary risks or over-indebtedness. We participate wherever possible in credit agencies, which are beginning to be established in more of our countries, so that we can determine if a client has other loans that could create excessive debt burdens. Where credit agencies are not available, we seek, through our credit officers on the ground, to obtain information that we can use to make this determination.
- FINCA is a leader in the microfinance industry in setting standards for the protection of microfinance clients. FINCA and hundreds of other MFIs worldwide have drafted and signed on in support of the Smart Microfinance Campaign, a core set of Client Protection Principles, which include avoidance of over-indebtedness and transparent and responsible pricing, to help MFIs practice good ethics and smart business.