It is estimated that some 70% of the population in Latin America is still marginalized from financial services by commercial banks, and in the rural areas only 4% of the families have access to credit through a bank. In this environment, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have played a significant role since the 1980s in delivering microcredits and other financial services in Latin America.  Over the years, some of these NGOs have become specialized in microfinance and event transformed into financial organizations and banks. Consequently, the microfinance industry in Latin America has become a well developed sector, particularly in Bolivia, Peru, Colombia and Nicaragua.


Microfinance in Latin America:  2008 Data Update

Microfinance in Latin America and the Caribbean:  How Large is the Market?

Accion in Latin America & Caribbean

Microfinance in Latin America and The Caribbean (MIX Market)

New Analysis of Microfinance in Latin America and the Caribbean (2011)


Microfinance in Brazil: Country Profile.  Lists 36 microfinance institutions with 824,026 borrowers and loans of USD 936.6 million (2009).

Accion Microfinancas. Accion International partnered with Crediamigo, the largest microfinance bank in Brazil, currently serving over 235,000 microentrepreneurs.

Microfinance in Brazil: Government Polices and Their Effects.  An analysis of the regulations on microfinance adopted by the President of Brazil.

Microfinance in Brazil.  Discusses the history of microfinance in Brazil and calls for the opening of the largely untapped microfinance market in Brazil.

The 2009 Brazil Microfinance Analysis & Benchmarking Report (in Portugese).   Examines outreach and scale, funding structure, financial performance, efficiency and productivity, and portfolio quality of the microfinance market in Brazil.  Despite its wealth some 22% of its population lives in poverty.  Report in Spanish.

Microfinance in Brazil: Unibanco’s Experience. The experience with microfinance by a private retail bank in Brazil.

Decreasing Inequality in Brazil Through Microfinance.  Outlines the history of microfinance in Brazil and the role of the Central Bank in promoting the microfinance industry.


Microfinance in Bolivia: Country Briefing. Discusses the role of the Financial System Supervisory Authority (ASFI), which controls and supervises economic activities in Bolivia including the securities and insurance sectors.

Microfinance in Bolivia: Country Profile.  Lists 27 microfinance institutions with USD 1.9 billion in loans and 855,775 active borrowers (2009).

Microcredit and the Poorest of the Poor – Theory and Evidence from Bolivia.  Examines five microcredit institutions and the social worth of these organizations.


Microfinance in Colombia:Country Profile. Lists 34 microfinance institutions with 2.2 million active borrowers and USD 3.9 billion in loans (2009).

Bancamia brings microfinance to Colombia’s farmers.  The bank formed out of two charities in 2008 and lends to small farmers.

Usuary Rates in Colombia.  Reviews current rates and the government’s control and intervention over interest rates and unique calculations by the microfinance industry.

Corposol/Finansol: Preliminary Analysis of an Institutional Crisis in Microfinance.  Analyzes a model introduced by Accion International.

Microfinance and Peace in Colombia.  Following 45 years of conflict in Colombia, microfinance could help rebuild the social and economic fabric of the country.

microDinero.  Offers news and information about the microfinance industry in Colombia.


MFIs in Ecuador:  Country Profile.  Lists 53 microfinance institutions with 667,696 active clients and USD 1.3 billion in loans (2009).

Status of Consumer Protection in Ecuador.  Despite a weak and dollarized economy (since 2000), the microenterprise sector in Ecuador employs a substantial percentage of the workforce. Increased availability of microfinance in Ecuador cam from the  “Strengthening Access to Microfinance and Economic Liberation” (SALTO) introduced in 2003.

Las Microfinanzas en Ecuador.  In Quito, many people depend on street-vending as their main source of income.


Microfinance in Haiti: Country Profile. Eight MFIs are listed, with 89,174 borrowers and total loans of USD 56.9 million (2010).

2010 Annual Report by Fonkoze, the leading microfinance institution in Haiti.  It is Haiti’s Alternative Bank for the Organized Poor, offering a full range of financial services .

Haiti’s Path to Recovery. Post earthquake (2010) disaster and impact on microfinance institutions.

Tracking Mobile Money Use in Haiti. Review the use of m-money in Haiti and recent survey results.


Microfinance in Mexico: Country Profile.  Lists 57 microfinance institutions with 4.6 million active borrowers and USD 2.7 billion in loans (2009).

Microfinance Regulation in Mexico: Lessons and Challenges Ahead.  This is a review of recent regulation changes on the Popular Savings and Loans Sector, with a special emphasis in the current regulatory and supervision framework
for the Microfinance Institutions.

Is the Mexican Microfinance Sector approaching crisis point? Reviews some failures of the microfinance to produce practical lessons of microfinance and the impact of the global financial crisis on the microfinance industry.

Mexico: Cost of microcredit in Mexico is among most expensive.  The Inter-American Development Bank stated that Mexico has the highest interest rates for microfinance in Latin America.


Microfinance in Nicaragua: Country Profile. Lists 33 microfinance institutions with 392,291 active borrowers and USD 472.7 million in outstanding loans (2009).

Nicaraguan Microfinance in Crisis (2009).  Politically motivated, the No Payment Movement (Moviemiento No Pago) was started by a group of borrowers of microloans.

Macroeconomic environment in Nicaragua.  Impacted by the global financial crisis in 2009.

Nicaragua’s Microfinance Crisis: Looking Back, What Did We Learn? The financial crisis and the No Pago movement deeply affected the microfinance sector in Nicaragua. However, the International Monetary Fund put some pressure on the government to support the microfinance sector.


El Futuro de las Microfinanzas (2011).  La Banca de las Oportunidades y el Desarrollo de Microfinanzas en el Peru.  En los últimos años hemos visto en el Perú, como algunas Instituciones de Microfinanzas……

Microfinance in Peru: Country Profile.  Lists 65 microfinance institutions with 3 million active borrowers and USD 5.4 billion in outstanding loans (2009).

El Futuro de las Microfinanzas.  From a Peruvian perspective.

The Microfinance Sector in Peru: Opportunities, Challenges and Empowerment with Gender Mainstreaming. History of microfinance in Peru.

Summary of Client Protection in Peru. The economic changes Peru has experienced since the 1980’s have directly affected its consumers. Consequently, Peru has strived to strengthen its consumer protection framework.

IBM launches microfinance IT service platform in Peru.  The conditions for investment and growth in Peru prompted IBM to develop a center to provide microfinance services in this South American country (2010).

IFC to invest USD 4.6 million in Peru’s microfinance institution. This will help Caja Nuestra Gente expand its operations in rural areas and among low-income urban communities in Peru.