• Most MFIs began as charitable and/or donor-supported programs to provide sustainable financing for the poor; carried out under the auspices of non-governmental organizations (e.g. Opportunity International, Mercy Corps)

  • In the 1980s and 1990s, many MFIs began transforming into for-profit entities.

  • Since the 1990’s, many microfinance organizations transformed into MFI’s, both regulated and non-regulated organizations; as non-bank financial institutions or even commercial banks.

  • There are now over 3,100 MFIs worldwide (by some estimates 10,000 in total), most are small and local, but only 100 are considered top tier.

  • Most MFIs use one of two microfinance models:

  • Group or Peer Lending with loans ranging from 10 USD to 100 USD, using a joint liability model or cross guarantees, no collateral, and peer pressure to repay.

  • Individual Lending consists of higher loan amounts, and depend on individual’s cash flow or collateral, and may include ‘graduates’ of the group-lending cycles.