This Firm Keeps Capital Flowing to Micro-Entrepreneurs
Thursday, March 5, 2015
The global financial crisis didn’t dent the demand for loans from small businesses and micro-entrepreneurs around the world. But it sure whacked the supply of capital available to lend to them.
MicroVest, a Bethesda, Md.-based for-profit asset management firm owned by three non-profit organizations, treated the challenge as an opportunity to re-engineer its financial offering so it could continue to make debt capital available to microfinance institutions in 66 developing-world countries.
Since September 2010, its new fund has raised $74 million and, by MicroVest’s count, has impacted more than 3.5 million people in the developing world who have been served by the banks MicroVest lends to. More than half of the borrowers are women. All told, MicroVest has nearly $300 million under management.
“Investing in under-banked markets is the best way to reduce poverty on a global scale,” says Gil Crawford, MicroVest’s CEO and a strong proponent of a commercially-minded approach to social impact.