Microfinance has now established itself as a proven international tool to fight against banking exclusion and, consequently, fight against poverty and social exclusion by contributing to the development of the local economic base, as well as to job and income creation…
Femme Indienne qui écrit dans un carnet de notes

Promoting responsible microfinance

Femme avec son enfant au bras tenant son certificat Sonata

Promoting responsible microfinance

In developing countries and a number of emerging countries, a majority of the population does not have access to “traditional” banking services. In Sub-Saharan Africa, less than one adult in five has a bank account and just over one in four in the Latin America-Caribbean and East Asia-Pacific regions. This is due to the fact that incomes and credit needs are too low compared to the profitability thresholds defined by banks.

Since microfinance was created in the 1970s, it has demonstrated that financial services tailored to the poorest are not only useful and necessary, but that they can also be profitable.

They allow people who are excluded from the banking sector – particularly small rural producers and workers in the informal sector, first and foremost women – to access financial services tailored to their needs (microcredit, micro-insurance, savings, means of payment…) in order to develop their activity, secure their income and face the hazards of life (illness, death…).

Proparco's role

Deux hommes echanges de clés du camion qui se trouve derrière eux

Proparco's role

Proparco works to support the emergence and development of strong and responsible actors: MFIs, banks, and funds investing in the microfinance sector. By allocating loans, particularly in local currency, or through equity investments, Proparco contributes to increasing local financing capacities, as well as to the financial soundness and stability of actors in the sector.

Prior to any financing, Proparco pays very close attention to the strategy of MFIs in terms of profitability: no financing is allocated to institutions that generate significant profits to the detriment of their clients.

Proparco’s operations aim to promote responsible microfinance. To this end, PROPARCO advises and supports its partners on questions of governance and financial security, environmental and social issues, as well as for the implementation of measures to protect their clients, particularly against overindebtedness.

107 million euros
between 2017 and 2019
399 000
People receiving a microcredit from a microfinance institution 2020
16 projects funded
in financial inclusion by 2020

Microfinance has gradually been structured, regulated and the range of actors extended in order to meet increasing demand (over 90 million clients around the world in 2012).

Commercial banks have developed specific products alongside NGOs, which have led the activity for a long time. Similarly, investment vehicles have been set up to facilitate the mobilization of the capital required to develop the activity of microfinance institutions (MFIs), while ensuring a certain level of return for investors.

Microfinance is today an essential component of the financial system in Southern countries, but it still needs to face a number of challenges: the first is to continue to be a tool for development and financial inclusion for populations, by maintaining the balance between its social mission and its economic viability.

Interactive map
This map is for illustrative purposes only and does not engage the responsibility of the AFD Group
Launch search
See map of all projects


Proparco annual reports

Key points - Proparco sustainable development report 2021

This new edition of the KEY POINTS brochure presents the main expected impact results of a scope…

May 2022
Institutional Documents

Sustainable development report 2021

"Given the urgency of the climate challenge, with less than a decade left to meet the…

Jun 2022
Institutionnal publications

Proparco and its 2021 Key Figures

Despite 2021 being marked by the continuing effects of the crisis caused by the Covid-19…

May 2022
Institutionnal publications

Key points - Proparco sustainable development report 2021

This new edition of the KEY POINTS brochure presents the main expected impact results of a scope…

May 2022
Private Sector & Development

Social Business: a different way of doing business and investing

In recent years, the concept of social business has emerged as a middle road between…

Feb 2016
Private Sector & Development

What balance between financial sustainability and social issues in the microfinance sector?

The overarching virtue of microfinance is that in recent years it has managed to demonstrate…

Sep 2009

Choose Africa. In Côte d'Ivoire, Cissé Abdoul Aziz, the journey of the founder of Afribacom

This is the story of Cissé Abdoul Aziz, a scientist who discovered his entrepreneurial spirit…

May 2021

Enda, a driver for the economic inclusion of Tunisian women

Enda has been the leading microfinance institution in Tunisia and the Arab world since 1995, by…

Mar 2020

Supporting responsible microfinance in rural areas in Morocco

Supporting responsible microfinance in rural areas in Morocco

Jan 2019

Kashf - Microfinance empowering women entrepreneurs in Pakistan

Enabling women to become actors of social and economic change in Pakistan is the number one…

Dec 2018
Voir toutes les ressources