S&P and IDB are setting up global rating system for MFIs in Latin America

The Inter-American Development Bank(IDB) sponsors a new pilot rating program in Latin America set up by S&P to improve the infrastructure of microfinance institutions for national capital markets. S&P and IDB are cooperating in this project with the aim to gain acccess to the capital markets for the MFIs.

Standard&Poors involvement is a breakthrough in the microfinance industry, S&P talks the same “language” as investor and their benchmarking tools really opens up the capital markets for microfinance institutions.

The Microfinance Rating Methodology Working Group was put together in January 2007 consisting of analysts from S&P and experts in microfinance industry. They work together to find the information investors needs, how MFIs works and the state of the microfinance sector. The information from “The Microfinance Rating Methodology Working Group” are used by Standard&Poors when forming the outlines of the rating methodology and a tailored ranking system for MFIs

Earlier sufficient access to the mainstream capital markets wasn´t enough and made it hard for MFIs to find allocate fundings, because they where treated with mainstream metrics when being analyzed. The ongoing creation of new MFIs and adepting skills in handling funds will require far more easier access to the capital market.

How you can get into microfinance with Kiva.org

Kiva.org connects you to specific business somewhere in the developing world where microfinance is needed. Kiva.org is listing all businesses who´s connected to a microfinance institution joining the Kiva program. By lending out as little as $25 to a business you can make huge impact and help them getting economic stable. Usually the loan is repaid between 6-12 months and you receive journals from the business you´re sponsoring.

A microfinance institution is called field partner by Kiva. To qualify for Kiva´s field partner program the microfinance institution (MFI) needs to:

  • serve at least 1000 active borrowers
  • be registered as a legal entity in the operating country
  • 1 year of financial audits
  • have a history of at least 2-3 years lending to people for the purpose of helping them out of poverty

As a social investor you earn 0% interest rate from Kiva. The lending platform Kiva lends out the money to prevailling interest rates.