Case Study

Measuring the Impact of Microfinance: The Case of Financiera Calpia, El Salvador

How has Financiera Calpia's services helped clients in El Salvador?
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This paper contributes to the debate on the impact of microfinance institutions (MFIs) through a case study of the clients of Financiera Calpia (FC), one of the most successful MFIs in Latin America. It seeks to answer the following questions:

  • What is the specific socio-economic profile of rural borrowers of FC when compared to non-client rural households and urban clients of Calpia?
  • How competitive is Calpia's credit technology in El Salvador?
  • What has been the impact on the standard of living of clients?

The main findings of the empirical investigations are:

  • Client profiles in rural and urban contexts differ sharply;
  • There is significant correlation between the characteristics of the credit technology and the client profiles;
  • Strategies adopted by clients for risk management differ in rural and urban areas;
  • Self-employment in micro enterprises is more important for members of the upper quintiles of the income distribution;
  • Credit technology is highly competitive;
  • Repayment behavior differs between rural and urban clients; agricultural cycles cause much prolonged arrears in the rural environment.

About this Publication

By Jansen, S.