Case Study

Stemming the Tide of Mission Drift: A Case Study of ADOPEM

How do poverty-focused nonprofit MFIs maintain that focus after becoming for-profit institutions?
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This case study describes how Dominican Association for the Development of Women (ADOPEM), an NGO in the Dominican Republic, transformed into a regulated financial institution. The study examines the benefits and challenges of transforming. It demonstrates how the transformed entity, Banco ADOPEM, has remained true to the founding mission of the organization, with an explicit focus on women clients.

The case study discusses how Banco ADOPEM has been able to increase the number of its women clients, and retain them as well. Banco APODEM responded to an initial drop in the percentage of women clients post transformation by choosing mission-focused funders, providing career and business development services to low-income groups, and modifying product offerings and services to reach women. The strategies that Banco ADOPEM has followed to meet its dual objectives can serve as useful lessons in the microfinance industry. Transformation helped APODEM to increase:

  • Access to funding;
  • Transparency;
  • Product offerings;
  • Client outreach;
  • Growth in total loan portfolio;
  • Loan size.

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