Case Study

U.S. Microfinance: Small Loans, Big Results

Measuring the impact of microloan programs of Opportunity Fund and Accion
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This paper presents the evaluation findings of the microloan programs of Opportunity Fund and Accion through the Aspen Institute's microTracker outcomes survey. This survey, which is deployed annually by microenterprise development organizations, measures changes for small business owners at the business, household, and individual level.The survey process consisted of guided collection of outcomes data from a sample of program clients, using protocols and tools developed under the microTracker program. Findings include:

  • Nationwide, over 54% of survey respondents reported having employees, indicating that microloan recipients are key contributors to job creation throughout America;
  • Even in times of economic turmoil, microloan recipients run sustainable businesses. Over 97% of survey respondents reported that their businesses were open one year post loan. In addition, 43% of microloan recipients reported seeking a loan for business growth purposes;
  • Survey indicated that microloans play an important role in boosting small business owner income, with 32% of respondents reporting increases in income generated from the business from 2010 to 2011.

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