Bulgaria Microfinance Assessment
This report presents recommendations to USAID from the Peoples Group Team that visited Bulgaria from February 18 to March 6, 2002, to assess the three USAID-supported microfinance programs operational in the country, namely Nachala, Catholic Relief Services (CRS), and World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU).
The report states that the three USAID sponsored programs have performed a credible job in developing a sound microfinance program. At 2001 year end, the three programs combined had 6,000 active borrowers and projected an 200% increase in borrowers over the next 4 years, depending on available funding. Women were the recipients of almost 50% of the loans. Approximately 3,000 jobs were created in 2001 as a direct result of the lending. The report recommends that USAID:
- Provide additional support to these programs for a period of one-to-two years, until they can achieve sustainability;
- Assist the Bulgarian government in establishing a system through which appropriate oversight can be provided to these and other non-bank financial institutions on an ongoing basis.