Product Diversification in Microfinance: Introducing Individual Lending

How can a microfinance institution succeed in introducing individual lending?

This paper discusses Women's World Banking's (WWB) approach to integrating individual loan products into group lending institutions. It describes the processes and tools developed while WWB provided assistance to its network members around the world. The paper also aims to provide practical assistance to the increasing number of group micro lenders that are embarking on individual lending. The paper discusses:

  • Differences between individual and group lending;
  • Individual lending as transformational lending;
  • Systematic method that WWB has developed when introducing individual lending:
    • Developing strategic vision and leadership - planning phase;
    • Creating institutional capacity - design and implementation phase;
    • Follow-up for sustained success - evaluation and integration phase;
  • Key challenges encountered when introducing individual lending for operations;
  • Institutional transformational requirements - adjustments across the organization;
  • The people factor - human resources at the heart of change;
  • Setting realistic goals for growth and performance.

The paper concludes by listing key factors identified through WWB's experience that have helped its affiliates succeed in introducing individual lending:

  • Thorough planning;
  • Understanding clients' profiles and portfolio composition;
  • Ensuring the quality of the lending process;
  • Managing change;
  • Following through.

About this Publication

By Dellien, H., Burnett, J., Gincherman, A. & Lynch, E.