Key Data on the Scale of Microlending in the U.S.

Analyzing microenterprise development organizations in the U.S.
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This report discusses financing products offered to entrepreneurs in the United States by microenterprise development organizations (MDOs). It examines the characteristics of large-scale programs and highlights factors that influence their program size.

The report is based on data from all MDOs that participated in the FY 2008 Census. It explores the types of financial services offered by MDOs, percentage of organizations using credit scores and reporting credit performance, number of loans disbursed, deployment ratios and funding sources. Conclusions include:

  • Approximately two out of three MDOs studied offer financial services to microentrepreneurs;
  • Only 10 of the programs studied are large-scale, i.e., offer more than 100 microloans annually;
  • Large programs represent 60 percent of all loans made;
  • Microlending is mostly concentrated in a few states;
  • Factors influencing scale of lending include geographical target markets, organizational age, mission and resource mobilization capacity;
  • Microloans are the central product offered by microenterprise-oriented lenders.

The report states that the FY 2010 Census is expected to reveal the influence of the financial and economic crisis post-2008 on the microenterprise market.

About this Publication

By Girado, W. & Edgcomb, E.