60 Decibels Microfinance Index

This research was initiated to understand whether clients do, in fact, use loans for business purposes and, if so, whether these investments help businesses to grow. (Note that, in our overall sample, some MFIs offer multiple types of loans, and some don’t offer business loans at all: e.g. some Letshego subsidiaries only offer housing loans.)

By conducting interviews with almost 18,000 microfinance clients across 41 countries, this Microfinance Index provides a ground-up perspective on the lives of 25 million microfinance clients, representing 15 percent of the global market.

Some of the key findings suggest that:

  • More than 74 percent of respondents say they use their loans for a new or existing business
  • Of those, 16 percent say their business income has not changed or decreased, 58 percent say their business income has increased, and the remaining 26 percent say their business incomes have ‘very much increased’ because of their microfinance loan.
  • Overall, clients in Western and Central Africa and Central America report the highest business income increase relative to the global sample.

About this Publication

By Sasha Dichter, Devin Olmack, Ellie Rodgers & Akanksha Singh