Microfinance by the numbers

$12.3 billion

The total loan portfolio of the Latin American and Caribbean microfinance industry rose to $12.3 billion at the end of 2009. Peru led the ranking with a $3.2 billion microcredit portfolio, followed by Ecuador ($1.7 billion) and Colombia ($1.4 billion). The regional average microloan was $1,200, bearing a 29% interest rate.

$10.5 million

Latin American and Caribbean microfinance institutions had 10.5 million borrowers at the end of 2009. Mexico had the largest market in the region, with 2.3 million clients, followed by Peru (1.9 million clients) and Colombia (1.4 million clients).

1 in 6

Despite its strong growth over the past decades, microfinance is only available to about 1 in 6 potential clients in Latin America and the Caribbean. However, penetration rates vary from country to country. In those with the longest experience, such as Bolivia or El Salvador, as many as 1 in 3 potential clients are served by microfinance institutions. In countries where the industry is less developed, such as Argentina or Venezuela, less than one in 20 potential clients have been reached.


From “Microfinanzas en América Latina y el Caribe: El sector en cifras