Thursday, September 27, 2012

Passport Series: Microfinance supports Jordan's growing population

Jordan is the fourth largest microfinance market in the Arab world. Queen Rania and Queen Noor are advocates for the microfinance movement and believe strongly in women leadership, youth empowerment, and financial independence. Because of their involvement, Jordan has hosted Sanabel, the annual conference for microfinance in the Arab world many times.

The Arab microfinance industry is quite young; however, Jordan is positioned to expand its breadth to help the underserved. In fact, MFIs represent nearly the only external source of finance available for the economically poor.

Microfinance statistics for Jordan

When looking at the microfinance industry in a particular country, MIX Market is a helpful resource. A listing of the top microfinance institutions around the world, it gives a sense of the scale and impact small loans are making. 

In 2005, there were 51,000 active borrowers and in less than 10 years there has been exponentional growth. Currently MIX tallies 205,410 active borrowers out a population of 6 million--almost 3%.

The combined loan portfolio of the eight microfinance institutions is $206,833,103 with 193.6 million loans active. 

From the eight microfinance institutions in Jordan, two are Kiva Field Partners: Tamweelcom  and National Microfinance Bank.

Kiva and Jordan's Microfinance Industry

Tamweelcom is a non-profit company owned by the Noor Al-Hussein Foundation (NHF). Kiva has partnered with Tamweelcom for almost two years and the institution provides two types of services: financial services and non-financial services. To date, they have administered $1,024,000 in Kiva loans and 85% of those loans are to women. The average loan size is $964.

 (Loan officers at Tamweelcom)

National Microfinance Bank is a privately-owned, Jordanian, not-for-profit company that finances income-generating projects for underserved segments. A partner of Kiva since March of 2011, 1176 Kiva entrepreneurs work with the National Microfinance Bank. The average loan size is $1,109 and, as one of the three major players in the Jordanian market, the bank has lent $1,301,675 to entrepreneurs.

Amy Kyleen Lute of KF15 worked at the National Microfinance Bank. She focused her time on women empowerment and forged a close realationship with Maha, the bank manager . Together they worked to highlight women-owned businesses on the lending page and even enjoyed activities outside of work like rock climbing and family dinners. 

Stay tuned to the Kiva Blog for the last post in this month's Passport Series about Jordan. This is the second of a three-part series taking a look at the country's history with microfinance, Kiva's role in expanding opportunities for its citizens, and what it's like to participate in the country's economy as a borrower, lender and field worker.

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