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Microfinance project in BiH Phase III

The project aspires to further developing the microfinance sector in Bosnia and Herzegovina by improving the conditions for microfinance institutions to conduct their business on a sustainable basis under post-crisis conditions. This project is implemented by the International Finance Corporation (IFC).
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It is estimated that BiH became the second-largest microcredit market in the world in terms of lending per capita, with 15 percent of the adult population having anoutstanding microfinance loan. After the 2008 financial crash BiHs microfinance industry fell victim to its own success: while the number of microfinance institutions mushroomed during the boom the much needed industry consolidation did not take place. Oversupply in the microfinance market  led to subprime – like overlending,  insufficient risk management, irresponsible business conduct and ultimately client indebtedness.


The projects overarching objective is to improve the framework conditions for microfinance institution operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina while ensuring that the citizens of BiH gain access to qualityand responsible microfinance services.




  • Create a better regulatory environment for the operations of microfinance institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina conducive to responsible industry practice

  • Improve and strengthen business responsibility of microfinance institutions through self- regulation

  • Mainstream and broaden the countrywide availability of debt counseling services

  • Improve financial literacy education



  • Increased regulator awareness of possible solutions and international practices with regard to microfinance sector
  • Better awareness among microfinance institutions about the SMART Campaigns range of tools and ways of participating
  • Microfinance institutions improve the level of adherence to internationally recognized consumer protection principles for responsible finance
  • Support BiH municipalities in introducing professional debt counselling service into their offering
  • Support relevant players to introduce financial literacy education in BiH
Strategic Domain Economic Development and Employment
Status Completed
Implementers Internacional Finance Corporation (IFC)
Partners Microfinance organizatons, European Fund for Southeast Europe EFSE, NGO U Plusu, Banking Agency of RS, Banking Agency of FBiH, Central Bank
Projects implemented in Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Republika Srpska
Cantons Una-Sana Canton, Tuzla Canton, Zenica-Doboj Canton, Central Bosnia Canton, West Herzegovina Canton, Sarajevo Canton
Municipalities/Cities Bijeljina, Bosanski Petrovac, Bratunac, Brod, Čajniče, Cazin, Gradačac, Kakanj, Kiseljak, Kreševo, Milići, Mrkonjić Grad, Nevesinje, Novi Travnik, Petrovo, Posušje, Prnjavor, Šamac, Srebrenica, Stari Grad Sarajevo, Teslić, Trebinje, Tuzla, Visoko, Vlasenica, Zavidovići, Zvornik