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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).

Strategic Domain:
Economy and Employment
Themes:
Economic Development
Status:
Ongoing
Strategic Partner:
European Fund for Southeast Europe EFSE, NGO U Plusu, Banking Agency of RS, Banking Agency of FBiH, Central Bank, Microfinance organizatons
Implementer:
Internacional Finance Corporation (IFC)
Project implemented in:
Republika Srpska, Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Cantons:
Zenica-Doboj Canton, Tuzla Canton, Sarajevo Canton, West Herzegovina Canton, Central Bosnia Canton, Una-Sana Canton
Municipalities (27):
Zvornik, Zavidovići, Vlasenica, Visoko, Tuzla, Trebinje, Teslić, Šamac, Stari Grad Sarajevo , Srebrenica, Prnjavor, Posušje, Petrovo, Novi Travnik, Nevesinje, Mrkonjić Grad, Milići, Kreševo, Kiseljak, Kakanj, Gradačac, Čajniče, Cazin, Brod, Bratunac, Bosanski Petrovac, Bijeljina

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.


OVERALL GOAL

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.

OUTCOMES

  • 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


KEY OUTPUTS 

  • 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