VisionFund manages external debt funding and World Vision donated resources for
the benefit of micro enterprise lending and savings programmes. The funds are invested
in the network of MFIs in 40 nations worldwide. VisionFund seeks to have each MFI
become operationally and financially sustainable so that the lending and social
impact are able to carry on unassisted well into the future.
VisionFund strives to provide strong governance, solid internal controls, robust
risk management, and deep integration with other World Vision ministries. The MFIs,
in turn, are then empowered to extend credit and savings services to individual
and group entrepreneurs, primarily in World Vision area development programmes.
The institutions endeavour to allow borrowers to self select their own groups and
their own business ventures. As businesses succeed, loans are repaid and MFIs are
able to lend those funds to other clients.
Loans made by VisionFund-affiliated MFIs are handled in the following three methods:
These loan circles create an opportunity for the poorest entrepreneurs to obtain
credit. Self-selected groups of 20–30 borrowers agree to guarantee one another’s
loans. This allows VisionFund to reduce costs and provide small loan amounts (loans
typically range from $50 to $500).
The group screens potential borrowers and tracks each repayment, building its members’
leadership skills and sense of pride along the way. Weekly meetings offer accountability
and support, and also build business skills.
Designed for more experienced entrepreneurs with larger enterprises, solidarity
groups have fewer members than community banks, with an average of three-to-six
people guaranteeing each other’s loans. Members who make repayments on time become
eligible for larger individual loans (loan sizes typically range from $300 to $800).
Borrowers who have grown their businesses successfully through a solidarity group
or who have their own collateral qualify for individual loans, typically ranging
from $500 to $5,000. Individual loans usually require either two guarantors or collateral.
Borrowers often create a multi year business plan in consultation with their loan