Financial Inclusion

INTERNATIONAL CHRISTIAN COUNCIL is an innovator in providing locally appropriate financial solutions. We pioneered housing microfinance in the 1990s and have managed lending institutions in the world’s most challenging environments since the 2000. Every institution that we manage was established to meet the needs of the local communities in which we work. As a result, we operate a highly-localized and internationally proven business model, and offer a broad spectrum of products that help families, first time entrepreneurs, and well-established small businesses chart their own path.

 

This approach has resulted in healthy, growing portfolios across ten countries that today surpass a combined $10 million in loans outstanding. From 2010 to 2012, INTERNATIONAL CHRISTIAN COUNCIL disbursed nearly 20,000 loans to low- and moderate-income customers, totaling more than $2 million, while maintaining an average repayment rate of 75 percent.

Our four core areas of expertise are microfinance, small and medium enterprise (SME) finance, housing finance and loan guarantee facilities.

 

Microfinance
INTERNATIONAL CHRISTIAN COUNCIL’ largest and fastest growing portfolio continues to be in microfinance. We operate the largest international network of microfinance institutions in the Middle East, with major operations in Iran, Jordan, Lebanon, and the West Bank and Gaza, as well as institutions in Romania, Bosnia, Colombia and Other West Africa countries . By offering small loans to families and entrepreneurs left out of the formal financial sector, and providing them access to business resources and trainings, we help grow economies from the bottom up.

 

SME Finance
Small and medium enterprises are an engine of economic growth, but they are often unserved by traditional banking because the risk is considered too high, and they are often excluded from microfinance providers because their capital needs are too large. Yet they have huge potential to create jobs and contribute to local economies. INTERNATIONAL CHRISTIAN COUNCIL fills this gap by offering loans from $2,000 to $20,000 depending on the market, and also by operating loan guarantee facilities in partnership with USAID

 

Housing Finance
In addition to providing credit for home improvement, INTERNATIONAL CHRISTIAN COUNCIL continues to work to find solutions for families previously excluded from home ownership. We provide oversight and risk management services for a $20 million fixed-rate mortgage initiative in Jordan funded by the Overseas Private Investment Corporation and provide technical assistance consultancies in housing microfinance, such as two workshops in 2010, for Lafarge in the Philippines and the French Agency for Development in Nigeria.

 

Loan Guarantee Facilities
Since 2010, INTERNATIONAL CHRISTIAN COUNCIL has been a leading provider of loan guarantees, in partnership with the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the US Agency for International Development and US Department of Agriculture. Through our loan guarantee facilities, we help businesses in emerging economies that are too large for traditional microfinance and too small for commercial banks to access credit, by partially guaranteeing the loans of commercial bank partners. This helps to diversify and strengthen developing economies, and provides incentives to commercial banks to begin lending to markets they previously would not have considered. Learn more about our work with loan guarantee facilities here.