Microfinance in Europe: Survey Report 2016-2017

The 8th edition of the report provides an overview of the development of the sector in terms of its main institutional characteristics, microloan portfolio, and social and financial performance for the period 2016-2017.

The Report gives a sound image of the sector’s heterogeneity relating to the institutional model, the size, and the level of specialisation in microlending. The social goals pursued by microfinance institutions (MFIs) are also diverse, with a primary focus on financial inclusion and job creation.

The Report highlights an increase of the scale of the sector both in terms of the total volume and the number of microloans disbursed. In 2017, the MFIs surveyed disbursed a total of 660,330 loans (+5% compared to 2016) with a total volume of EUR 2.1 billion (+11%).

Non-financial support is a key element of microfinance provision in Europe. In fact, almost 70% of the MFIs surveyed follow an integrated approach allowing for the provision of financial products (primarily business and personal microloans, SME loans, and savings) and non-financial services. Last year the MFIs canvassed reached 443,825 clients with their non-financial services (+5%), mostly delivered through one-on-one support (e.g. mentoring, coaching) and at no cost to the clients.

As regards the promotion of entrepreneurship and job creation, the MFIs surveyed have continuously supported microenterprises and self-employed people. In 2017, the number of active borrowers supported by business microloans reached a total of 406,715 (+5%).

The Report is based on data collected by EMN and MFC from of 156 MFIs across 28 European countries.

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