Spotlight on OPIC Impact Award winners: MicroBuild
Millions of people across the globe lack access to a range of financial services, from bank accounts to small business loans to home mortgages, and this shortage presents a significant development challenge that can limit the well-being of individual families as well as the potential for communities’ economic growth. OPIC has helped address this challenge by supporting multiple projects that provide the financial tools to help low-income families save money, start small businesses or purchase homes. One partner, MicroBuild LLC, was recently awarded an OPIC Impact Award in the Access to Finance category for its work in providing financing to help families buy and improve their homes.
Habitat for Humanity International formed MicroBuild in 2012 to support housing microfinance lending to people who could not access traditional bank loans. By providing financing to local microfinance institutions, MicroBuild supports lending to low-income families to purchase new housing or upgrade their existing homes.
OPIC financing has enabled MicroBuild to reach even more borrowers. OPIC made its first $45 million loan to MicroBuild in 2012. This was followed by an additional $45 million commitment in 2015 to assist more families in need of decent housing. MicroBuild has used OPIC financing to help thousands of families in 19 countries, from Azerbaijan to Cambodia as of April 2016. In Nicaragua, this financing helped more than 6,642 households or 33,120 individuals construct basic homes. In Cambodia, more than 1,281 households or 6,405 individuals accessed MicroBuild loans to build or improve their homes incrementally.
Habitat for Humanity Executive Vice President Mike Carscaddon accepted the award for MicroBuild and spoke about the impact of the project and the way OPIC had provided valuable support.
As of April 2016, MicroBuild has provided 51,116 households in the developing world with access to the formal financial services that they needed to improve their homes. It has a strong presence in Latin America and the Caribbean, and its investments in microfinance institutions such as Fundenuse S.A., have enabled it to address the housing needs of low-income individuals and families, many who use the loans to make incremental improvements and additions to their homes over time.