Social Impact

MCE is committed to delivering and measuring  impact, with a special focus across its portfolio on:

People Living in Poverty
People Living in Poverty
Women Entrepreneurs
Women Entrepreneurs
People Living in Rural Communities
People Living in Rural Communities
Health and Education Programs
Health and Education Programs

Microfinance Institutions

  • More than 2 billion people lack access to formal financial services, including savings accounts, insurance, and loans. Over the last two decades, microfinance has helped fill this gap by delivering credit and other financial services to low-income people around the world.
  • While microfinance by itself might not eliminate poverty, it is a critical tactic among many tackling an immense challenge. As studies show, microfinance helps people build assets, manage risks and unpredictable income, and gain the freedom to decide how to make and spend money.
  • As part of its due diligence process, MCE investigates an organization’s commitment to (1) a social mission, (2) transparent and responsible pricing, (3) prevention of over-indebtedness, (4) privacy of borrower information, and (5) fair and respectful treatment of employees and clients.
  • MCE is an official endorser of the Smart Campaign and its Client Protection Principles, a global initiative to embed client protection into the DNA of the microfinance industry.
  • MCE prioritizes loans to organizations that provide additional services beyond credit, including: health education, financial literacy training, savings programs, mobile banking, start-up and technical assistance, insurance, energy efficient housing, remittance services, and agricultural assistance.
  • Since 2006, MCE has disbursed more than $185 million in loans to microfinance institutions that have in turn supported millions of end borrowers.

Small and Growing Businesses

  • Nearly 50% of small and growing businesses (SGBs) in the developing world lack access to appropriate financing, despite constituting a dominant form of job creation and entrepreneurial activity. Even when loans for SGBs are available, interest rates often exceed 20%. Most institutional lenders are also rarely nimble enough to customize their loans to a SGB’s specific business needs.
  • To address this market failure, MCE’s SGB Fund provides loans on flexible, customized terms and at affordable interest rates to SGBs in Sub-Saharan Africa and other challenging areas of the world.
  • MCE’s SGB Fund creates jobs, helps farmers, facilitates clean water and energy, and increases household savings.
  • Because the market gap is particularly devastating for women—for instance, 70% of women-owned SGBs globally are not served or are under-served by financial institutions—MCE gives priority to SGBs that are women-led, include a majority of women in a supply chain, specifically develop products or services for women, employ a majority of women, and/or have a majority of direct clients who are women.
  • MCE operates its SGB Fund in partnership with USAID’s Partnering to Accelerate Entrepreneurship (PACE) Initiative, which is contributing $1 million to MCE to catalyze private-sector investment into early-stage enterprises and identify innovative models or approaches that help entrepreneurs bridge the pioneer gap.
  • Since 2013, MCE has disbursed more than $8M to 20 SGBs operating across 17 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and Eastern Europe.

Impact Reports

IRIS Metrics

MCE measures and monitors its social impact using the industry-recognized performance metrics known as the Impact Reporting and Investment Standards (IRIS).





MCE in Action

From January 19-24, 2015, nineteen of MCE’s Guarantors, staff, and friends traveled to Ecuador to see MCE’s innovative approach to impact investing in action. Watch the video here!