MiCrédito was founded in 2004 to establish a new and improved support system for underserved populations in rural Nicaragua. Through the years, its size and impact have grown extensively, delivering various products and services to an even larger group in both Nicaragua and Costa Rica.
By providing loans for education, sanitation, and clean energy, MiCrédito gives life-changing opportunities to borrowers, their communities, and their families. In the face of the deeply-rooted political crisis in Nicaragua, MiCrédito has worked to assist and include those most impacted by the ongoing turmoil.
Following President Daniel Ortega’s decision to change Nicaragua’s social security program, many violent protests have occurred resulting in over 700 people killed and thousands wounded. Many MiCrédito clients who were involved in the riots have fled to neighboring countries for safety. The crisis caused more than 50% of construction companies to reduce staff. Over 400 hotels and 600 restaurants closed their doors. Nicaragua’s commerce and agriculture sectors lost more than 800 million and 16 million dollars respectively.
To address this disheartening situation, MiCrédito has implemented several strategies in addition to its main services. If clients have excellent payment behavior but have difficulty completing full payments due to the impact on their income, they are given an interest exemption. MiCrédito also offers clients loan term extensions and modifies payment requirements to fit each client’s current payment capacity. Additionally, MiCrédito helps people diversify their businesses to operate better in the adjusted market.
Those who were affected by the riots and forced to seek asylum can also receive assistance from MiCrédito through its newly opened offices in San Jose and Costa Rica. These branches offer financial support as well as money transfers and foreign currency services. The addition of these resources has allowed MiCrédito to continue to work with clients who have been severely affected while supporting their ongoing programs.
One of the MiCrédito programs that Kiva contributes to is MiCrédiEstudios, which helps ambitious youth in Nicaragua. MiCrediEstudios offers financing options ranging between $100 and $5,000 U.S. dollars to sponsor students, graduates, or professionals in a variety of universities throughout the country. This partnership enables students to receive interest-free financing from Kiva lenders while MiCrédito establishes a strong relationship with local universities. The universities assume the collateral for their students so that participants can focus on their projects and learn how to apply the skills they learned from their schooling. If students demonstrate responsibility and skill in a specific field, they also have the option of applying for additional support from MiCrédito after graduation. Since 2010, Kiva and MiCrédito have raised over $5,739,200 in total loans with an average loan size of $771.
Despite experiencing an unsettling change in Nicaragua’s political and economic climate, MiCrédito has remained confident, optimistic, and focused on its clients. As an institution, it has survived devastating conflicts in the past and persevered. Since the riots and campaigns began, the organization has grown its impact to advocate for new and long-term clients regardless of their inconvenient circumstances or the magnitude of their need. MiCrédito continues to impress us at Kiva and inspire us to support all people looking to make a transformative impact.
Check out some of MiCrédito's current loans on Kiva!