In 2016, FSVC entered into a subcontractor agreement with Palladium International, LLC to implement the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)/Lebanon Livelihoods and Inclusive Finance Expansion (LIFE) program aimed at 1) developing policies and institutional readiness for inclusive finance, 2) strengthening access to microcredit by vulnerable populations and 3) supporting livelihoods.

FSVC’s technical assistance supported the USAID/LIFE project by strengthening the capacity of microfinance institutions (MFIs) to increase their range of products and services. FSVC also helped MFIs expand their reach of borrowers, including higher-risk microenterprises in conflict-affected areas, and low-income women-headed microenterprises.

Program Impact

  • Completed detailed baseline assessment of 9 Lebanese MFIs;
  • 1 loan policy manual (including loan origination and underwriting manual) developed for the MFI Lebanese Development Cooperative;
  • MFI loan officers trained in best practices in standardizing loan-making process, increasing outreach to vulnerable populations and collecting loan repayments;
  • MFI loan officers strengthened their communication and customer service skills;
  • Increased loans to women borrowers: in one MFI, up to 80% more loans to women than prior year before FSVC’s assistance;
  • 1 startup loan product developed for Makhzoumi Foundation, a Lebanese nonprofit organization that also provides microcredit to female entrepreneurs;
  • 1 underwriting manual developed for the Association d’Entraide Professionnelle (AEP), a local MFI;
  • 1 policy manual developed for AEP;
  • AEP adopted an underwriting manual and issued the final version to its Board;
  • AEP’s loan process was standardized; and
  • AEP developed write-off procedures and reduced its loan delinquency rate.