Supporting Vulnerable Panamanian Microentrepreneurs through Productive Financing

Active borrowers
Average loan size
Productive loans

We invest in Microserfin

Prior to COVID-19, Panama had one of the strongest growth rates in Latin America and the Caribbean, growing at 4.7% on average from 2014 to 2019, compared to 0.9% for the rest of the region.1 The country did, however, experience one of the most severe COVID-19 outbreak cases on the continent, and its challenge now is to reignite growth, particularly across underserved, rural groups.

Microserfin is a market leading MFI in Panama with a 19-year track record. Backed by the BBVA Microfinance Foundation, an internationally recognized philanthropic initiative to support social impact in Latin America, Microserfin supports low-income microentrepreneurs using a Productive Finance methodology that provides not only financial services but also education and support so that microentrepeneurs can generate profits and reinvest them back into their businesses. Operating with a client centric mindset, Microserfin’s vision is to generate opportunities for microentrepreneurs by providing safe, ethical microfinance services. Microserfin’s business model was founded on five strategic pillars that include Gender, Digitization, Sustainability, Financial Education and Human Capital.

A December 2020 survey carried out by Microserfin revealed that microentrepreneurs viewed applying for a new loan as being critical to helping their businesses recover from the effects of the pandemic. Because credit can provide liquidity for working capital and fund business improvements, it is one of the first tools required by microentrepreneurs to recover from any crisis. In the first seven months of 2021, Microserfin disbursed aggregate volume of US$11 million, which represents productive loans to 6,321 people. 41.8% went towards women-owned enterprises while 53% of the disbursed volume funded new clients, many of whom never had access to banking. These statistics reflect the commitment and support that Microserfin provides to the microenterprise sector for the revitalization of the Panamanian economy.

Client Stories

Investing in Irrigation


The portfolio company profiled here is for educational purposes only and may not represent all of the portfolio holdings. It should not be assumed that investments in the company identified and discussed were or will be profitable. The companies profiled were selected based on their financial inclusion and impact with no reference to amount of profits or losses, realized or unrealized.