MicroVest has completed its latest investment in OnePuhunan, a microfinance institution that provides financial services to low-income female microentrepreneurs in the Philippines. This $10 million investment will enable OnePuhunan to expand access to financial services for women who are unable to obtain financing through traditional banks and to reach more clients in rural areas.
Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are the driving force of the Philippine economy, contributing 40% of GDP and 63% of total employment. With over 950,000 MSMEs in the Philippines, the majority of which are owned by women, access to credit remains a significant barrier to growth. According to the Asian Development Bank, in the Philippines, 58% of women-owned MSMEs reported facing challenges with access to financing, in contrast to 37% of men-owned MSMEs. This disparity can be attributed to factors such as the perceived complexity of the application process, documentation requirements, and financing costs, which makes women-owned MSMEs more hesitant to apply for funding than their male counterparts.
Established in 2014 by the CreditAccess Asia Group, OnePuhunan today is a leading microfinance institution in the Philippines. OnePuhunan’s lending is exclusively aimed at self-employed women, with loans tailored to support their businesses. These women mainly operate “sari-sari” stores in urban areas and engage in smallholder agriculture in rural areas. With a presence across 200 branches in the Philippines, OnePuhunan now serves almost 400,000 clients and employs over 1,500 full-time staff. On average, borrowers take out loans of around $300.
MicroVest has invested in OnePuhunan since 2016.