Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) are the lifeblood of the global economy, accounting for roughly 90% of business entities and generating more than half of the world’s employment.1 The contribution of formal SMEs in emerging and frontier markets is even more foundational, driving nearly 40% of GDP and 70% of new job creation.
And yet, across emerging and frontier markets, more than 130 million MSMEs face onerous constraints in accessing finance, leading to unmet growth potential and unfulfilled aspirations. In aggregate, the unmet demand for finance among MSME borrowers in developing countries amounts to $4.8 trillion, with women-owned businesses constituting one-third of this total.2
While there are more than 750 formal financial service providers dedicated to servicing the vast financing needs of MSMEs in our markets, MicroVest pursues a disciplined strategy to identify and invest in the most responsible financial institutions (RFIs) globally.3
In practice, our search for RFIs means that we not only screen for financial stability and risk management, but also for quality management teams, sound corporate governance, a company culture that values equality, fairness and transparency, and a demonstrated ethical commitment to the customers the institution serves and the communities in which it operates.
When we find RFIs that meet our rigorous standards, we invest debt capital that enables these institutions to expand their loan books and drive financial inclusion. Our portfolio companies have positively impacted the lives of tens of millions of people by providing loans to MSMEs — and more than half of our portfolio companies’ loans are extended to female borrowers.
But our impact doesn’t stop there.
By scaling sound financial institutions that operate with integrity, MicroVest is helping to build sustainable, local platforms that can advance financial inclusion over the long term.
 World Bank. https://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/smefinance
 IFC, MSME Finance Gap 2017, updated in 2018/19
 MIX, Global Outreach & Financial Performance Benchmark Report — 2017-2018.