A Youth Finance Project intended to boost the Jordanian microbusiness environment has been launched by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), a US government agency that provides international economic and humanitarian assistance and FINCA Jordan, a microfinance institution (MFI) that is part of the US-based FINCA International microfinance network. The project is part of USAID country strategy for poverty reduction. USAID will provide technical assistance to FINCA Jordan in three core areas; combating youth unemployment, increasing the competitiveness of the private sector and empowering young people aged 18 to 26.
The Youth Finance Project will be designed by FINCA Jordan and incorporate elements of business training as well as financing. The project will draw on an already existent sharia-compliant youth loan facility at FINCA Jordan and will be added to the organization’s existing loan products which include individual loans, microgroup loans and small and medium enterprise (SME) Loans. It is expected that under the project, 900 loans would be disbursed in thirty months to 590 youth in Jordan.
FINCA Jordan is currently requesting for proposals to conduct market research on KAP (Knowledge, Attitude and Practice) at the beginning of the project and also conduct market research that gauges client profiles and preferences of current and potential FINCA clients. The last date for receiving proposals is October 25, 2012.
As of July 2012, FINCA Jordan reported total assets of USD 9 million and approximately 15,000 clients served by branches in the Jordanian cities of Amman, Dier Alla, Jerash, Norh Shouneh, Sahab, Zarqa and Ziezya. FINCA International has subsidiaries in 21 countries and total assets of USD 719 million as of 2011.
USAID offers a suite of resources aimed at improving the outcomes of microenterprise development research and practice at http://microlinks.kdid.org/
By Chioma Okwudiafor, Research Associate
About US Agency for International Development (USAID)
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is a government agency that provides international economic and humanitarian assistance. It focuses on areas such as economic growth, agriculture, trade, health, democracy, conflict prevention and humanitarian assistance. Under the Development Credit Authority (DCA), it provides credit guarantees that cover up to 50 percent of defaults on wholesale loans made by private financial institutions to institutions that lend on a retail basis to underserved borrowers. USAID had a total of USD 23.8 billion in budgetary resources in 2011.
About FINCA Jordan
FINCA Jordan Specialized Microloans is an arm of FINCA International, a US-based nonprofit microfinance organization that serves approximately 700,000 people through its microfinance subsidiaries in 21 countries. As of July 2012, FINCA Jordan reported total assets of USD 9 million and approximately 15,000 clients and branches in the Jordanian cities of Amman, Dier Alla, Jerash, Norh Shouneh, Sahab, Zarqa and Ziezya.
About FINCA International
Founded in 1984 by Dr John Hatch, a pioneer of the village banking model, the Foundation for International Community Assistance (FINCA) International is a microfinance network based in Washington, DC, that provides financial services to poor families through a network of locally managed institutions. FINCA targets its services to poor women living in the Americas, sub-Saharan Africa and Eurasia. In the 2010 fiscal year, FINCA International served approximately 760,000 clients through its subsidiaries in 21 countries. As of 2011, it had total assets of USD 719 million, with an operating profit of USD 33.9 million. In December of 2011, FINCA launched a subsidiary, FINCA Microfinance Holding LLC, with funding from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), KfW Bankengruppe, Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappijvoor Ontwikkelingslanden NV (FMO), responsAbility, and Triple Jump.
Sources and Additional Resources:
Microfinance Gateway: Call for Proposals: USAID Youth Finance Project Market Research Component
MicroCapital Story: October 11, 2012, MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Sanad Fund for MSME Loans $1.5m to FINCA Jordan to Boost Microfinance Services
MicroCapital Story: June 1, 2012, MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Responsibility Loans $6.4 m to Microfinance Institutions KMF of Kazakhstan, FINCA Jordan, FINCA Azerbaijan
MicroCapital Universe Profile: FINCA Jordan
MicroCapital Universe Profile: FINCA International
MicroCapital Universe Profile: Unites States Agency for International Development
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