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Livelihoods and Inclusive Finance Expansion (LIFE)

Livelihoods and Inclusive Finance Expansion (LIFE) - Lebanon

The USAID-funded Lebanon Livelihoods Inclusive Finance Expansion (LIFE) (2016 – 2021) will link vulnerable entrepreneurs at the bottom of the economic pyramid with business training and financial services, improving livelihoods, creating jobs, and reducing poverty while facilitating growth and consolidation of the microfinance sector in Lebanon.

The LIFE project is comprised of three components: 

Component 1: Inclusive Finance

The LIFE Project will elevate the microfinance discourse by bringing about key policy and institutional changes with the potential to transform the financial inclusion landscape. One of the primary objectives of the Inclusive Finance component are to strengthen the Lebanese Micro-Finance LMFA to serve as a voice for policy change and bring about significant policy changes that contribute to the growth and consolidation of the microfinance industry and set the stage for a national financial inclusion policy.

Component 2: Microcredit

The LIFE Project will strengthen the capacity of microfinance institutions (MFIs) to increase their range of products and services and expand their reach of borrowers to include microenterprises with an emphasis on higher-risk, conflict affected areas (areas where economic pressures and social tensions have increased significantly as a result of the high influx of refugees), including new, unbanked, and existing microenterprises, and low-income women-headed households.  LIFE will provide customized business management training, technical know-how, mentoring, basic business development skills, and new lending products to the MFI’s current and potential clientele.

Component 3: Livelihoods

The LIFE Project will design, operationalize, and start generating results from a set of performance-based grants partnered with NGOs and MFIs to stimulate a new generation of entrepreneurs and assist these to take advantage of financial products and business services to scale-up their businesses. LIFE will leverage NGOs and MFIs with existing networks to identify and provide grant and training support to micro-entrepreneurs and SMEs focusing on unemployed women, youth, and physically impaired populations in rural areas suffering from the refugee influx.

SEEP’s Role

The SEEP Network’s support of microfinance associations spans 15+ years. During that time, SEEP tools and expertise have helped microfinance associations accelerate their development, expand and improve their product and service offerings and contribute to industry-wide innovation.

SEEP is an integral part of the LIFE Project Team working to strengthen the capacity of LMFA. Support to LMFA will include: network capacity assessments of LMFA, strategic and business planning support, and grant assistance to LMFA to support their institutional strengthening. In addition, the SEEP will work with LMFA, using tools such as, the SEEP Policy Advocacy Toolkit, to build the association’s capacity to analyze, prioritize, communicate, act on, and monitor microfinance policy. SEEP will also provide technical assistance to LMFA to strengthen organizational capacity, develop demand-driven services, and promote transparent and competitive business environments. 

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