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Using Microfinance to Expand Access to Energy Services: A Desk Study of Experiences in Latin America and the Caribbean Image

Promoting Inclusive Markets and Financial Systems

Using Microfinance to Expand Access to Energy Services: A Desk Study of Experiences in Latin America and the Caribbean

Using Microfinance to Expand Access to Energy Services: A Desk Study of Experiences in Latin America and the Caribbean

Summary

This action research project, Using Microfinance to Expand Access to Energy Services, looks at energy lending offered by a select number of MFIs on three continents—Asia, Africa, and Latin America. The objective is to document the opportunities, challenges, costs, and effects of integrating energy products into a MFI’s product mix, develop feedback for future expansions of these energy-lending products, and share the lessons learned with the industry at large. To achieve this goal, the Small Enterprise Education and Promotion (SEEP) Network and Sustainable Energy Solutions (SES) invited global MFIs to participate in an interactive, field research program. Four MFIs from Asia and two from Africa were selected to be studied from those MFIs which responded. Despite having invited over 40 MFIs and microfinance networks in the Latin American and Caribbean region, SEEP received no responses from this region.
As a result, the Latin American practitioner research team did not conduct the field research that the African and Asian teams did. Rather, it conducted a desk review to understand the current situation for energy lending in LAC, and reviewed a range of documented experiences to provide insight into successful strategies for energy lending in Latin America. Based on the availability of information, the majority of the experiences documented in this study came from four countries spanning the geographical breadth of the Latin America and Caribbean region: Bolivia, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, and Nicaragua.

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