Publications Library



This library includes documents that are published, sponsored or recommended by the FIEC and are available for download on this website.

We’re pleased to announce the recent release of the FIEC sponsored AfriCap Governance paper, which was published by Calmeadow and written by Grassroots Capital Management.

The recent publication, An Assessment of AfriCap Governance, focuses on the role governance played in the AfriCap fund’s successes and failures, while recounting the fund’s many challenges and its ultimate accomplishment. The pivotal role of the board in governance, and the board’s lead responsibility for such critical matters as strategy, risk control, and management selection and succession, feature prominently in the study.

To view the report: AfriCap Governance Assessment Final


Africap pic


A blog by Amitabh Brar and Paul DiLeo, Investment Manager and President, Grassroots Capital Management summarizes some of the key findings of the AfriCap assessment. Please view the Center for Financial Inclusion’s blog report  here.

There are two AfriCap narratives. One is of a pathbreaking fund that set out to demonstrate the relevance of the commercial microfinance model to Africa. It registered some early successes in its portfolio, attracted additional capital to more than triple in size, and nurtured African leadership at both the investment management and Board levels. As the African environments rapidly developed, the manager and the investors struggled to coalesce around a strategy for the Fund and diverged in their views of which, and how many, of the emerging opportunities to pursue. As the Board carefully considered the options, value was lost as the portfolio languished.

Nevertheless, we believe that AfriCap’s contribution to the microfinance sector in Africa is unquestionable.
In 13 years the Fund invested both equity and debt in 21 microfinance institutions (MFIs), more than any other equity fund investing in microfinance during that era, and managed $11 million in technical assistance (TA) support to its investee companies and the regional industry. With the benefit of this AfriCap capital and technical assistance, the African microfinance sector generated solid examples of investable MFIs that laid the basis for the subsequent growing interest in investment in African microfinance investment vehicles (MIVs) evidenced in recent years by a spate of Africafocused funds.

From 2001, when AfriCap started, to 2013, the African microfinance portfolio grew more than 10 times to more than $6 billion. Prominent MFIs like Equity Bank (EBS) in Kenya and Socremo in Mozambique challenged early skepticism over the prospects for African microfinance. A few of AfriCap’s key features and accomplishments
were critical in its ability to realize these positive influences and results.


The Financial Inclusion Equity Council (FIEC) developed the following roadmap to assist FIEC members in clarifying and advancing social performance initiatives.

This tool outlines the high-level steps an institution must take to implement three key social performance initiatives, namely the Smart Campaign Client Protection Principles, the Universal Standards for Social Performance Management, and the Global Impact Investing Rating System. As such, it is designed to help investors better gauge an institution’s commitment to social performance and better track its progress in implementing these three initiatives. It is particularly suited to assist investors in working with the boards of these institutions or as part of due diligence.

FIEC Social Performance Roadmap

This worksheet is for investors and donors who want to implement the Client Protection Principles in their investment/grant processes. These questions can be used to guide your planning process.

Client Protection Investor and Donor Planning Guide

The Financial Inclusion Equity Council tasked a working group with creating a practical framework to help members better communicate how they align different stakeholders’ interests, and more specifically, how they address the challenge of balancing financial returns with social and/or environmental impact, in order to promote transparency and accountability.

FIEC Balanced Returns Framework

October 11, 2012
Council of Microfinance Equity Funds, Principles for Investors in Inclusive Finance (PIIF)

This webinar focuses on the recently-released Governance Guidelines, highlighting the sections that were added and revised since the first edition was published in 2005. The roundtable will then focus more specifically on two sections of particular relevance in the microfinance industry today: responsible exits and social performance.

Consensus Statement of the Council of Microfinance Equity Funds, 2005

This consensus statement is tailored to shareholder-owned MFIs and provides practical guidance for investors to use in assessing the governance of MFIs.

The Microfinance Banana Skins is a collaborative effort of the Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation, Citi Microfinance, and the CFI. In the past, it has been supported by FIEC and CGAP.

The Microfinance Banana Skins publication is a report reflecting perceptions of risk in microfinance by members of the financial inclusion sector. The report aims to reveal shifts in risk perception and to highlight both emerging and long-term risks in a rapidly changing field.

This report combines CGAP and CMEF knowledge of microfinance with J.P. Morgan’s equity research skills in emerging markets. The objective of the project is to provide benchmarks for valuation of microfinance equity.

by Damian von Stauffenberg and Daniel Rozas, 2012

This paper is a follow-up to the Role Reversal study (2007), which found that development financial institutions (DFIs)were crowding out private microfinance funds, by offering below-market interest rates and other incentives. Five years later, this paper finds DFIs are actively competing with private microfinance funds – also called microfinance investment vehicles (MIVs) – harming the flow of private investment into the microfinance sector.

by Ira W. Lieberman, Anna Anderson, Zach Grafe, Bruce Campbell and Daniel Kopf, 2008

This paper discusses the Initial Public Offerings / listings of the four leading microfinance institutions − Bank Rakyat Indonesia, BRAC Bank (Bangladesh), Compartamos Banco (Mexico) and Equity Bank (Kenya). The study attempts to determine the conditions under which a public offering or listing is suitable for a microfinance organization. It also examines the purpose, structure and process of the offerings and listing in order to extract applicable lessons.

by Lok Capital, in collaboration with JICA

This study examines the needs and preferences of 5,000+ microfinance clients in India.



by the Center for Microfinance at the University of Zurich, in collaboration with responsAbility, Triodos, and CMEF

This study provides the first comprehensive and consistent academic exercise to establish a methodology towards an early warning index for over-indebtedness in microfinance, with the goal to support the industry in preventing future crises.

by Stephanie Dolan, on behalf of the membership of the Council of Microfinance Equity Funds, 2011

This statement provides practical guidance for investors, MFI managers, staff, and other institutional stakeholders to use during the MFI transition process (transformation, mergers, acquisitions, etc) in order to more effectively align stakeholder interests.

by Preetesh Kantak, 2011 and by Elisabeth Rhyne and Brian Busch, 2006

This study tracks and analyzes the growth of the commercial microfinance industry over a period of several years and looks at both existing institutions and new entrants. It also comments on the future potential of this industry segment and the current ownership structure of a sample of microfinance institutions. It is the third publication in the “Growth in Commercial Microfinance” series.

by Jim Kaddaras and Elisabeth Rhyne, 2004

This study analyzes how much equity has been invested in microfinance institutions today and establishes a spectrum as to where investors fall in terms of their expectations of social vs. financial returns. This study also looks at current governance practices and makes recommendations for establishing and implementing corporate governance standards. It is the first publication in the “Growth of Commercial Microfinance” series.