Christy Stickney

Independent Consultant

Christy Stickney is an independent development consultant, and has worked in financial services and inclusive market development since 2010. Christy has been engaged in microfinance since 1993, having developed loan and savings products for women micro-entrepreneurs and then going on to design a variety of other types of financial products and services. She has worked in international development for over two decades, most recently with Habitat for Humanity International as Director of Housing Finance for Latin America and the Caribbean. During her time with Habitat, Christy oversaw a variety of programs seeking innovative approaches to housing microfinance, financial education, raising investment capital, leveraging remittance flows, and mobilizing government subsidies – all for improved housing.

Christy has also worked with Opportunity International, directing technical assistance and financial support to poverty-focused loan and savings programs around the world, and as a consultant with the Agros Foundation.

She has lived throughout Latin America and the Philippines, and is currently based in San Jose, Costa Rica.




Fellowship Description

Emerging MSMEs

Secrets to growth from a micro to a small enterprise

Christy Stickney, CFI Fellow and independent consultant, highlights the characteristics of owners of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) whose businesses have overcome significant hurdles and grown from their micro size.

Christy has utilized qualitative research to identify and analyze clients of MFIs whose borrowing had increased significantly over time from the portfolios of three leading microfinance institutions in Latin America – MiBanco (Peru), Banco Solidario (Ecuador), and Banco ADOPEM (the Dominican Republic). As part of the research, Christy conducted 55 in-depth client interviews and consulted with institution staff. She identifies and describes in detail a select group of “growth entrepreneurs” (GEs) who operate higher growth businesses, have overcome significant growth hurdles, and express a clear vision for future business growth. Christy argues that this category of emerging SMEs holds great potential for future growth and job creation.

Christy also provides recommendations for financial institutions (including microfinance institutions [MFIs]), fintechs, governments, and other financial ecosystem actors to support growth and greater financial inclusion for emerging SMEs and growth entrepreneurs.




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