This report draws lessons from seven case studies of microfinance institutions that experienced existential threats during the global financial crisis of 2009-10. Because no literature or studies existed at that time on crisis mitigation, the MFIs had nothing to fall back on. This report examines the factors that led to the crises (i.e. uncontrolled growth, design flaws, and financial vulnerability), highlights the steps that the organizations took during the crises, and presents lessons that other MFIs can look to in future situations. The paper lays out specific guidelines that MFIs can follow as a precaution to avoid crises. These include good governance, professionalism, and accountability.

In 2020, as another economic crisis confronted the microfinance sector, CFI began publishing a series of new case studies from five different markets on how they confronted their own crises over the past decade. The newer reports draw lessons from these five cases and apply them to the pandemic-induced challenges and future crises.

Daniel Rozas

Senior Microfinance Expert, European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP)

Daniel Rozas is a Senior Microfinance Expert at e-MFP and a consultant and researcher on a broad range of topics. Daniel is also co-founder of the MIMOSA project, which provides a methodological assessment of market saturation and risk of overindebtedness for leading microfinance markets. Prior to his microfinance career, Daniel worked for the US mortgage investment company Fannie Mae during 2001-08, where he had first-hand experience with the extraordinary boom-and-bust cycle that took place in the US mortgage market during this period. Daniel resides in Brussels, Belgium, and holds an MBA from the University of Maryland and an undergraduate degree in music from the Peabody Conservatory.

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