With EUR 500,000, MiCrédito can finance 300 micro entrepreneurial farmers engaged in the cultivation of various crops such as corn, beans, rice, and vegetables. Through their network of 12 branches nationwide, they will be able to provide financing to their clients in rural areas.
- Local partner investment
- 50 new jobs
- 700 people reached
About the issuer
Borrower: MiCrédito, S.A
Country of operations: Nicaragua
Head office: Managua
Date of incorporation/Founded: 1/07/2004
Maturity: 24 months, semi-annually and linearly amortizing
Grace Period: n.a.
Interest rate: 5% p.a.
MiCrédito Nicaragua is a non-deposit-taking Microfinance Institution (“MFI”) that serves customers at the bottom of the pyramid in Nicaragua. The current management team together with the largest shareholder in MiCrédito Panama (Mennonite Economic Development Associates or “MEDA”) have been involved in micro-lending in Nicaragua since 1990 when they established Fundación CHISPA, one of the most successful programs in micro-lending in Nicaragua. In 2000, CHISPA partnered with other investors to establish the first regulated MFI in the country (“CONFIA”) which grew to a 10-branch network with 70 staff members.
In 2004, MEDA felt that it still had a role to play to promote financial inclusion in Nicaragua, particularly by providing improved levels of service and by targeting the underserved rural markets. That is the moment that, together with some of the key staff that participated in the original CHISPA, MiCrédito Nicaragua was created as a NGO. MiCrédito management dedicated over eight years to building institutional. In 2013 MiCrédito was approved by Nicaragua's new microfinance regulating body National Comission of Microfinance in Nicaragua (“CONAMI”).
MiCrédito has 12 branches. The agents at the branches use a traditional personal approach, going door to door, visiting rural communities by motorcycle. MC also has an active digitization strategy, which has paid of during the COVID-19 crisis. Apart from a few remaining regulatory requirements in the KYC area, the company has entirely digitized its processes.
Use of Proceeds / Loan purpose
By financing EUR 500,000, MiCrédito seeks to finance micro entrepreneurial farmers engaged in the cultivation of various crops such as corn, beans, rice, and vegetables. Through our network of 12 branches nationwide, we expect to provide financing to 300 clients in rural areas.
MiCrédito expects to impact clients as below:
- To benefit 1,500 members of 300 families (average household size of 5 members in rural areas) who work in agricultural activities.
- To ensure the food base of their families and for the majority of the population.
- To generate direct and indirect 614 employees in rural areas due to agricultural activities.
To create business solutions that include both social and financial support to Micro and Small Entrepreneurs, providing for a more prosperous future.
To evolve into an institutional bank, in order to contribute to the economic and social development of the Micro and Small businesses in Central America
At MiCrédito, we have been proactive in implementing measures that have contributed to the health of all employees and customers. Some of the actions carried out have been:
- Promoting the use of digital receipts in customer payments to avoid physical contact.
- Taking temperature and washing hands before entering branches and offices.
- Limiting the number of customers inside the branches to maintain social distancing.
- Working from home.
- Required use of masks and faceshields.
- Provision of cleaning and grooming kits to all personnel.
- Covid-19 prevention campaign on social networks.
From a business point of view measures include temporary adjustments to the credit policy suspending disbursements to tourism businesses, hostels, hotels, restaurants and all those heavily affected by the pandemic. The credit disbursements were directed to finance businesses with high demand in their products and services for being basic necessities such as equipment and cleaning products, cleaning, hygiene and medicines.
Verónica Herrera - Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
Veronica worked for Nicaragua’s People’s Bank and then began a career working with MEDA. She holds a degree in Public Accounting with a concentration in finance from the National University of Managua, Nicaragua.
She has completed additional studies in Bank Management and has comprehensive knowledge of banking in Nicaragua. More recently, Verónica completed The Strategic Leadership for Microfinance Program at the Harvard Business School.
Moises Valle Marenco – Chief Operating Officer (COO)
He holds a degree in Public Accounting and Finance from the Universidad Evangélica Nicaragüense (UENIC) and has worked in a variety of managerial and accounting roles in several companies.
Cesia Calderon – Chief Credit Officer (CCO)
She has been in the microfinance industry for more than 14 years and has progressed through a number of roles, to become head of Credit in 2018. Graduated from UNICA, with a Degree in Business Economics and has a postgraduate degree in Advanced Finance.
Grethel Meza Rivera – Chief Financial and Administrative Officer (CFO)
Grethel has over 14 years of experience in finance and administration. She holds a Master's degree in Financial Management from the University of Barcelona (UB) in Barcelona, Spain and a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration, with a specialization in Banking and Finance from the Universidad Centroamericana (UCA).
Lyann Urbina – Executive Assistant and Public Relations Officer
She provides administrative support to the CEO and Board members. She also leads the Communication department and social performance of the institution, as the public relation officer. She has a Bachelor's degree in Social Communication from the Universidad Centroamericana (UCA) and joined MiCrédito team in 2016.
Lucia Sanchez Valverde – Risk & Compliance Manager
She is graduated from the UNI (National University of Engineers) with a degree in industrial engineering specializing in finances, human resources, marketing, and project development. She also has training in money laundering, terror financing, and risk management from United States Inter-American Community Affairs in Miami, FL.
Yerly Salmeron - Head of Internal Audit
Yerly joined the MiCrédito team in March 2015, but she had worked with the institution previously as a consultant on audits and internal monitoring. She holds a degree from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Nicaragua (UNAN-RUCFA) and is a registered public accountant and an active member of the Nicaraguan College of Public Accountants.
In 2021, MiCredito was in the Top 3 of the best MFI in Central America and Dominican Republic.
|CEO||Veronica Herrera Balladares|
Impact of this project
- With this investment 50 jobs are created
- With this investment 700 people are reached
About the risks
What are the risks of investing money?
The risk level depends on the specific project. Local partners cover the risk of currency exchange rates and defaults on Local Partner investments. They do this by maintaining financial reserves for this purpose. Aside from that, there is an option to claim their equity if needed. While these measures are intended to minimize the risk to investors, our local partners face risks of their own that could affect their ability to secure your investment. These include - bankruptcy - currency exchange rates - fraud - operational risks - political and regulatory changes - natural disasters or epidemics.
With direct investments, risks of default are not covered. As the risks are higher, so are the interest rates.
There is also some operational risk at Lendahand. An example might be that Lendahand is unable to find shareholders to finance their activities. In such a case, Lendahand will handle outstanding investments at the best of its ability. At the same time, our ability to legally address non-payment from local partners becomes understandably difficult.
How does Lendahand minimize the risks?
Every local partner must share our social mission to ensure local entrepreneurs can access affordable financing, allowing them to grow their business. Local partners must also have a 'track record'; they must have proven themselves as a reliable credit provider for SMEs.
For instance, this means a solid credit portfolio and enough buffers and equity to compensate for unexpected downturns. We also check the organizational structure of the portfolio company and how robust their (internal) procedures are. Finally, the investments must be in proportion to the total balance of that portfolio company. A healthy balance between effectuating influence and being independent is crucial. If you would like to receive more information on the financial indicators we employ, please contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org.
When currency exchange risks become too high for a local partner, Lendahand will urge the local partner to cover these risks. In some scenarios, the local partner is contractually obliged to comply with these demands.
Lendahand always conducts due diligence when companies request funding. The results can be downloaded on the project detail page. However, this analysis is not investing advice.
Does Lendahand provide a guarantee?
Usually we don't. Local partners take care of the repayment, even if (some) entrepreneurs are unable to do so themselves. If the local partner is for some reason unable to repay then there is a chance of partial or full loss of your money. For this reason, Lendahand only selects financially solid partners based on strict criteria.
For most direct investments, there is no guarantee. However, currency risks are covered.
Sometimes, and only for some direct investments in Africa, our partner Sida, part of the Swedish government, will guarantee a maximum of 50%. Read here more about guarantees with Sida. Projects with Sida guarantees are indicated explicitly on the project page.
Does Lendahand have a license or exemption?
Yes. The Dutch Authority Financial Markets (AFM) has provided Hands-on B.V. (with trade name 'Lendahand') in September 2016 with an investment firm license in accordance with article 2:96 of the Financial Markets Supervision Act (Wft). Placing orders on Lendahand's website is therefore an AFM regulated activity. Lendahand also meets its minimum capital requirements following its license as required by De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB).
Lendahand uses an exemption from an approved prospectus that is available up to EUR 5 Million per year.
How safe are my personal details?
We adhere to strict safety requirements concerning private and payment details. All sensitive data is sent through an encrypted connection (https). Also, information is stored (encrypted) in a secured facility provided by AWS: the world’s largest hosting service. A secured connection and multi-factor authentication can only retrieve customer documents.
What happens if the local currency devaluates?
Our local partners and companies bear the exchange rate risks. We settle the investments, redemptions, and interest payments in euro.
Does Lendahand use a third foundation fund?
What happens with my money if Lendahand goes bankrupt?
If Hands-On BV (containing the brand name Lendahand) went bankrupt, trades between Lendahand and payment service provider Intersolve EGI would cease immediately. Intersolve will then transfer the funds in your wallet to your bank account (Note: if at this time the project you have invested in has been fully funded and the money has thus been transferred to the local partner, these funds will not be transferred back to your bank account). Intersolve will then, in consultation with a trustee, handle all repayments between the investors and entrepreneurs until the final repayment of the last project has taken place.
Additionally, Lendahand is part of the investor compensation scheme (ICS). This scheme aims to compensate individuals and small businesses with trusted money and or financial instruments (such as notes or options) to a licensed bank, an investment firm, or a financial institution. In case the financial firm is unable to meet its obligations arising from claims related to the investment service (in other words, if Hands-On BV is not keeping track of the acquired notes by investors in the Wge depot correctly). The ICS guarantees an amount of up to €20.000 per individual. For more information, go to www.toezicht.dnb.nl/en/2/50-202210
Why is Intersolve EGI handling my money?
What happens when a local partner goes bankrupt?
|Write-off ratio last 12 months||4.80%|
|% investment amount in arrears (>90 days)||4.60%|