Microfinance (also microcredit) is the provision of very small loans to low-income and/or deprived people who may not have access to bank loans.

Microfinance seeks to help these people establish or expand income-generating activities to bring themselves out of poverty.

The countries with the highest uptake levels of microfinance are Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mongolia, Cambodia, Nicaragua, Sri Lanka, Montenegro, Vietnam, Peru, Armenia, Bolivia, Thailand, India, Paraguay and El Salvador.

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  • Microfinance does not have as structured a hiring process or hierarchy as many other finance careers
  • Financial skills, experience, and networking in more traditional financial institutions are quite important, and should be developed before seeking jobs, e.g. through a position or internship abroad working for a microfinance provider
  • For those interested in the development, policy, market analysis, or research aspects of microfinance, it is important to build those particular skills, preferably through work on microfinance-specific projects but at the very least in areas of economic or community development
  • Or, roles may be available in some organisations in fundraising, like voluntary positions with the Microloan Foundation: these roles are more focused on identifying and approaching suitable organisations like grant-giving trusts & foundations for funding, and supporting the preparation of funding proposals and reports
  • Here, skills in grant writing, communication, research and managing CRM databases are sought-after
  • Voluntary internships from Kiva
Accion have opportunities, mostly based in the US


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