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First MicroFinance Bank, Afghanistan

Expanding access to affordable housing in Afghanistan


YEARS

2009-2012

CLIENT DESCRIPTION

First Micro Finance Bank Afghanistan (FMFB) was founded in 2003, the first bank licensed in Afghanistan under the new law. By 2012 the gross loan portfolio was USD $84 million.

CLIENT'S OBJECTIVE

Scale up its housing microfinance portfolio following an initial pilot in four branches.

Results

BUSINESS RESULTS

Loan volume increased thirty-fold in the first year after FMFB Afghanistan expanded the revamped housing microfinance product to eight additional branches.

The housing microfinance product is the fastest growing product for the organisation and has expanded nationally.

SOCIAL & ENVIRONMENTAL OUTCOMES:

Over 10,000 Afghans have access to affordable financing and construction advice to improve the quality, safety, and energy efficiency of their homes.

Activities

Assessed the housing microfinance pilot program, including conducting two surveys of 600 respondents and completing an extensive data analysis of the program results.

Recommended and helped implement improvements to the product offerings and marketing strategy.

Recommended improvements in policies, processes and staff skills, and trained 300 staff in loan review and processing.

Assisted in rolling out the revamped products to eight additional branches.

LEARNINGS

Enclude and FMFB learned that product pilots are critical. Start slow, modify results if needed.

Planning and market research was an essential ingredient to success. While many MFIs start offering a housing product in response to demand, organisations need to think through staffing, operational platform requirements, marketing and outreach strategies to be successful. Scale requires a long-term commitment from management. Additionally, market conditions need to be right. FMFB is a well-managed institution and offered a product in high demand at a critical time in Afghanistan’s history.


Kabul, Herat, Bamiyan, Mazar, Jawzjan and Badakshan, Afghanistan