In 1991, CARE harnessed the ancient practice of group saving when it launched the world's first Village Savings and Loans Association in Niger, a model that has been emulated by other organizations and that now serves 8 million global users, 4 million of which are through CARE programs.
MicroVest was founded in 2003 with the goal of building a financially sound asset management company that could demonstrate that investing in the aspiring middle class and their enterprises delivers good risk-adjusted returns. As of September 2016, their assets under management totaled $411 million invested in a diversified portfolio of companies in countries around the globe.
Edyficar is an example of the full cycle, and potential, of CARE's model of scaling social enterprises up to traditional markets. Founded in 1998, Edyficar provided essential financial services to low-income sectors across Peru. By 2009 its portfolio reached $194 million and was acquired by Banco de Crédito del Perú, Peru's oldest and largest financial institution, under whose control it still operates to this day.
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To truly make poverty history, social enterprises must reach significant scale to match the enormity of global poverty. Major challenges exist for even the most promising of enterprises to breakthrough the logistic, geographic, cultural, bureaucratic, and financial barriers unique to emerging markets that all too often block expansion and limit growth potential.
For example, a recent study of African market-based solutions found that despite recent proliferation of such enterprises across the continent, just 13% had achieved "significant scale."
We will invest in enterprises at later stages of their development, helping bridge the gap between earlier-stage funding and larger scale, more traditional sources of capital.