Case | HBS Case Collection | June 2009 (Revised July 2010)

Microfin

by Michael Chu and Enrique Kramer

Abstract

The case presents the management dilemmas of a new institution in an undeveloped microfinance market in Latin America. Supported by a globally recognized industry player, it is the result of the efforts of two fledgling local entrepreneurs with a business model they believe can achieve a substantial and profitable share of a potential $150 million market. With the backdrop of the 2002 banking crisis, the governing leftist coalition is promoting microfinance as a means to reduce poverty, but banking authorities have so far issued no regulation to promote it. Another competitor with similar characteristics to Microfin started doing business a few months earlier, and there are rumors that the largest bank in the country is studying the possibility of a fully owned subsidiary exclusively dedicated to microfinance.

Keywords: Business Model; Developing Countries and Economies; Social Entrepreneurship; Microfinance; Governing Rules, Regulations, and Reforms; Industry Structures; Competitive Strategy; Financial Services Industry; Latin America;

Citation:

Chu, Michael, and Enrique Kramer. "Microfin." Harvard Business School Case 309-126, June 2009. (Revised July 2010.)