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Citicorp brings "Microstart" loans to the poor

Summary

Citicorp Foundation supported UNDP’s “MicroStart” programme, which provides small-scale loans to the poor, working to involve the local private sector in this initiative.

Together with SUM, UNDP launched the MicroStart programme in February 1997. The purpose of the MicroStart Programme is to build a new generation of microfinance institutions (MFIs) that have transparent track records and solid institutional and financial performance, which enable them to reach poor clients while operating on a sustainable basis.

Since its inception in 1997, MicroStart has become operational or is being developed in 20 countries, and grants have been approved for 68 MFIs.

MicroStart also aims to improve the practice of microfinance within the UN system by establishing guidelines, providing technical assistance, and promoting training and learning opportunities that incorporate best practice in the field. The programme has been developed in response to demand from UNDP Country Offices for a practical and operational product to assist them in the delivery of quality programming to a well-defined niche in the evolving field of microfinance.