FINCA's History

1980-1990: The Dawn of Microfinance

John Hatch with his first loan


John Hatch conceives the idea of Village Banking™. His plan enables poor Bolivian farmers with no collateral to access loans through a collective guarantee. Hatch establishes FINCA, an acronym that stands for “Foundation for International Community Assistance.”

FINCA Village Bank in Guatemala


FINCA launches its first Village Banking™ programs in Latin America. El Salvador is first in 1985; Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala and Haiti follow in 1989.

1991-2000: New Continents, New Clients, New Services

FINCA Tanzania client


FINCA launches its first program in Africa. FINCA Uganda opens in 1992, proving that Village Banking™ can work in diverse geographic and cultural environments.

FINCA Kyrgyzstan client


FINCA expands to Eurasia. FINCA Kyrgyzstan opens in 1995.

Haiti VB Transaction Hands


FINCA co-sponsors the first-ever Microcredit Summit. The Summit attracts practitioners, advocates, educational institutions, financial institutions, non-governmental organizations, donors and others from around the world to coalesce to a common goal: To eliminate poverty.



President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Clinton visit FINCA Uganda and show strong support for microfinance as one important and critical tool for development.

FINCA Azerbaijan client


FINCA launches five new programs in Eurasia. Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah of Jordan inaugurates FINCA Kosovo; FINCA also launches programs in Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia.

finca uganda fire


FINCA offers micro-insurance. Its innovative program in Uganda is later adopted by many other microfinance institutions.

2001 – 2010: Microcredit Comes of Age

Natalie Portamn FINCA Ambassador


Academy-award winning actress Natalie Portman is named FINCA Ambassador of Hope and her work with FINCA raises the visibility of microfinance as one important tool for development in emerging economies.

FINCA Azerbaijan


Three FINCA subsidiaries become regulated financial institutions. As financial institutions, subsidiaries in Ecuador and Uganda can offer clients more services, including savings accounts.


2005 – 2006

The United Nations declares 2005 the Year of Microcredit. The 2006 Nobel Peace Prize is awarded to Muhammad Yunus and Grameen Bank, validating the positive global impact of microfinance.



FINCA launches the Village Banking™ Campaign, a commitment to provide financial services to one million clients living in poverty.



FINCA launches a new subsidiary in Jordan. Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah of Jordan inaugurates the program.

branchless banking


FINCA introduces “branchless banking.” Point-of-sale, ATMs and mobile phone banking programs expand FINCA’s outreach and lower transaction costs.

Solar Lanterns Uganda


FINCA Uganda pilots a micro-energy loan program. Loans enable clients to purchase solar lamps and solar cookers and generators to ensure a steady, sustainable source of power for homes and businesses. Only 12 percent of the population in Uganda is on the electric grid.

FIN25-year logo edited 2


Milestone: FINCA celebrates 25 years of providing financial services to low-income entrepreneurs.

2010-today: Meeting the Needs of a Global Market



FINCA endorses The Smart Campaign. The Smart Campaign is a global campaign committed to embedding client protection practices into the institutional culture and operations of the microfinance industry.



FINCA launches FINCA Microfinance Holding Company LLC. (FMH), the first-of-its-kind socially responsible investment partnership for microfinance.



FINCA’s BrightLife is incorporated in Uganda under the name FINCA Plus, LLC. BrightLife is a social enterprise that provides last-mile distribution and end-user financing for basic service products, including solar lanterns, solar home systems and improved cookstoves.

That same year, FINCA launches microfinance services in Pakistan.

FINCA Nigeria Clients


FINCA helps clients save money with over $130 million in savings deposits. The same year FINCA launched in Nigeria.



FINCA serves nearly 2 million people with a variety of financial services.

FINCA Impact Finance


On January 1, 2017, FMH officially launched FINCA Impact Finance, the global services company of the FINCA network, a group of 20 microfinance and financial institutions, that provides socially responsible financial services and enables low-income entrepreneurs and small business owners to invest in the future.

FINCA Ventures


In August 2018, FINCA International announced the launch of FINCA Ventures, an impact investing platform that provides patient capital and pre- and post-investment support to help early-stage social enterprises achieve growth and scale.

In October 2018, FINCA International, in partnership with USAID’s Partnering to Accelerate Entrepreneurship (PACE) Initiative, announced the launch of FINCA Forward, an innovation platform facilitating collaboration between early-stage financial technology (fintech) enterprises and microfinance institutions supporting the world’s poor.