CLIENT: Asset Accumulation & Protection
USAID’s Microenterprise Development office (MD) activities at the client level address the diverse financial services needs of poor and low-income households as well as those of micro-entrepreneurs. Enterprises need savings, credit for working capital and investment, and payment services to carry out everyday commercial transactions. Households need financial services (savings, credit, insurance, remittances) to invest in education and new skills; to build assets, such as homes; to smooth consumption when times are lean; to plan for weddings, funerals, births, and other life cycle events; and to help cope with the crises that beset poor households, including the death or disability of a breadwinner and the illness of family members.
As microfinance matures and certain markets become more competitive, MD’s interest is to encourage microfinance providers to reach even deeper and to work in more frontier markets. Since 2003, an important focus of MD has been to explore effective programming for serving vulnerable client segments such as HIV/AIDS-affected households, orphans and vulnerable children, and populations living in areas affected by conflict or natural disasters.