MicroRate was the first microfinance rating agency dedicated to evaluating performance and risk in microfinance institutions (MFIs) and microfinance funds, also known as microfinance investment vehicles (MIVs). As the oldest and most well-respected organization of its kind, MicroRate has conducted over 550 ratings of 200+ MFIs throughout Latin America, Africa, Europe, and Central Asia. MicroRate is a leading social rater and has also become the largest MIV evaluator in the industry.
The entities evaluated by MicroRate span the entire spectrum of the microfinance industry, ranging from large banks to small NGOs, including many of the world’s leading MFIs, as well as some of the largest and smallest microfinance funds.
MicroRate was the first microfinance rating agency to be formally approved by CGAP and the Inter-American Development Bank. MicroRate has also worked with the Gates Foundation, Omidyar Foundation and Citi Microfinance. Since its inception in 1997, no other organization has a better understanding of microfinance risk and return than MicroRate.
MicroRate adamantly remains independent from any connections that could jeopardize its objectivity. MicroRate is a private company, based in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area (USA) with subsidiaries in Lima (Peru) and Casablanca (Morocco).
To promote the flow of funds from capital markets to microfinance by increasing transparency and growth in the global microfinance community.
To be the leading microfinance information services provider. MicroRate will accomplish this by maintaining a high level of quality along with independence, integrity, and an unyielding commitment to the poor.
1996-First pilot ratings of microfinance institutions completed by MicroRate.
1997-MicroRate officially founded as the first agency to specialize in the rating of microfinance institutions (MFIs).
2000-MicroRate publishes its first report on analyzing the trends in microfinance, which was updated and re-published in 2002 and 2004.
2001-MicroRate opens an office in Africa in Johannesburg, South Africa.
2003-MicroRate opens its Lima office to coordinate Latin American ratings. MicroRate also publishes its “Performance Indicators for Microfinance Institutions: Technical Guide” which is used throughout the microfinance industry as a resource for microfinance rating.
2004-MicroRate starts to annually track the assets invested in MFIs through MIVs. The results of these studies have been published and widely cited in the microfinance community.
2006-MicroRate completes the first rating of a collateralized debt obligation, publishes “Microfinance Investment Vehicles: An Emerging Asset Class,” and finishes its first Credit Rating of an MFI.
2007-MicroRate publishes: “Role Reversal: Are Public Development Institutions Crowding Out Private Investment in Microfinance?”
MicroRate opens offices in Brussels, Belgium.
MicroRate launches three new investor services: Rating Report & Analyst Access, Portfolio Monitoring, and Investment Prospecting Services.
MicroRate completes its first Social Rating.
2008-MicroRate publishes its 4th annual MIV Survey.
MicroRate wins a grant from the S.E.VEN Fund for improving transparency and funding flows to microfinance.
MicroRate opens an office in Casablanca, Morocco.
2009- MicroRate publishes, “Cautious Resilience: The Impact of the Global Financial Crisis on Latin American and Caribbean Microfinance Institutions.”
Rating Fund announces MicroRate to be the largest social rater of MFIs around the globe.
2010- MicroRate launches LUMINIS, a web-based microfinance investment information platform, with the support of LuxFLAG and the Luxembourg government.
5th annual MIV Survey published.
2011- MicroRate becomes regulated rater in Peru.
6th annual survey and analysis on MIVs published: The State of Microfinance Investment 2011