International, Foreign Affairs, and National Security

Microfinance Opportunities, Inc.

  • Washington, DC
  • www.microfinanceopportunities.org

Mission Statement

Microfinance Opportunities is unique in that it focuses on the demand side of microfinance. It occupies a niche role in providing services that directly benefit the end user, the low income consumer of financial services, working to increase poor people's access to and understanding of well-designed and delivered financial services. Access to these services can improve the capacity of households, women and microentrepreneurs to increase their incomes, build assets and reduce their vulnerability.

As the microfinance industry becomes more competitive, the consumer faces an increasing number of options. A greater understanding of the financial services available enables clients to better manage their financial options and economic shocks; to this end, Microfinance Opportunities' work on financial education addresses the information asymmetries faced by clients.

Impact assessment provides insights about how clients interact with and benefit from the provision of financial services. Market research focuses on understanding clients in order to know their needs, identifying gaps in the market and assessing competition.

Overall, Microfinance Opportunities provides support services that complement the product offerings of microfinance institutions and networks, enriching the experience for the end user, linking product use and product demand with product development.

Service Areas

Self-reported

International

Algeria, Angola, Arg., Bangl., Benin,
Bolivia, Brazil, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa
Rica, DR, DRC, E Timor,
Ecuador, Egypt, El Sal., Ethiopia, France, Ghana, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Mad., Malawi, Mali,
Mauritania, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan,
Palestinian Terr., Paraguay, Peru, Phil., Russia, Rwanda, S Africa, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tanz., Tunisia, Uganda, Uru., Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia

ruling year

2002

Principal Officer

Self-reported

Dr. Monique Cohen

Keywords

Self-reported

financial education, financial capabilities, microinsurance, market research, client assessment, mobile banking, financial diaries

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Also Known As

MFO

EIN

30-0075787

 Number

5663526953

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

International Economic Development (Q32)

Financial Counseling, Money Management (P51)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Microfinance Opportunities works in three practice areas: financial education, client assessment and microinsurance research. The Global Financial Education Program (GFEP) is our largest program. GFEP seeks to provide low income households in developing countries with improved financial management skills. The innovative GFEP curriculum was introduced in 2006. The core curriculum includes five modules (Budgeting, Debt Management, Savings, Bank Services and Financial Negotiations) that teach the knowledge, skills and attitudes required to adopt good money management practices for earning, spending, saving, borrowing and investing. The core curriculum is currently available in English, Spanish, Russian, Portuguese, Arabic, Chinese and French. The curriculum has been disseminated worldwide through regional and country level training of trainers workshops. Through several delivery channels such as classroom training, street theater, radio shows and newsletters, GFEP outreach exceeds 6.5 million people in 25 countries. In addition to the core curriculum, GFEP is developing the following additional curricula on new topics relevant to diverse market segments: youth, remittances, microinsurance and risk management, consumer protection and electronic banking. The Client Assessment arm of Microfinance Opportunities employs current methods of qualitative research to determine the effectiveness of current microfinance practices and understand client preferences. The organization is currently working with the IRIS Center at the University of Maryland on a multi-country study to assess the impact of innovations in financial services funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF). Client assessment also includes impact evaluation and market research to design appropriate products, enhance customer service, and improve delivery systems. Its expertise in market research supports the microfinance industry in its need to develop appropriate products and services. One of Microfinance Opportunities? client assessment tools is the Listening to Clients series, a groundbreaking audiovisual and interactive training program for microfinance practitioners. The program, which is available in both English and Spanish, features step-by-step qualitative and quantitative client assessment training for market research. It provides MFIs with the means to learn how to understand their clients using a variety of market research tools. Microfinance Opportunities is the leader in the assessment of the microinsurance market in developing countries. It uses its analytic tools to design appropriate products for low income households and has undertaken research in Asia and East Africa to identify client preferences and product attributes for a wide range of products.

Category

Population(s) Served

Budget

Service Areas

Self-reported

International

Algeria, Angola, Arg., Bangl., Benin,
Bolivia, Brazil, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa
Rica, DR, DRC, E Timor,
Ecuador, Egypt, El Sal., Ethiopia, France, Ghana, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Mad., Malawi, Mali,
Mauritania, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan,
Palestinian Terr., Paraguay, Peru, Phil., Russia, Rwanda, S Africa, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tanz., Tunisia, Uganda, Uru., Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia

External Reviews

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

Microfinance Opportunities
Fiscal year: Jan 01-Dec 31
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Microfinance Opportunities, Inc.

Leadership

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Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2015, 2014 and 2013
  • Board Members
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Principal Officer

Dr. Monique Cohen

BIO

Monique Cohen, Ph.D., Founder-President of Microfinance Opportunities, is a leading proponent of the market-led agenda for microfinance. A recognized expert on financial services for the poor and client assessment in microfinance, Dr. Cohen designed and led the AIMS (Assessing the Impact of Microfinance Services) project at USAID, where she served as Senior Technical Advisor in the Office of Microenterprise Development. Dr. Cohen has published extensively on microfinance and teaches at the University of Southern New Hampshire's Microenterprise Development Institute and the Microfinance Training Program, in Boulder, Colorado.

Governance

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

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BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?


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CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?