Real-world examples of innovative microfinance institutions using strategic partnerships to serve the low-income population are numerous. MetLife Foundation has contributed in numerous ways, including a new program to help developing income microfinance institutions to generate enough income to stay in business.
Helping MFIs Stay in Business
Financial stability is a well-known problem in the microfinance world, one that a number of non-profits and foundations are trying to address in different ways. The MetLife’s latest contribution to the effort is their Optimizing Performance Through Improved Cross Sell (OPTIX) program. The four participating microfinance institutions are:
Cooperativa Aeriemex (Mexico)
Banco WWB (Columbia)
SAJIDA Foundation (Bangladesh)
- Capital Aid Fund for Employment of the Poor (Vietnam)
MetLife’s OPTIX program addresses the challenge of staying in business while serving populations with very low incomes. OPTIX is a joint effort with the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisers (RPA) Foundation and Bankable Frontier Associates. This is not the first time MetLife, working through the MetLife Foundation, has worked to expand access to lending and saving.
MetLife Financial Inclusion Efforts
The OPTIX program was announced two years after MetLife dipped into the financial inclusion realm with its $200 million program. The program would disburse the money over five years to underserved communities around the world. The program began with grants to a number of institutions with the ability to reach large numbers of households and to introduce those households to new financial services.
The MetLife Foundation and their grantees and microfinance institution partners are helping to expand access to banking, and creating new ways for MFIs to pay the bills by using cross-selling as a tactic in different cultural environments.