Last updated February 11, 2013

Partner Description:

Vitas s.a.l. has been a major player in the Lebanese Microfinance sector since 1999. Originally a micro-credit program created by CHF International called Ameen, it evolved to become Ameen s.a.l. in 2003, a Lebanese services company. In 2007, Ameen s.a.l. registered with the Central Bank of Lebanon to become the first Lebanese financial institution specialized in microfinance. Most recently, Ameen entered the Vitas Group to expand its direct lending capacity and is now known as Vitas s.a.l.

Mission

Vitas s.a.l. is the first registered Lebanese microfinance institution that provides responsible financial services to microentrepreneurs, small and medium enterprises (SME), and salaried employees. The organization serves its clients across Lebanon both directly as well as in partnership with banks. Its objective is to help its clients start and develop their businesses and improve their quality of life.

Vision

Vitas’s dedicated and professional staff operates in partnership with its bank partners to serve clients in 73 branch locations throughout Lebanon. It is also engaged in direct lending. Since its inception, it has provided high-quality financial services to over 46,000 borrowers and disbursed over 90,000 loans totaling more than US$130 million.

Services

Business Loans: Designed for micro-entrepreneurs and small and medium enterprises (SMEs), the business loan helps to support and advance clients’ business activities. Clients with both informal and formal sector businesses make use of this loan. The Vitas Micro Entrepreneur Loan ranges from US$300-$5,000 and the Vitas SME Loan ranges from US$5,100-$15,000.

Consumer Loans: The Vitas Personal Loan is intended for a wide range of personal consumption purposes including weddings, automobile purchases, travel, education and healthcare. Loan amounts range from US$300-$5,000.

Housing Loans:  Housing Loans for the home improvement of an applicant’s residence are intended for the renovation, rebuilding, repairing or expanding for the resident's premises. Vitas offers two types of housing loans — one for small improvements that ranges from US$300-$5,000 and one for larger renovation and construction projects that ranges from US$5,100-$15,000.

ICT Loans:  The Vitas Information and Communication Technology (ICT) loan targets ICT driven businesses and start ups in rural and peri-urban areas in Lebanon. Vitas delivers these loans in partnership with Cisco systems. The loan amount ranges from US$300-$10,000. Vitas has invested in a specialized unit to focus on micro credit for rural ICT entrepreneurs to support this innovative loan product.

Kiva Loans: Vitas offers Kiva loans as a separate product to support micro enterprises. The loan amount ranges from US$300-$1,200. Vitas has formally integrated Kiva into its organizational process, including hiring a coordinator specifically to manage Kiva loans. With Kiva’s 0% interest capital, Vitas has been able to offer lower interest rates on Kiva loans and is able to disburse Kiva loans faster than any of its other micro loan products.

Partners

Vitas's objective to enhance the institutional capacity of private commercial banks to deliver microfinance products was accomplished by partnering with institutions that have a reputation for quality, outreach and interest in the microfinance sector. Currently -- in addition to Kiva -- the organization partners with:

USAID: U.S. Agency for International Development

Mix Market: A global information platform on microfinance

Sanabel: Microfinance network of Arab countries

OPIC: Overseas Private Investment Corporation

CISCO/Partnership for Lebanon: To provide needed resources to assist the reconstruction effort in Lebanon by supporting technology infrastructure projects.

Relief International: A humanitarian non-profit agency that provides emergency relief and assistance to vulnerable communities worldwide.

IESC/VEGA: A non-profit organization using private sector volunteers to assist economic growth around the world.

Awardsand Honors

- Certificate of Transparency, Mix Market (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009)

- MIX Global 100 Composite Ranking (2008 and 2009): A ranking of the top 100 microfinance organizations that achieve the best outreach, efficiency and transparency.

- Best Micro-Entrepreneur of the Year, Sanabel Microfinance Network (2008)

- YMCA-Citigroup Micro-Entrepreneurship Awards (2007 to 2010)

Get involved with Vitas as a member of the Ameen Lebanon Kiva lending team. Or lend to a Vitas micro-entrepreneur today!

Status Update - September 11, 2011

As part of an ongoing effort to fully migrate risk ratings to our new and enhanced risk rating system, Kiva has conducted a re-assessment of the level of risk posed by this institution.

The information gathered during this process, together with the Kiva's new risk rating system and half-star support, has led us to revise Vitas s.a.l.'s risk rating from 5 to 4 stars.

We have prepared a blog post with more information on Kiva's new and enhanced risk rating system, along with a chart showing the relative magnitude of the overall changes for Kiva's portfolio.  To view that, please go here.

Vitas has been informed of our analysts’ findings and their corresponding change in rating.

Repayment Performance on Kiva

    This Field Partner All Kiva Partners
  Start Date On Kiva Sep 16, 2008 Oct 12, 2005
Total Loans $4,722,125 $572,426,225
Amount of raised Inactive loans $0 $297,900
Number of raised Inactive loans 0 284
Amount of Paying Back Loans $268,375 $116,953,150
Number of Paying Back Loans 234 122,727
Amount of Ended Loans $4,453,750 $455,175,175
Number of Ended Loans 3,544 579,816
Delinquency Rate 2.60% 3.66%
Amount in Arrears $2,997 $2,787,702
Outstanding Portfolio $115,271 $76,066,668
Number of loanDelinquent 13 11,650
Default Rate 0.04% 1.08%
Amount of Ended Loans Defaulted $1,639 $4,913,874
Amount of Ended Loans $4,453,750 $455,175,175
Number of Ended Loans Defaulted 5 15,176
Currency Exchange Loss Rate 0.00% 0.07%
Amount of Currency Exchange Loss $0 $405,498
Refund Rate 1.01% 0.78%
Amount of Refunded Loans $47,775 $4,475,600
Number of Refunded Loans 30 5,003

Loan Characteristics On Kiva

    This Field Partner All Kiva Partners
  Loans to Women Borrowers 30.25% 74.23%
Average Loan Size $1,252 $418
Average Individual Loan Size $1,253 $657
Average Group Loan Size $850 $1,823
Average number of borrowers per group 2 8
Average GDP per capita (PPP) in local country $5,900 $3,443
Average Loan Size / GDP per capita (PPP) 21.22% 12.15%
Average Time to Fund a Loan 14.42 days 5.49 days
Average Dollars Raised Per Day Per Loan $86.83 $76.17
  Average Loan Term 11.64 months 10.23 months

Journaling Performance on Kiva

    This Field Partner All Kiva Partners
  Total Journals 1,513 285,684
  Journaling Rate 42.09% 42.46%
  Average Number of Comments Per Journal 0.02 0.08
  Average Number of Recommendations Per Journal 0.42 1.94

Borrowing Cost Comparison (based on 2012 data)

    This Field Partner Median for MFI's in Country All Kiva Partners
  Portfolio Yield 25.00% 32.00% 33.71%
  Profitability (return on assets) 4.8% -13.5% -1.30%
  Average Loan Size (% of per capita income) 12.20% 11.00% 42.09%

Country Fast Facts

Field Partner Staff

Celine Adas
Joelle El Tawil
Ziad Halaby
Samer Jaber
Bassam Jardaly
Nadine Khoury
Dalia Ouaidat
Lena Safi