Status Update - May 29, 2012

As agreed upon in December 2011, Pearl
 has successfully paid off all installments of its restructured debt. However, due to recent administrative changes within Pearl, the lender repayment in April was late, resulting in a delinquency rate of 49.62%. Kiva will continue to assess the situation and keep lenders posted.  

Partner Description:


All economically active population of Uganda accessing financial services.


To be a leading Financial Institution providing suitable financial services to the economically active population in Uganda. 


PEARL Microfinance Ltd is a company limited by shares. PEARL (Promotion of Economic transformation And Realization of sustainable Livelihood) was originally founded as a part of Feed the Children Uganda (FTCU). After 12 years working as the community-banking department of FTCU, Pearl spun off to work as a for-profit microfinance institution in July 2006 when it was registered as a company limited by shares.

PEARL grew its portfolio, and built its capacity, from donations, grants, and loans from a large variety of organizations: Canadian Feed The Children, SUFFICE, STROMME Foundation, Action Aid Uganda/European Union, ECLOF, Microfinance Outreach Plan, USAID- PRESTO, SPEED projects, Microfinance Support Center, OIKO Credit, Kiva, and Post Bank.

Currently, PEARL Microfinance is regarded as one of the most progressive micro-finance institutions in Uganda. It is an active member of the Association of Microfinance Institutions of Uganda (AMFIU) and Institute of Corporate Governance of Uganda (ICGU). AMFIU rates it in category A in terms of its operations, portfolio size and quality, outreach, operational/financial sustainability and other key aspects.


PEARL operates in 16 Districts of Uganda, using 11 branch offices and 3 field offices. Currently PEARL serves over 16,000 clients with a portfolio size of 2.5 million USD.

Types of Loans offered:

- Group Loans to community banking groups with membership of 15 - 45 people.
- Solidarity group loans to small groups of 5 – 15 members.
- Salary earner group loans to staff of institutions/organizations e.g Schools, Hospitals, Prisons and Police departments, NGOs etc.
- An agricultural loan product
- Individual loans
- SME (Small and medium sized enterprize) loans

Additional financial products offered:

- Savings mobilization through Commercial banks.
- Loan insurance to cover natural and accidental death of client.

Future Plans

Build a leading financial institution/company licensed by Bank of Uganda. Join our lending team: Friends of Pearl Microfinance Limited.

Status Update - December 28, 2011

Pearl's loan portfolio on Kiva is currently showing a relatively high delinquency rate at 35.02%, and we wanted to give you some more information about this situation.

Pearl is currently experiencing liquidity difficulties, which is impacting its ability to make its repayments to Kiva on time.  To assist Pearl, Kiva has agreed to restructure the remaining balance outstanding into three installments, to be paid over the next three months, along with regular monthly balances.  By April 2012, Pearl is expected to be current on delinquent repayments.

Liquidity is a payment timing issue, where the timing of funds due to be paid by an organization does not match the timing of incoming funds.  This is an issue all businesses must manage, but is more difficult to balance for an organization managing multiple repayment obligations, as most Kiva Field Partners are.  In the current situation with Pearl, a currency devaluation of the Ugandan Shilling against the US Dollar, combined with Kiva's net billing system, contributed to a situation where Pearl experienced liquidity difficulties.

Recently, the Ugandan Shilling significantly devalued against the US Dollar.  As Kiva loans are made in US Dollar loans, currency fluctuations can impact Field Partners.  In the case of Pearl, loans are received by Pearl in US Dollars, and loaned to the borrower in Ugandan Shillings.  In response to the currency devaluation, Pearl temporarily paused posting new loans on Kiva to wait until the currency had stabilized against the US Dollar.

At the same time as Pearl paused posting new loans, a large number of Pearl loan repayments came due.  Typically, repayments due would be offset by new funds being loaned, leaving only the difference to be paid in cash.  Kiva refers to this as our net billing system, meaning that we subtract the amount of repayments that a Field Partner owes to Kiva lenders from the amount that a Field Partner fundraises for borrowers on Kiva.  Because Pearl temporarily paused fundraising on Kiva, the difference to be paid in cash was much larger than usual, and Pearl faced liquidity constraints.

The new repayment structure, agreed between Pearl and Kiva, will result in continued high delinquencies over the next few months until the adjusted repayment schedule catches up to the original repayment schedule.

Status Update - May 5, 2010

PEARL’s star rating has been changed from 4 stars to 3 stars. While Kiva takes many factors into account in assessing risk, recent turnover of key management staff at PEARL was a key driver in our revaluation of PEARL’s rating. Kiva will continue to monitor PEARL and update the partner page with substantive changes.

Repayment Performance on Kiva

    This Field Partner All Kiva Partners
  Start Date On Kiva Sep 9, 2007 Oct 12, 2005
Total Loans $8,096,225 $721,596,850
Amount of raised Inactive loans $0 $330,500
Number of raised Inactive loans 0 280
Amount of Paying Back Loans $0 $134,074,425
Number of Paying Back Loans 0 154,064
Amount of Ended Loans $8,096,225 $587,191,925
Number of Ended Loans 3,526 728,056
Delinquency Rate 0.00% 8.68%
Amount in Arrears $0 $7,570,616
Outstanding Portfolio $0 $87,191,655
Number of Loans Delinquent 0 29,731
Default Rate 0.39% 1.17%
Amount of Ended Loans Defaulted $31,697 $6,842,874
Amount of Ended Loans $8,096,225 $587,191,925
Number of Ended Loans Defaulted 94 19,786
Currency Exchange Loss Rate 0.01% 0.27%
Amount of Currency Exchange Loss $587 $1,945,073
Refund Rate 1.43% 0.68%
Amount of Refunded Loans $116,075 $4,902,575
Number of Refunded Loans 53 5,417

Loan Characteristics On Kiva

    This Field Partner All Kiva Partners
  Loans to Women Borrowers 62.01% 74.41%
Average Loan Size $233 $416
Average Individual Loan Size $560 $653
Average Group Loan Size $2,761 $1,848
Average number of borrowers per group 12.2 8
Average GDP per capita (PPP) in local country $1,800 $5,937
Average Loan Size / GDP per capita (PPP) 12.95% 7.01%
Average Time to Fund a Loan 4.98 days 6.38 days
Average Dollars Raised Per Day Per Loan $46.79 $65.23
  Average Loan Term 5.22 months 10.77 months

Journaling Performance on Kiva

    This Field Partner All Kiva Partners
  Total Journals 2,348 354,292
  Journaling Rate 61.23% 41.30%
  Average Number of Comments Per Journal 0.27 0.06
  Average Number of Recommendations Per Journal 4.06 1.56

Borrowing Cost Comparison (based on 2009 data)

    This Field Partner Median for MFI's in Country All Kiva Partners
  Average Cost to Borrower N/A 57.00% PY 31.80% PY
  Profitability (return on assets) N/A 4.5% -1.92%
  Average Loan Size (% of per capita income) 43.60% 61.00% 19.51%

Country Fast Facts

Field Partner Staff

Peter Bakaaki
blue berry
blue berry
Amos Nakeba
Juliet Namubiru
Grace Nattoolo
Ronald Ntambi
scott scheide
richard wetaya
Richard Wetaya