Kiva conducts regular, ongoing monitoring of all Lending Partners, but only posts status updates here in response to relevant, major changes at the partner.

Status update - March 20, 2023

Al Majmoua’s operations and their ability to remit repayments owed to Kiva lenders continue to be greatly impacted by the unprecedented economic and political crisis in Lebanon. With no end in sight to the current situation, Kiva has decided to forgive the outstanding $2,001,388 owed to Kiva lenders by Al Majmoua.

This is not a decision we took lightly and have remained in close contact with Al Majmoua over the last three-plus years. As a non-profit microfinance institution, Al Majmoua is doing all they can just to continue operating. It is clear to us that the ongoing challenges they face are through no fault of their own and this reality is what led us to this decision.

Every day, our lenders take on the risk that a borrower can’t repay his or her loan. This is part of what makes Kiva lenders’ capital so special, and so impact-friendly. While we never want to reach a situation where lender funds are lost, in this situation we firmly believe this is the right path forward during this crisis and in line with Kiva’s mission. Kiva and Al Majmoua thank our lenders’ understanding during these difficult times in Lebanon, and for the significant impact our loans had on the lives of thousands of Al Majmoua borrowers.

To learn more about the situation in Lebanon and our decision, please read our blog post on the topic.

January 2021 Update:

To reflect the current crisis in Lebanon, Kiva has re-assessed the level of risk associated with loans from each of our Lending Partners in the country. Unfortunately, the political and economic situation in Lebanon has not improved, and Covid-19 and the aftermath of the Beirut explosion in August continue to impact an already difficult situation. We remain in close contact with Al Majmoua and while we are confident they are managing the situation as best they can, there are numerous factors outside of their control. A key part of our risk rating is based on macro-level risks of a country, and to reflect the current situation in Lebanon and the inability to transfer US dollars out of the country, our new assessment has resulted in a risk rating of 2.0 stars for Al Majmoua.

August 2020 Update:

Kiva continues to be saddened by the August explosion in Beirut. For an update on how we, and our partners, are responding, please see our blog post here.

July 2020 - COVID-19 Update:

This message is a follow-up from our February 14 status update below. Prior to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, Lebanon was already facing a political and economic crisis, which began last year. Both of these events have contributed to the challenging situation in Lebanon currently. Like many other countries, Lebanon imposed a nation-wide shutdown, as well as a temporary moratorium on loan payments which not only affects microfinance, but the economy as a whole. As a result, Al Majmoua has experienced difficulty collecting loan repayments due to the aforementioned restrictions or fallout effects of the virus.

Beyond COVID-19, capital controls (put in place by banks at the start of the economic crisis in November) continue, preventing all outgoing transfers of US dollars. This means that our partners remain unable to remit repayments owed to Kiva lenders. Kiva continues to be in close contact with Al Majmoua and we are confident they are managing the challenging situation as best they can. We thank lenders for their understanding of the current state of Lebanon during this time. We will post additional updates as we have them.

Status update — February 14, 2020

The recent unrest in Lebanon, beginning with protests and leading to the fall of the government, has greatly impacted the operations of our partners in the country. The economic implications have been significant, including capital controls put in place by banks which prevent all outgoing transfers of US dollars. As a result, our partners are currently unable to remit repayments owed to Kiva lenders. Kiva is in close contact with Al Majmoua and we are confident they are managing the situation as best they can, but until the situation improves Al Majmoua will not be posting loans to Kiva. We thank lenders for their patience during these challenging times in Lebanon.

Partner description: 

Al Majmoua – the Lebanese Association for Development is an independent, non-profit Lebanese NGO. It was initially created in 1994 as a microfinance program by Save the Children to provide group loans to low-income women entrepreneurs. In 1998, it spun off into an independent institution.

Currently, Al Majmoua offers group and individual loans, and free non-financial services for business development, product improvement, marketing, networking and personal development to its borrowers and non-borrowers.

Al Majmoua’s team consists of more than 385 highly motivated, skilled and dedicated full-time employees. The majority of staff is allocated to the branches and loan analysts are recruited from their communities, thus building on their social networks and local familiarity to provide quality customer service to the clients.

Al Majmoua is the leading microfinance institution following international best practices in Lebanon. As of December 31, 2016, it had 62,432 active clients from various nationalities, residing in urban or rural areas and Palestinian refugee camps; an outstanding portfolio of USD $59.3 million; and a network of 27 branches countrywide. In 2016, the number of beneficiaries from non-financial services was more than 1,600.

Al Majmoua’s core business is to provide loans to those who have limited or no access to formal lending channels, thus ensuring a regular source of income to them and to their families. The MFI complements its financial assistance with non-financial services that further contribute to the sustainable development of beneficiaries’ businesses and lives.

Financial and non-financial services: 

Al Majmoua offers 7 types of loans which are generally disbursed in USD. The loan amounts range between USD $200 and USD $15,000 over periods of 6 to 36 months.

  • Group loan: Offered to groups of three women entrepreneurs. No collateral for the loan is required since the group solidarity is considered a guarantee.
  • Micro-entrepreneur loan: Offered to low-income entrepreneurs who can’t financially afford to grow their businesses by increasing working capital needs, buying equipment, or rehabilitating the workplace.
  • Worker loan: Offered to employees not registered in the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) or those whose salary is not sufficient to receive a bank loan.
  • SME loan: Offered to owners of existing small and medium enterprises.
  • Home improvement loan: Offered to low-income individuals wanting to fix or improve their houses.
  • Back to school loan: Offered to the spouses of Al Majmoua’s existing clients who have good repayment history, to cover their children’s schooling expenses.
  • Yalla Shabab loan: Offered to youth (18 - 30 years) owners of existing micro-businesses or workers and fresh graduates with start-ups. “Yalla Shabab” is the Arabic term for “Let’s Go, Youth.” Youth loan includes business development services such as business management and financial education trainings as well as coaching and mentoring prior to and along the loan cycle to help young entrepreneurs successfully launch or develop their businesses

Al Majmoua also works with handicapped clients, offering each of the above products at lower interest rates to individuals with disabilities.

Al Majmoua created its Non-Financial Services (NFS) unit in 2006 to offer a variety of free trainings and social and economic support, mainly to women and youth. Programs include financial literacy trainings, job placement and apprenticeships, business development services and coaching and mentorship opportunities. Al Majmoua does not limit its trainings to its staff and beneficiaries, but also extends this support to other institutions through training other NGO staff.

Syrian Refugees outreach:

Al Majmoua lends to all legal residents in Lebanon (Syrian, Palestinian, Philippines, and other nationalities). Since April 2011, political insecurity and instability in neighboring Syria forced many Syrians to flee to Lebanon. Al Majmoua conducted responsive operations to the Syrian crisis from its branches and three Regional Livelihoods, Training and Employment Centers.

The Syrian crisis affected Lebanon’s economic and social environment and has had direct effects on many of Al Majmoua’s clients on the household, community and business levels. Al Majmoua provided Syrian refugees and Lebanese host populations (women and youth) with a variety of services aiming at economic empowerment and social cohesion. These services include entrepreneurship and business management trainings, financial education trainings, life skills training and community development events.

Al Majmoua also provides individual and group loans to refugees. Group loans are offered to Syrian women together with Lebanese women, which contributes to increasing social cohesion among both populations.

Awards and honors:

  • Citigroup Micro entrepreneurship Awards (CMA) every year since 2006 to 2016
  • International Microentrepreneurship Award (IMA) 2014
  • Microentrepreneur of Honor PlaNet Finance Foundation 2014
  • Socially Responsible And Transparent (S.T.A.R.) Recognition from the Mix for 2012-2013
  • Certificates of Transparency from the Mix Market every year from 2003 to 2013

Repayment Performance on Kiva

    This Lending Partner All Kiva Partners
  Start Date On Kiva Sep 12, 2007 Oct 12, 2005
Total Loans $25,500,600 $1,958,300,470
Amount of raised Inactive loans $0 $202,845
Number of raised Inactive loans 0 165
Amount of Paying Back Loans $0 $160,872,085
Number of Paying Back Loans 0 188,297
Amount of Ended Loans $25,500,600 $1,768,236,180
Number of Ended Loans 18,251 2,370,020
Delinquency Rate 0.00% 12.24%
Amount in Arrears $0 $12,206,242
Outstanding Portfolio $0 $99,725,561
Number of Loans Delinquent 0 72,811
Default Rate 8.14% 1.83%
Amount of Ended Loans Defaulted $2,075,876 $32,298,216
Number of Ended Loans Defaulted 3,203 84,743
Currency Exchange Loss Rate 0.00% 0.50%
Amount of Currency Exchange Loss $0 $11,931,838
Refund Rate 0.37% 0.54%
Amount of Refunded Loans $94,025 $10,526,300
Number of Refunded Loans 73 9,596

Loan Characteristics On Kiva

    This Lending Partner All Kiva Partners
  Loans to Women Borrowers 54.26% 78.22%
Average Loan Size $1,067 $392
Average Individual Loan Size $1,312 $589
Average Group Loan Size $1,841 $1,891
Average number of borrowers per group 2.9 8.3
Average GDP per capita (PPP) in local country $15,800 $5,599
Average Loan Size / GDP per capita (PPP) 6.75% 7.00%
Average Time to Fund a Loan 11.82 days 8.93 days
Average Dollars Raised Per Day Per Loan $90.29 $43.87
  Average Loan Term 13.43 months 11.47 months

Journaling Performance on Kiva

    This Lending Partner All Kiva Partners
  Total Journals 9,529 1,178,470
  Journaling Rate 45.90% 42.26%
  Average Number of Comments Per Journal 0.04 0.02
  Average Number of Recommendations Per Journal 0.68 0.57

Borrowing Cost Comparison (based on 2016 data)

    This Lending Partner Median for MFI's in Country All Kiva Partners
  Average Cost to Borrower 31% PY 32.00% PY 27.02% PY
  Profitability (return on assets) -3.22% -13.5% -3.10%
  Average Loan Size (% of per capita income) N/A 11.00% 0.00%

Country Fast Facts

Lending Partner Staff