Syrian Refugees – a Viable Market for Microfinance?

Since fighting broke out in 2011, more than 1.6 million Syrians have fled to Lebanon and Jordan. While many remain vulnerable, a significant number have obtained employment, started businesses, and successfully restarted their lives. Microfinance institutions (MFI) have seen this influx and considered if and how to serve this population. But they’ve been stymied by a lack of information. Can refugees borrow and repay loans? Will they leave the country before they repay? Is there a sufficient number of credit-worthy refugees to make a strong business case? Without answers, most MFIs have stayed away from this population, denying refugees access to credit that can help them improve their live