Responsible Finance Forum

Micro and SME Finance Market Outlook for 2017

responsAbility’s ‘Micro and SME Finance Market Outlook’, which has been published each year since 2010, is one of the most-read publications about this investment theme. It explores global developments in the microfinance industry and produces forecasts for the next 12-14 months. The publication contains the views of experts from all major markets and combines their assessments with key macroeconomic indicators and the comprehensive data collected through responsAbility’s business activities. For the 2017 edition of the publication, the universe covered in the analysis was expanded to include SME banks for the first time.

Key findings of the Market Outlook 2017: 

– In 2017, global micro and SME finance markets will grow by an average of 10-15%.

– 25-30%: The highest growth rate is expected in Asia Pacific, driven by developments in India and strong growth in the region.

– 10-15%: In North Africa and the Middle East, the micro and SME segments continue to be underserved – resulting in significant growth in demand.

– 10%: In Eastern Europe and the Caucasus, experts hope that a gradual recovery of the Russian economy will pave the way for a return to growth.

– 5-10%: In Sub-Saharan Africa, certain markets are experiencing strong catch-up growth, while in other markets, this type of growth is being restricted by the difficult economic environment.

– 5-10%: With its very mature micro and SME finance markets, Latin America expects solid growth, due in part to the positive economic environment in the US.

– 90% of the micro and SME finance experts surveyed anticipate that the proportion of SME financing in their markets will grow over the next five years; 30% expect it to increase by more than 20%.

– 65% of the experts surveyed expect to see a consolidation of financial institutions in their markets.

– 43% indicated that they expect regulation to improve in 2017.

– 50% of all those surveyed believe that the interest rates charged on loans in their markets will decrease in 2017.