MCE is a nonprofit impact investing firm with a mission is to generate economic opportunities for women and families living in poverty throughout the developing world.
MCE has expanded its focus in recent years beyond microfinance to include investments in small and growing businesses (SGBs) in the agriculture value chain, water and sanitation, and renewable energy sectors. MCE makes loans of $100k to $500k to support these SGBs in the so-called “missing middle” that otherwise lack access to financing on affordable and appropriate terms. In the past three years, MCE has made over $3.8 million in renewable energy investments in five companies facilitating access to clean, reliable electricity to thousands of families, primarily in Sub-Saharan Africa.
MCE utilizes a pioneering philanthropic loan guarantee model to leverage the excellent credit of high net worth individuals and foundations (its Guarantors), which allows MCE to borrow capital from U.S. and European financial institutions and accredited investors. MCE then strategically deploys this capital to microfinance institutions (MFIs) and small and growing businesses (SGBs) in developing countries, with a focus on reaching women and people in rural areas. Since its founding in 2006, MCE has disbursed more than $180 million to 114 institutions that meet MCE’s financial and social criteria in over 45 countries across Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, and the Caucasus.
MCE’s Shine Campaign commitment is to double its total investment in SGBs that provide access to clean energy to $7.6 million by 2020.
“At MCE, we look for a multiplier effect so we can really make a difference in the world,” said MCE CEO Gary Ford. “Our guarantee model, for example, puts $80 in developing countries for every $1 contributed by our Guarantors. Similarly, the money we invest in access to energy fuels progress on multiple fronts — it reduces poverty, combats climate change, and enables advancements in health, education and infrastructure.”