How our microfinance fund works

What is Microbuild?

The MicroBuild Fund is the first housing-specific microfinance product dedicated to helping low-income families.

Microfinance is a type of banking service that is provided to unemployed or low-income individuals or groups who otherwise have no other access to financial services. We view microfinance as a tool to help solve the housing crisis and lack of access to funds in developing markets.

Why was Microbuild set up?

Currently, the microfinance industry’s allocation in housing products totals only 2% of its entire loans portfolio to microfinance institutions globally.

We, alongside Habitat’s Terwilliger Centre, want to increase this allocation to 10%. This means that more funds can be dispersed so that more people can access loans for building and improving their homes.

Who will Microbuild impact?

It will affect the approximate 1.6 billion people living in substandard housing worldwide.

For low-income families in the developing world, the options for financial support to improve their homes are limited. Services in their local communities can often be expensive, of poor quality or simply unable to serve their needs. Microbuild encourages independence and financial inclusion, supporting low-income families’ growth and development.

Mark Carscaddon Microbuild
The MicroBuild Fund was one of 10 winners of a Classy Award, which recognizes the most innovative solutions to the world’s toughest social issues. Mike Carscaddon, chairman of the MicroBuild Fund board of directors

Building a home where families can thrive

Stability & Security

Microbuild India
People everywhere need security and stability in order to plan and build a future — the type of security that comes with knowing that you and your family have a safe, solid home to return to each night.

It is that sort of security that empowers people to make meaningful investments in their future, from improving their home to sending their children to school to starting a small business.

Financial Inclusion

microbuild tajikistan
MicroBuild fills a key gap in financial inclusion: the gap between housing finance and microfinance institutions. Loans can either be considered too big for microfinance institutions, or too small for more established housing finance institutions.

Microbuild is changing that. Low-income families will no longer be excluded from the financial market, enabling them to improve their homes.

Changing the Future

microbuild uganda
MicroBuild works in partnership with financial institutions and features a technical assistance programme that helps the staff prepare for and manage larger housing improvement loans.

Since the MicroBuild Fund launched in 2012, more than 415,000 individuals have secured the loans they need to improve their homes.

Microbuild growth over the last 5 years

Microbuild goals by 2026


people will get improved shelter.

We will encourage home improvement projects, small house construction, and secure tenure and land purchase.

US$10 million

will be spent on microfinance loans globally.

It will be used to support: 60 microfinance institution investments, 35 partner countries and it will provide technical assistance to microfinance institutions.

US$35 million

will be used to create a microfinance industry shift, by helping to fund housing finance.

Supporting the most vulnerable

Microbuild has shown us that two vulnerable groups make up a high proportion of the people needing to access loans.…

Microbuild has shown us that two vulnerable groups make up a high proportion of the people needing to access loans. 74 % of the borrowers are women, and 74 % of the borrowers are rural clients.


  • MicroBuild makes it easier for women to access money.
  • Statistically, women make better use of microloans and have better repayment rates, but they are often excluded from all financial services.

Rural families

  • Many rural families do not have access to traditional banking.
  • Financial services play a critical role in reducing poverty, so it is crucial for MicroBuild to support microfinance institutions that work in rural areas.
Women and rural communities

Microbuild's geographic reach

Case studies from countries around the world