Over the past five years, the microcredit sector has experienced unprecedented growth. The number of borrowers served by microfinance institutions (MFIs) has increased threefold to reach 120 million clients, according to Microfinance Information Exchange (MIX) estimates as of December 2009 and by other estimates the number may be as high 190 million (Microcredit Summit Campaign 2011).
In large markets, such as Mexico and South Africa, commercial banks and consumer lending companies have expanded their activities to include microfinance for low-income households. Unfortunately, the growth of microcredit is not always sustainable. Some iconic markets, such as India and Bosnia Herzegovina, are experiencing large-scale credit crises, and they are not alone.