Angel Partners
BYU Center for Economic Self-Reliance
International Distribution for Small Fortunes provided by APT Worldwide


Action Group: A group of people who meet regularly to (a) learn more about development, and (b) work with a partner practitioner by providing resources to them.

Green Microcredit: Microcredit with an additional focus on environmental issues that would impact the borrower, the area where the borrower lives, and/or the global environment.

Microfinance Institution (MFI): A microfinance institution is an organization that provides microcredit and other services to microentrepreneurs. These institutions normally are either a regulated bank that services microentrepreneurs or a nonprofit organization that provides similar services.

Microbusiness: A very small business started by a microentrepreneur. In developing economies these are usually cottage businesses or kiosks. Usually the only employees in a microbusiness are the microentrepreneur and his or her family members. Some microentrepreneurs are able to start or grow their microbusinesses into small businesses that might have a few employees or even multiple locations.


  • Programs that provide credit for self-employment and other financial services and business services (including savings and technical services) to very poor persons. This definition defines the whole industry.
  • Very small credit provided to the poor to provide capital for starting a very small business.


  • It is sometimes used synonymously with microcredit's definition to define the whole industry (such as in microfinance institution).
  • Financial services (credit, loans, savings, insurance, etc.) provided to the poor.


  • It is sometimes used synonymously with microcredit's definition to define the whole industry.
  • The very small business or enterprise started by a microentrepreneur.

MicroFranchise:: A small business that can easily be replicated by following proven mentoring, marketing, and operational concepts found in formal franchises. The overall objective of MicroFranchising is to promote economic development by creating sound replicable business models that can be managed easily by entrepreneurs at the base of the pyramid.

Microinsurance: Insurance provided to microentrepreneurs for life, home, health, etc.

Microentrepreneur: The person who starts a microenterprise.

Nonprofit Organization: An organization recognized by the government for its service work that (a) does not pay income taxes and (b) has no shareholders.

Non-Governmental Organization (NGO): An organization (often times a nonprofit) that is not a governmental organization but that provides services traditionally considered to be government or public-sector services.

Regulated Financial Institution: A microfinance institution that is operating under the financial regulations of a particular country rather than operating under the nonprofit regulations of a particular country.

Social Collateral: The non-tangible collateral created through social interaction in one's family or community.

Village Bank:

  • FINCA's microcredit method is called Village Banking.
  • The Grameen Bank's microcredit method is called Grameen (bangla for Village) Banking.

Wholesale Fund: A fund provided through donations and/or financial markets that is provided to microfinance institutions in a wholesale / retail manner.