BancoSol's roots date back to 1986, when Accion and Bolivian business leaders established a nonprofit microlending entity called PRODEM. By 1988, PRODEM had grown so large that it was outstripping the capacity of the local banking system to supply it with lending capital. In 1992, PRODEM joined with Accion, Calmeadow Foundation, Bolivian banks and other investors to establish BancoSol, the first private commercial bank in the world dedicated exclusively to microenterprise.
Since helping to start BancoSol, Accion has supported BancoSol in developing new services, expanding programs and attracting new investments. BancoSol continues to make history in the microfinance industry, disbursing over U.S. $1 billion in operations and support of microcredit since its inception in 1992. With Accion’s support, BancoSol is implementing several complementary products, standardizing and improving credit management and re-engineering its underwriting process.
Half of BancoSol's active clients are women and work as market vendors, seamstresses, bakers, candy makers and others. With first loans as low as $50, BancoSol effectively reaches the poorest of the economically active population.