In 1969, Accion assisted in founding Mibanco's predecessor, Acción Comunitaria del Perú (ACP) as a private, nonprofit community development organization. In the early 1980s, with the backing of Banco Wiese, one of the largest banks in Peru, ACP began microlending in the southern section of Lima.
In May 1998, ACP became the majority shareholder and operative manager of a new venture called Mibanco (Banco de la Microempresa S.A.), Peru's first for-profit, fully-regulated commercial bank dedicated to microenterprise. Mibanco's initial U.S. $16 million in capital came entirely from the private sector. Other investors included ProFund, the Accion Gateway Fund, Banco Wiese Sudameris, Banco de Crédito del Perú. In November 1999, the Corporación Andina de Fomento became a shareholder of Mibanco. The nonprofit ACP continues to offer non-financial social services.
Mibanco's clients are market vendors, seamstresses, bakers, pot-makers and others who support their families by starting small, often home-based businesses. Many live in the shantytowns on the outskirts of Lima. Sixty-six percent of Mibanco's clients are women. Less than 20 percent of total loans are group loans, while the vast majority are individual loans.
In 2008, Accion began working with MiBanco on the Accion rural program to develop strategies and best practices for bringing microfinance services to remote, rural areas in Latin America. As a result, Mibanco added two new products in rural group lending; a risk management system and credit scoring to help loan officers objectively rate prospective borrowers and calculate the risk of extending credit to them.