Microfinance services made inroads in the island of Mindanao in the Philippines in the early 1990’s when a few non-government organizations began offering financial services to project beneficiaries. By the late 1990’s, a number of rural banks, cooperatives and NGOs began expanding microfinance services throughout Mindanao through funding support provided by the People’s Credit and Finance Corporation (PCFC) under the Asian Development Bank and International Fund for Agricultural Development funded Rural Micro-enterprise Finance Project (ADB-IFAD RMFP).
The idea of forming a council was first introduced during a meeting of the Caraga Rural Bankers’ Federation (CARBAF) in Butuan City. The meeting was participated in by rural banks engaged in microfinance in the CARAGA region. The group agreed that there is a need to collaborate and create a network organization that will represent the microfinance sector of Mindanao, conduct capability building activities, coordinate activities and promote cooperation and collaboration among MFIs, other MFI networks, and with government and private donor/funding agencies.
Thus, Mindanao MFIs worked on creating its Council that shall promote the growth of the microfinance industry in Mindanao, support the common interest of Mindanao MFIs and bring greater impact in the efforts to alleviate the poor in Mindanao.
On November 21, 2003, representatives from 32 Mindanao MFIs gathered in Davao City to forge the common vision and mission for the microfinance industry in Mindanao and to plan for the activities that will lead to the formation of the Mindanao Microfinance Council.
MMC was formally registered with the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission on March 25, 2004 and its first officers were elected and sworn in on March 30, 2004 during the 2004 Mindanao Microfinance Summit in Davao City.
Since then, the MMC started the daunting task of bringing together a diverse group of MFIs under its slogan “ONE INDUSTRY, ONE VISION, ONE VOICE” for the economic development of Mindanao and the eradication of extreme poverty in the region.