Calmeadow: Higher Education Finance Fund

Technical assistance to develop, test, and document innovative microfinance products for higher education financing.

Calmeadow: Higher Education Finance Fund

Higher education promotes socio-economic development. One enormous barrier to accessing higher education is cost. While higher education loans have gained popularity, most remain inaccessible to the majority of students. HEFF strives to bring access to higher education to those segments of the population that have the motivation and capacity but do not have the financial resources to pay for higher education themselves.

The Higher Education Finance Fund (HEFF) is a fund administered by Calmeadow and managed by Omtrix Inc. (Calmeadow’s operating partner in Costa Rica) to enable broader access to higher education for people living in poverty through the provision of innovative microfinance products. Created in 1985, Calmeadow is a registered Canadian non-governmental organization with operations in San Jose, Costa Rica. Its mission is to enable the self-employed poor in developing countries to strengthen their enterprises and achieve improved standards of living for themselves and their families.

To help MFIs adopt HEFF, the MasterCard Foundation will support a technical assistance facility to pilot the new loan product in eight microfinance institutions in Latin America. The facility will analyze the higher education market in selected countries and create a roster of accredited educational or vocational centers and their costs, develop lending methodologies for higher education loans, train MFI credit officers to offer, monitor and collect loans, provide students with guidance in financial planning, and evaluate HEFF performance and impact.


  • MasterCard Foundation

    United States | Staff size: 51-100

    The MasterCard Foundation is an independent foundation based in Toronto, Canada with $10 billion in assets. Their vision is to create the opportunity for all to learn and prosper. They promote...

  • Calmeadow

    Implementing NGO
    Costa Rica | Staff size: 6-25

    Calmeadow is a registered Canadian NGO, with operations based in San José, Costa Rica. Since 1985 Calmeadow has supported innovative ideas in microfinance; ideas that promote greater...

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Key Information

  • Start Date 2011
  • End Date 2015
  • ValueUSD 600 Thousand