A women’s savings club in Nigeria.
If programs don’t challenge the structural causes of gender inequality, microfinance will just continue to reinforce poverty and inequality.
Give a man the means to borrow, so the argument goes, and he can work himself out of poverty. But do microfinances’ claims stand up?
Small loans from governments and philanthropists are often held up as a route out of poverty. But proper research into whether they work is thin on the ground.
A Grameen Bank meeting in Bangladesh.
Grameen Bank has potential to increase financial inclusion in Australia but regulation is holding it back.
The first microloans were made to women in rural Bangladesh in the 1970s. Banesa Khatun (far left) here in 2006, was still using Grameen Bank 30 years later.
A new study finds that giving small loans to very poor people reduces both the incidence and depth of poverty in the developing world.
No need for a bank: Just a smartphone and a blockchain.
Houman Haddad/UN World Food Program
Already becoming a darling of Wall Street, blockchain technology's biggest real benefits could come to the world's poorest people. Here's how.
Providing women with credit improves gender inequality.
Women navigate a financial world that is awash in credit.
Photo by Caroline Schuster (2010)
The global push for financial inclusion could end up with unintended consequences.
Informal traders at Cape Town ‘s Grand Parade. Survival businesses that are here today and gone tomorrow cannot further long term devemlopment.
After 1994 the microcredit movement helped plunge large numbers of black South Africans into heavy debt and poverty while enriching a few white elites who provided the loans.
Muhammad Yunus, founder of the Grameen Bank. The micro credit revolution he started has not been a panacea for poverty.
Microcredit, which was viewed as a perfect market-affirming solution to poverty in developing countries, has collapsed. In 30 years it's gone from Zorro to Zombie.
Small business owners, such as this vendor in Cape Town, need access to affordable micro loans.
A strong case needs to be made for the survival of community-based financial organisations. While not perfect, the sense of ownership is high.
No fooling Santa.
francemora via shutterstock
At this time of the year, our mailboxes and inboxes get flooded with Christmas appeals. Many of them feature heart-wrenching and guilt-inducing images of people in need, the idea being that they tug at…
Squaring the circle. A microfinance self help group meet in a village near Pune, Maharashtra.
The introduction of hard-nosed private sector investment and the age-old pressures of social norms mean microfinance institutions are at risk of losing their social conscience – and both clients and staff…
Microfinance can buy you a bucket, but it won’t feed you forever.
In 1976, a small experiment was conducted in the poverty-stricken and flood ravaged Bangladeshi village of Jobra. Professor Muhammad Yunus, a lecturer of Economics at Chittagong University visited the…