Learn about Microfinance

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We composed a list of suggested readings that provide useful and relevant information regarding the start and development of microfinance over the years. Microfinance is an extraordinary tool that can and does plays a huge role in development worldwide, however, along with many positive impacts, there are also many issues. We hope you find these resources helpful, as you learn more about microfinance.

Online Articles:

Microfinance Explained

"The History of Microfinance." Global Envision. Global Envision explores market-driven solutions to poverty. This article examines the historical context of microfinance and its evolution.

"What is microfinance?" Microfinance Gateway is an online resource for the global microfinance community. This specific section goes over some frequently asked questions.

Microfinance in Mexico

"Striking a Balance between Private and Social Interests: Lessons from Microfinance in Mexico." by Pablo Antón-Díaz. An analysis of the microfinance sector in Mexico, using a local microfinance institution as a case study (Compartamos Banco – Let’s Share Bank).

"The Ugly side of Microlending, " by Keith Epstein and Geri Smith. Insight into the state of microfinance in Mexico. Discusses problems such as for-profit microlending, high interest rates and ugly collection methods. A great read to help understand what makes En Vía's approach unique and important.

"Microfinance's Success Sets Off a Debate in Mexico." by Elisabeth Malkin. New York Times. Discusses current trends in microfinance by contrasting market-oriented models with more traditional approaches, whose primary goal is to end poverty.

Microfinance Around the world

"Microfinance in India: Road to Redemption." The Economist. Analyses the ways in which the microfinance industry is started to revive in India, with greater emphasis on regulators.

"Microfinance Under Fire," by David Borstein.
Explains current issues in the Grameen Bank and the ousting of its founder Muhammad Yunus. Explains how these issues could affect the world's first and biggest microfinance institution in the future.

"Grameen Bank and the Public Good," by David Borstein. The article discusses the reasons for which the Grameen Bank has been criticized, why it is so difficult to ascertain as to whether microfinance works and the ways in which microfinance can alleviate poverty.

"Scaling Microfinance: An Economic Imperative,"
 by Gina Harman. Huffington Post. A good perspective on the current challenges faced by the microfinance sector. Also investigates microlending in the USA.

"Who Is Responsible for India's Poor—the State or the Private Sector?," By Salil Tripathi. A case study of India. Examines how private-sector for-profit microfinance institutions are making matters worse for India's poor. Explains why greater regulation is needed in microfinance, and why we need to clearly define what can be called microfinance and what cannot.


The Price of a Dream: The Story of the Grameen Bank, by
 David Bornstein. Describes the achievements of the Grameen bank, one of the first microfinance institutions, now operating in Bangladesh. Analyses the bank’s influence on economic development as well as engaging with the personal stories of borrowers.

Banker To The Poor: Micro-Lending and the Battle Against World Poverty, by Muhammed Yunis. An excellent introduction to microfinance, relating the story of how Yunus started the Grameen bank.

Creating a World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism, by 
Muhammad Yunus. A sequel to Banker to the Poor. Yunus outlines the possibilities of social enterprises.

The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time , by Jeffrey Sachs. This is more of an academic read, frequently used as a college textbook. Presents the economics of microfinance.

A Billion Bootstraps: Microcredit, Barefoot Banking, and The Business Solution for Ending Poverty, by Philip Smith and Eric Thurman. Two business leaders demonstrate how microfinance is a powerful development tool and an excellent investment for charitable donations.