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Microcredit is the extension of very small loans (microloans) to the unemployed, to poor entrepreneurs and to others living in poverty who are not considered bankable. These individuals lack collateral, steady employment] and a verifiable credit history and therefore cannot meet even the most minimal qualifications to gain access to traditional credit. Microcredit is a part of microfinance, which is the provision of a wider range of financial services to the very poor.

Microcredit is a financial innovation which originated in Bangladesh where it has successfully enabled extremely impoverished people to engage in self-employment projects that allow them to generate an income and, in many cases, begin to build wealth and exit poverty. Due to the success of microcredit, many in the traditional banking industry have begun to realize that these microcredit borrowers should more correctly be categorized as pre-bankable; thus, microcredit is increasingly gaining credibility in the mainstream finance industry and many traditional large finance organizations are contemplating microcredit projects as a source of future growth. Although almost everyone in larger development organizations discounted the likelihood of success of microcredit when it was begun in its modern incarnation as pilot projects with ACCION and Muhammad Yunus in the mid-1970s, the United Nations declared 2005] the International Year of Microcredit.


The concept of microcredit can be traced back to portions of the Marshall Plan at the end of World War II in the middle of the 20th century or even back to the mid-1800s and the writings [1] of abolitionist/legal theorist Lysander Spooner who wrote concerning the benefits of numerous small loans for entrepreneurial activities to the poor as a way to alleviate poverty. It is also tied to New York's Providence Fund. However, in its most recent incarnation it can be linked to several organizations starting in the 1970s and onward.


Microcredit is based on a separate set of principles, which are distinguished from general financing or credit. [2] Microcredit emphasizes building capacity of a micro entrepreneur, [[3]] employment generation, trust building [[4]] and help to the micro entrepreneur on initiation and during difficult times. Microcredit is tool for socioeconomic development <ref> http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=955062 </ref> Sapovadia, Vrajlal K., "Micro Finance: The Pillars of a Tool to Socio-Economic Development" . Development Gateway, 2006

Focus on Women

Women have become the focus of many microcredit institutions and agencies worldwide. The reasoning behind this is the observation that loans to women tend to more often benefit the whole family than loans to men do. It has also been observed that giving women the control and the responsibility of small loans raises their socio-economic status, which is seen as a positive change to many of the current relationships of gender and class.

According to the Microcredit Summit Campaign:

"1.2 billion people are living on less than a dollar a day. Women are often responsible for the upbringing of the world’s children and the poverty of the women generally results in the physical and social underdevelopment of their children. Experience shows that women are a good credit risk, and that women invest their income toward the well being of their families. At the same time, women themselves benefit from the higher social status they achieve within the home when they are able to provide income."

Many microcredit organizations in the developing world focus completely on women borrowers. Pro Mujer, SKS Microfinance and NamasteDirect are some organizations that directly work with women. The Grameen Foundation, retired UN Secretary General Kofi Annan], and Hillary Rodham Clinton] all emphasize women when they speak about microcredit.

Sample Organizations

Comilla Co-operatives

Dr. Akhtar Hameed Khan, a social scientist, is credited for pioneering microcredit and microfinance through Comilla Co-operatives in 1960.<ref>Arthur F Raper, Rural Development in Action: The Comprehensive Experiment at Comilla, East Pakistan, Cornell University Press: Ithaca]</ref><ref>http://www.akhtar-hameed-khan.8m.com/drkhan-microcredit.pdf</ref>

Opportunity International

In 1971, Al Whittaker resigned as president of Bristol Myers and established Opportunity International’s first US office in Washington DC. The first loan was made to Carlos Moreno in Colombia to expand his one-man spice and tea] business. About the same time Australian philanthropist, David Bussau, began making microloans in Indonesia. The two men met and formed Opportunity International, which provides opportunities for people in chronic poverty to transform their lives by creating jobs, stimulating small businesses, and strengthening communities. Small loans ranging from United States Dollar 25 to USD 500 helped poor families lift themselves out of poverty. Other Opportunity International offices are in Australia, Great Britain and Canada, each targeting countries within their region.

ACCION International

In 1973 Accion International, a Peace Corps-like group, started to switch their focus toward providing economic opportunity to poor people instead of working on construction/infrastructure projects in order to create lasting improvements in the lives of those they were helping. Their plan first appeared in Recife, Brazil in 1973 when ACCION staff began to offer microloans to poor people eager to start small businesses. ACCION offered an alternative to the under-served population that were ineligible for traditional loans and wanted to avoid the exploitive lending practices of loan sharks.

Within four years, the experiment had shown its success in having provided 885 loans with a repayment rate of over 90%. The loans also helped to create or stabilize 1,386 new jobs. This success in making a lasting impact in peoples lives, as contrasted with the previous projects they had done seemingly steered ACCION firmly in the direction of being a microfinance organization. Since this beginning ACCION has expanded its microlending operation to countries throughout South and Central America, the United States, Africa and India.

ACCION claims that these loans were the first modern pioneers of microcredit.

Self Help Group, Indian experience

In India, micro credit is extended by Self Help Groups and Cooperatives linkages. [[5]] The government policy has further strengthened these public movement. NABARD, and apex developmental bank cum agency focussing on rural and agricultural development has been a great force to promote micro credit through these linkages. [[6]]

Grameen Bank


Around the same time as ACCION's experiment, and apparently independently, Muhammad Yunus, a professor of economics at Chitagong University started a similar experiment. Around 1974, during a famine in his native Bangladesh, Yunus discovered that very small loans could make a difference in a poor person's ability to survive, but that traditional banks were not interested in making tiny loans to poor people, who were considered repayment risks. His first loan consisted of $27 from his own pocket which he lent to 42 people including a woman who made bamboo furniture, which she sold to support herself and her family.

In 1976], Yunus founded the Grameen Bank to make loans to poor Bangladeshis. Since then, the Grameen Bank has issued more than $5 billion in loans to several million borrowers. At the close of 2005 the number of outstanding loans is more than 4 million. To ensure repayment, the bank uses a system of solidarity lending through "solidarity groups" also known as peer group lending: small informal groups, nearly all of them exclusively female, that meet weekly in their villages to conduct business with representatives of the bank and that support each other's efforts at economic self-advancement. As it has grown, the Grameen Bank has also developed other systems of alternate credit which serve the poor: in addition to microcredit, it offers housing loans, financing for fisheries, irrigation] projects, venture capital, textiles, and other activities, as well as other banking services such as savings.

The success of the Grameen model has inspired similar efforts throughout the developing world and even in industrialized nations including the United States. Many, but not all, microcredit projects also emulate its emphasis on lending specifically to women. Close to 96 percent of Grameen loans have gone to women, who have been found to be much more likely than men to repay loans and to devote their earnings to serving the needs of the entire family. Originally, the program started with men and women but later focused on women when data showed a dramatically lower credit risk in women. In 2006, Yunus and the Grameen bank were honored for this achievement with the Nobel Peace Prize.

Development Gateway, USA

Development Gateway, USA [7]is a portal assisting many socio-economic activities. It also have a community forum, Micro Finance community [8]that serve knowledge center for global activities. One can share experience in any particular country without any cost. Development Gateway maintains a community specially for Micro Finance [[9]]

Women's World Banking

In 1976, Women's World Banking was founded in New York by Ela Bhatt (India), Esther Ocloo (Ghana) and Michaela Walsh, an American investment banker. Bhatt had earlier founded the Mahila SEWA Cooperative Bank in 1974, and she served as WWB's chair from 1980 until 1998. The WWB president was reported in 2002 as claiming that of half the microcredit loans made worldwide to 25 million people, three-quarters of them were made to women, and had been made by WWB.<ref>Douglas Martin, Esther Afua Ocloo in New York Times March 10, 2002 accessed at Africa Prize website, April 12, 2007.[10]</ref>

Friends of Women's World banking

Friends of Women's World Banking was established in the year 1982 by Ela Bhatt as a non-profit organization to promote direct participation of poor women in the economy through access to financial services. It was created to extend and expand informal credit supports and networks within India to link them to a global movement. It is an affiliate to Women's World Banking.

As of now Friends of Women's World Banking is working in 14 states of India, with 104 partner organizations with a total client outreach of 5 million .

Some of the biggest MFIs in India like Share Microfin, Spandana, Bandhan, SKS received their initial support from FWWB and still continue their association with FWWB.

According to Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), FWWB's niche lies in its proven capability in identifying and hand holding fledgling startup MFIs and grow them to a stage where they become self sustainable.

FINCA International

In 1983, John Hatch, founder of FINCA, who had worked on other international credit programs, started doing microcredit on his own in Bolivia, stressing local autonomy and putting the poor in charge of the programs. “Give poor communities the opportunity, and then get out of the way!” he said. He called his approach village banking.

With an initial $1 million grant from USAID, Hatch assembled a team, incorporated FINCA, and within a year had created 433 village banks serving 17,000 families, with total loans outstanding of $630,000. While the original program was shut down in 1986, it was not because of a lack of success, but because its backers felt uncollateralized lending was too risky. Despite this set-back, Hatch continued to pursue his work, often partnering with other nonprofit agencies, launching village banking pilot programs in Costa Rica (1985), El Salvador (1986) Guatemala (1987), Honduras (1987), Mexico and Haiti (1988) as well as Thailand and Senegal in partnership with CRS. By the mid-1990's major FINCA village banking FINCA programs were underway in Africa and Eastern Europe. Today it is estimated that in addition to FINCA's 21 programs there are nearly 800 village banking programs worldwide operated by other nonprofit agencies in 60 countries, collectively serving over 5 million clients.

The mission of FINCA International is to provide financial services to the world's lowest-income entrepreneurs so they can create jobs, build assets, and improve their standard of living. In 2007 FINCA was serving nearly 700,000 clients in 21 countries, providing in excess of $285 million in small loans. Women comprise 80 percent of FINCA's small loan clients, and the organization has a loan repayment rate of 97 percent.


Thengamara Mohila Sabuj Sangha (TMSS) is an NGO from Bangladesh. It was established in 1964 in Bogra District of Bangladesh. TMSS is a Women-oriented Leading Bangladeshi National Non-government Organization. The history says a lady with the lamp who was a day laborer formed along with other poor women in Thengamara village of Bogra. In 1980, a botany professor Dr. Hosne-Ara Begum came forward to redirect the NGOs social activity. She engaged herself as the Founder Executive Director of TMSS.

With the main patronizer [Palli Karma Shahayak Foundation] (PKSF), TMSS is engaged in uplifting the living condition of the most distressed poor people particularly women and children of both urban and rural areas. TMSS believes in self-help sustainable development of the targeted beneficiaries through their own efforts and resources. Main objective of TMSS is to alleviate poverty and upgrade the living standard of the most degraded poor to a dignified level through diversified ways. Over the years, TMSS has emerged as one of the most efficient and dynamic NGOs in the country. It has extensive network almost all over the country. TMSS has a large contingent of well-trained and skilled manpower, including 9000 regular staffs, 7,000 voluntary and part-time staffs. The number of target beneficiaries increased from 126 in 1980 to more than 1.8 million in 2005. The microcredit loan disbursement increased from US $ 8,000 to US $ 125 million during the same period with a recovery rate of 99%.

SKS India

SKS Microfinance was founded in 1998 by Vikram Akula to provide loans to women living in poor regions of India. According to its website, SKS has provided over $205 million (Rs 835 crores) in loans to nearly 632,000 clients. Borrowers take loans in order to develop a variety of income-generating farming and home-based manufacturing activities. Interest-free loans for emergencies and life insurance are also offered to borrowers. SKS runs an affiliated program to improve education for poor children.<ref>About SKS - Background, SKS Website. Retrieved August 17 2007.</ref>

In May 2006, Vikram Akula was named to TIME Magazine’s Top 100 List of Most Influential People for the year 2006, wherein he was highlighted for his work as a pioneer in the microfinance industry and dedication to improving the lives of the poor in India.<ref>Julie Rawe, Vikram Akula, Time (magazine), April 30 2006. Retrieved August 17 2007.</ref>

In 2006, SKS Microfinance attracted the attention of Venture Capitalists such as Vinod Khosla, Small Industries Development Bank of India, Unitus Equity Fund, Sequoia Capital and they have invested in SKS India.Template:Fact

Some recent developments in India

The Government of India is mulling some regulation for the Microfinance / Microcredit industry in India and in his budget speech on 28 February 2006, the Finance Minister P Chidambaram said "I had proposed major initiatives in respect of micro finance in the last Budget. RBI has since issued guidelines to enable banks to appoint banking correspondents and banking agents. A window to access ECB funds has also been opened. A Bill to provide a formal statutory framework for the promotion, development and regulation of the micro finance sector will be introduced in this session".

At a seminar on microfinance organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) in Delhi, in September 2006, the Chairman & Managing Director of the Indian Bank, K C Chakrabarty, said "Micro Finance Institutions are limited in their delivery - most are simply engaged in lending. Micro finance is also about saving, insurance, and investment. Sadly, these products are not being delivered. So far, micro finance initiatives have failed to link the beneficiaries to the capital market, and have met with little success when it comes to developing micro-entrepreneurship. In most of rural India, people still borrow to meet their daily consumption, not to fund an income generating enterprise".


The World Bank estimates that there are now more than 7,000 microfinance institutions, serving some 16 million poor people in developing countries. CGAP experts estimate that 500 million households benefit from these small loans. Cambodia and Kenya were put forward as examples. Asia and the Pacific region represent 83% of the opened accounts in developing countries, which is equivalent to 17 accounts for 100 persons <ref> Template:Cite news </ref>. In November 1997, more than 2000 delegates from 100 countries gathered at a Microcredit Summit in Washington, DC], with the goal of reaching 100 million of the world's poorest families, with credit for self-employment and other financial and business services by the year 2005]. Support for these goals has come from prominent world leaders and major financial institutions. Micro Finance may be good instrument for poverty alleviation using cooperative structure as a strategy. <ref> http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=958048 </ref>

The Economic and Social Council of the United Nations proclaimed the year 2005 as the International Year of Microcredit to call for building inclusive financial sectors and strengthening the powerful, but often untapped, entrepreneurial spirit existing in communities around the world. There are five goals associated with "The Year" which are:

  1. Assess and promote the contribution of microfinance and microcredit to the MDGs;
  2. Increase public awareness and understanding of microfinance and microcredit as vital parts of the development equation;
  3. Promote inclusive financial sectors;
  4. Support sustainable access to financial services, and
  5. Encourage innovation and new partnerships by promoting and supporting strategic partnerships to build and expand the outreach and success of microcredit and microfinance for all.

2006: Microcredit awarded Nobel Peace Prize

Grameen Bank and its founder Muhammad Yunus were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2006. The press release states:

"The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2006, divided into two equal parts, to Muhammad Yunus and Grameen Bank for their efforts to create economic and social development from below. Lasting peace can not be achieved unless large population groups find ways in which to break out of poverty.
Micro-credit is one such means. Development from below also serves to advance democracy and human rights.

Muhammad Yunus has shown himself to be a leader who has managed to translate visions into practical action for the benefit of millions of people, not only in Bangladesh, but also in many other countries. Loans to poor people without any financial security had appeared to be an impossible idea. From modest beginnings three decades ago, Yunus has, first and foremost through Grameen Bank, developed micro-credit into an ever more important instrument in the struggle against poverty. Grameen Bank has been a source of ideas and models for the many institutions in the field of micro-credit that have sprung up around the world.

Every single individual on earth has both the potential and the right to live a decent life. Across cultures and civilizations, Yunus and Grameen Bank have shown that even the poorest of the poor can work to bring about their own development.

Micro-credit has proved to be an important liberating force in societies where women in particular have to struggle against repressive social and economic conditions. Economic growth and political democracy can not achieve their full potential unless the female half of humanity participates on an equal footing with the male.

Yunus’s long-term vision is to eliminate poverty in the world. That vision can not be realised by means of micro-credit alone. But Muhammad Yunus and Grameen Bank have shown that, in the continuing efforts to achieve it, micro-credit must play a major part."

Web 2.0 and Microfinance Merger <ref>Robert Katz, Kiva vs. MicroPlace - What's the Difference?, WorldChanging.com, October 24 2007. Retrieved November 4 2007.</ref>

Kiva.org, was the first person-to-person micro-lending Website that enabled an individual to lend money to a micro-entrepreneur in the developing world. This came to be known as "the merger between Microfinance and Web 2.0" due to its ability to create a transparent, connective and affordable option for anyone on the Internet to lend directly to the working poor. Inspired by Mohammad Yunus and Grameen Bank, microcredit was taken online.

MicroPlace.com, a wholly-owned subsidiary of eBay, was launched on October 2007. This website also caters to the micro-borrower with a little difference from Kiva.org. The big difference between MicroPlace and Kiva...is that loans will be securitized (and therefore potentially trade-able), and lenders will earn interest. Unlike Kiva, lenders on MicroPlace invest in microcredit by purchasing securities. Funds generated by these sales are then invested in microcredit institutions around the world. MFIs, in turn, solicit clients, make loans and collect payments - they do their normal day-to-day business. Once client payments are in, the institutional investors receive their loan (plus interest) who can then pay back their investors - people who purchased those original securities. It's not as simple a model as Kiva's, but its differences are very important.

Kiva is a non-profit as it's very difficult to become an SEC-registered broker/dealer. MicroPlace, on the other hand, had the institutional and financial backing of eBay, allowing it to go through the complex regulatory application process and to put up the necessary money for the SEC to sign off.

Fundamental Principles

Template:Original research An increasingly large body of published literature and conference proceedings has begun to seriously study the implications and debate the relative significance of different aspects of this important financial innovation. For those who are interested in a reading more detailed, theoretical studies of this field of economics and finance, a separate ESR Review has existed since the fall of 1999. From published literature and conference proceedings, it is possible to summarize several fundamental lessons from the microcredit success and failures over the last three decades.

A savings|investment as preferable aid: Independent borrowers earn the dignity and lasting self-confidence associated with responsible loan repayment. Institutional managers are more careful to ensure borrower success and generally perform better when there are risks involved.

Entrepreneurial talent and energy are scarce invaluable resources for economic growth: Our economies cannot afford not to find and develop independently responsible entrepreneurs and public bankers who are financial critical thinkers. These individuals can be attracted to the microcredit industry, but they are individuals with options – they will not risk their future on short-term or unpredictable bureaucratic support.

Traditional private banks should not be expected to offer microcredit: Existing banks with a traditional operating philosophy typically have significant investments in facilities and costly operating structures. Because of the significant overhead of such banking operations, these bank operations naturally gravitate to large, profitable transactions with affluent borrowers.

A new generation of banking institutions [and the banking professionals to run them] is arising: Banking institutions motivated by a less myopic vision of profitably serving the common good can be capitalized for the primary purpose of entry-level economic development. By lowering the transaction costs through institutional specialization and innovation in delivery systems, they will be able to operate profitably in markets characterized by very small transaction sizes and less affluent clients.

Poor entrepreneurs possess the same survival skills as the toughest, most affluent business operators: Poor entrepreneurs save money, carefully apply their entrepreneurial energy and repay debts as scheduled to maintain access to future loans. In other words, poor entrepreneurs are not only prebankable, they represent the population of those individuals who will be aggressively pursued as successful, very affluent captains of enterprise in 10, 25 or 50 years from now.

A radically efficient, large-scale, NEW banking operating infrastructure required: Simply modifying old methods will not successfully expand poor people's participation in their country's economy. Investment in self sustaining institutions that finance poor residents is a comparatively cost-effective use of scarce subsidies for economic development. The costs of doing research in the microcredit and microenterprise areas are extremely low compared to other strategies to stimulate economic development such as tax abatement or continued support for welfare programs.

Beyond enterprise lending and savings: Increasingly, microfinance is expanding beyond its roots in savings and business lending and now offers other forms of financial services, including most notably insurance and housing microfinance. In many ways, microfinance offers the promise that it could eventually evolve into a specialized form of banking catering to economically active poor people who currently happen to be unbanked. Some new microfinance focused-organizations, see for instance the Development Innovations Group (DIG), have embraced this more expanded vision of microfinance and speak of financial services for the poor or of development finance, rather than of microfinance.


In the past few years, savings-led microfinance has gained recognition as an effective way to bring very poor families low-cost financial services. For example, in India the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) finances more than 500 banks that on-lend funds to self-help groups (SHGs). SHGs comprise twenty or fewer members, of whom the majority are women from the poorest castes and tribes. Members save small amounts of money, as little as a few rupees a month in a group fund. Members may borrow from the group fund for a variety of purposes ranging from household emergencies to school fees. As SHGs prove capable of managing their funds well, they may borrow from a local bank to invest in small business or farm activities. Banks typically lend up to four rupees for every rupee in the group fund. Groups pay a reasonable 11-12% annual rate of interest. Nearly 1.4 million SHGs comprising approximately 20 million women now borrow from banks, which makes the Indian SHG-Bank Linkage model the largest microfinance program in the world. Similar programs are evolving in Africa and Southeast Asia with the assistance of organizations like Opportunity International, Catholic Relief Services, CARE, APMAS and Oxfam. Microfinancing also helps in the development of an economy by giving everyday people the chance to establish a sustainable means of income. Eventual increases in disposable income will lead to economic development and growth.


Gina Neff of the Left Business Observer has described the microcredit movement as a privatization of public safety-net programs.<ref name="gina">Microcredit, microresults The Left Business Observer #74, October 1996</ref> Enthusiasm for microcredit among government officials as an anti-poverty program can motivate cuts in public health, welfare, and education spending. Neff maintains that the success of the microcredit model has been judged disproportionately from a lender's perspective (repayment rates, financial viability) and not from that of the borrowers. For example, the Grameen Bank's high repayment rate does not reflect the number of women who are repeat borrowers, and have become dependent on loans for household expenditures rather than capital investments. Studies of microcredit programs have found that women often act merely as collection agents for their husbands and sons, such that the men spend the money themselves while women are saddled with the credit risk.<ref name="Goetz">Goetz, A.M. and R. Sen Gupta. "Who takes the Credit? Gender, power and control over loan use in rural credit programmes in Bangladesh." World Development Vol. 24, January 1995.</ref> As a result, borrowers are kept out of waged work and pushed into the informal economy.

Many studies in recent years have shown that risks like sickness, natural disaster and overindebtedness are a critical dimension of poverty, and that very poor people rely heavily on informal savings to manage these risks (see for example The Microfinance Revolution: Sustainable Finance for the Poor by Marguerite Robinson). It might be expected that microfinance institutions would provide safe, flexible savings services to this population, but -- with notable exceptions like Grameen II -- they have been very slow to do so. Some experts argue that most microcredit institutions are overly dependent on external capital. A study of microcredit institutions in Bolivia in 2003 for example, found that they were very slow to deliver quality microsavings services because of easy access to cheaper forms of external capital.<ref>Hillary Miller. The paradox of savings mobilization in microfinance: why microfinance institutions in Bolivia have virtually ignored savings. Development Alternatives Inc. and USAID, Washington, 2003.</ref> Global data tables from The Microbanking Bulletin show that savings represent a small source of funds for microcredit institutions in most developing nations.

Bangladesh's Finance and Planning Minister M. Saifur Rahman charges that some microfinance institutions use excessive interest rates.<ref name="Saifur">Saifur takes swipe at micro-credit</ref>

Role of Developing Country, a recent Forbes ranking

After billionaires and household names like Ambanis and Mittals, it is the turn of little-known microfinance institutions from India to hit the pages of famed magazine Forbes, which has named seven such entities in the list of world's top 50 -- highest for a country. In its first ever list of World's Top 50 Microfinance Institutions, the US business magazine has named Kolkata-based Bandhan at the second position. Bandhan, as well as two other Indian MFIs -- Microcredit Foundation of India (ranked 13th) and Saadhana Microfin Society (15th) -- have been placed even above Bangladesh-based Grameen Bank, which along with its founder Mohammed Yunus was awarded Nobel Prize last year. Grameen Bank has been ranked 17th in the list topped by another Bangladesh-based institution, ASA. India, along with Bangladesh, are jointly home to the maximum number of MFIs to be featured in the list. Among others, there are five from Bosnia and Herzegovina, four each from Morocco and Peru, three from Colombia and two each from Ecuador, Ethiopia and Serbia. One each from 15 other countries, including Russia, Pakistan, Mexico and Brazil have also been named in the list. Besides Bandhan, Microcredit Foundation of India and Saadhana Microfin Society, other Indian entries include Grameen Koota (19th), Sharada's Women's Association for Weaker Section (23rd), SKS Microfinance Private Ltd (44th) and Asmitha Microfin Ltd (29th). Interestingly, two of the Indian MFIs featured in the list -- Grameen Koota and SKS Microfinance -- are working on the same model adopted by Grameen Bank. Forbes magazine said that "microfinance has become a buzzword of the decade, raising the provocative notion that even philanthropy aimed at alleviating poverty can be profitable to institutional and individual investors." "Billionaires, global leaders and Nobel Prize recipients are hailing these direct loans to uncollateralised would-be entrepreneurs as a way to lift them out of poverty while creating self-sustaining businesses," it noted. The magazine said that the list was made after going through data available with the Microfinance Information Exchange and the analysis from rating firms Micro-Credit Ratings International Limited and MicroRate. The ranking was based on six key variables -- gross loan portfolio, operating expense, operating expenses divided by the average number of active borrowers as a percentage of gross national income per capita, the outstanding balance of loans overdue by more than 30 days as a per cent of gross loan portfolio, return on assets, and return on equity. "Each microfinance institution earned scores in four equally weighted categories -- scale, efficiency, portfolio risk and profitability. Rankings were then based on the combined average score of those four categories".

There are other related critics in the section of critics to microfinance

See also


<references />

Sapovadia, Vrajlal K., "Micro Finance: The Pillars of a Tool to Socio-Economic Development" . Development Gateway, [[11]]

External links