In Microfinance, Clients Must Come First

Authors: Srikant M. Datar, Marc J. Epstein, & Kristi Yuthas

Abstract: In the debate over whether microfinance works, few microfinance institutions articulate what, exactly, their ultimate goals are and how, exactly, they will achieve them. The authors cut through the confusion by mapping a clear theory of change for microfinance. If the goal of microfinance is to alleviate poverty, they say, then MFIs should focus on helping their clients build successful enterprises, rather than on making more and bigger loans.

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