The Future of Microfinance: Visioning the Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How of Microfinance Expansion Over the Next 10 Years

Microfinance has gradually developed to be a worldwide movement, no longer being a subject matter of microfinance practitioners alone. Governments, donors, development agencies, banks, foundations, corporations, business communities, civil societies, researchers, universities, consultants, philanthropists and others are taking an increasing interest in it. The increasing level of acceptance of microfinance among the various groups of stakeholders worldwide presents the following questions: Is microfinance (MF) becoming popular because it is a good business to make money? Or Is it because MF is a powerful tool to fight poverty? Or Is it because of both? Since the concept was born in Bangladesh almost three decades ago, microfinance has proved its value, in many countries, as a weapon against poverty and hunger. It really can change people’s lives for the better, especially the lives of those who need it most. This statement by Kofi A. Anan, the UN Secretary General, succinctly validates the effectiveness of microfinance as a weapon to eradicate poverty. It has been evidenced worldwide that microfinance helps the poor to overcome poverty, and not through charity. It is a financial system that serves the poor with financial services in a most effective and productive way.

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