Small is Beautiful, Big is Necessary; Canada’s Commercial and Cooperative Answers to the Global Challenge of Microfinance Access

In the 1980s, Dr. Salehuddin Ahmed, of the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC), declared that “small is beautiful” but “big is necessary.” He was referring to the beauty of the smallest of enterprises as an essential means for many of the world’s poor, particularly women, to make a living. At the same time he was challenging those concerned with poverty eradication to think big in terms of the enormous challenge of ensuring “Access for All” those who need microfinance services. “Big is necessary” is also the underlying mantra of the Global Microcredit Summit as its participating members, including Canada, strive to meet the goal1 of reaching 175 million of the world’s poorest families with microcredit by the end of 2015.

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