Microfinance School > The Micro Investors

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Serie: Microfinance School

  1. Banking the Unbanked


    Microfinance institutions are now present in almost every country in the world, and are providing access to financial services to millions of people. In this film we look at typical microfinance tech-nologies and methodologies in three very different countries, but with similar needs. Access to fi-nancial services such as savings, loans and insurance is an important tool to help poor people smooth out the negative effects of little and fluctuating income.

  2. Human Capital


    Access to money alone is often not enough to lift people out of poverty. In order to facilitate a social change you need be healthy and you need knowledge. In Human Capital we look at a holistic ap-proach to microfinance. Many microfinance institutions combine financial services with education and health programs with the aim of long-term social change. What are the benefits and what are the disadvantages of such an approach? How do you measure social change?

  3. Banking woman


    Microfinance institutions traditionally have targeted women. They have proven to be more reliable debtors and the loans tend to bring more benefit to the whole family. A dollar to a woman is a dol-lar to the whole family, so to speak. In this film we focus on microfinance projects and/or institu-tions targeting women especially. How are these projects different from microfinance that targets both genders? How can access to financial services be an effective tool towards a gender equal soci-ety, both economically and socially?

  4. Best Practise: Miles for smiles


    Katherine Kitongo identified a problem in Ugandan markets. The different stalls where often run by single mothers forced to bring their children to work with them. It is a double whammy; the children did not go to school and the mothers could not run their business as effective as they wanted to. Katherine's answer was Miles to Smiles, a daycare center for the children of the women in the mar-ket. And the fees for the daycare center? Katherine set up a loan and savings group for the mothers at the center.

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Microfinance moves billions of dollars annually and is becoming more and more interesting for tradi-tional financial institutions and investment funds. In this film we take a closer look at what happens when microfinance moves to bigger business. Can microfinance be the starting point of bigger finan-cial institutions? And which impact does microentrepreneurs and private banks have on alleviating poverty?

Microfinance is a tool where the ultimate goal is to make lives better for the poor. This cannot be done without long-term commitment. MF investors are therefore aiming at building sustainable markets. From a development perspective, financial sustainability is not an end in itself. Rather, it is a tool for reaching the maximum number of clients for them to invest themselves towards a better future.

Donors and governments cannot likely provide enough subsidized funds to meet the huge demand for microfinance. Sustainable MFIs have the potential to attract non-subsidized resources to finance expansion of outreach. Experience has even shown that borrowers are more likely to repay lenders who operate without subsidies as they are more confident the institution will be around to give them future loans.