The Economist writes in a survey:

What makes microfinance such an appealing idea is that it offers hope to many poor people of improving their own situations through their own efforts, says Stanley Fischer, former chief economist of the World Bank and now governor of the Bank of Israel. That marks it out from other anti-poverty policies, such as international aid and debt forgiveness, which are essentially top-down rather than bottom-up and have a decidedly mixed record.

What is now generating so much hope and excitement is less the discovery of some entirely new way to deliver financial services to the poor than the effect of the rapid innovation that has taken place in the past three decades.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.