Sunday, November 16, 2008

Micro-financing… for what?

We need to define better what the purpose of the micro-finance institutions should be. If it is to help small entrepreneurs to get financing at as good rate possible, them I am all for it. If it is to accelerate the consumption of the poor, but by applying higher interest rates than the risk free rate, which effectively means them having to pay a present value premium for their consumption, which will just make them poorer, then I am all against it, since that is not what development is all about!

Many of the problems of this sector are derived from that instead of working on how to make microfinance help development, it has been taken over by those more interested in developing the microfinance institutions per se, which though quite legal and normal is something absolutely different.