by Masum Momaya, Curator
In economics, people frequently use terms such as “micro” or “macro.” Today, “micro” usually refers to microcredit or microfinance, terms that have become synonymous with the popular practice of giving small loans to people--most often women--to start businesses and make money for themselves and their families. “Macro” sometimes means large sums of money, but it also refers to the high-level reform of institutions that have deep impacts on the economy, such as banks and governments. A look at microfinance’s successes and shortcomings shows that macro-level structural reforms--not just more microfinance--are needed to help overcome poverty. Read more
Microfinance has worked in Latin America, but according to Michael Glenwick, it is also letting governments off the hook from providing for their citizens.
Susan F. Feiner and Drucilla K. Barker critique the Nobel Prize-winning microcredit guru Muhammad Yunus for what they describe as his neoliberal approach to women's poverty.
The economic relationship between Africa and China is full of potential successes and pitfalls, says Hafsat Abiola, founder of China Africa Bridge. But now, both partners have a secret weapon: women, their greatest untapped resource.
CARE shares a unique microfinance story: Women in Malawi start their own bank and fund each other's entrepreneurial activities.
Jessica Jackley, co-founder of Kiva.org, the world's first microlending Web site, speaks about the power of the Internet, microlending and helping small businesses, $25 at a time.
In Latin America, the microfinance organization Pro Mujer is pioneering an integrated approach that combines lending with health care, education and other services to help women.
An international relations student shares what she learned about the impact of microcredit while working with the Guatemalan NGO, Women's Association for the Development of Sacatepquez.