Microfinance is now matured into a tool to further financial engagement of all citizens and promote entrepreneurship in the developed as well as developing states. While it has been the subject of some criticism, skeptics have offered few alternatives for those who have no or at best limited access to capital even if there is will and skill. There has been some concern that some microfinance schemes can trap its borrowers into an endless cycle of credit servitude. However, much depends on the individual program and again, the alternatives may be few if any to further self-sufficiency and better lives.
Muhammad Yunus, the Nobel Laureate, founder of Grameen Bank in Bangladesh and generally credited with launching the first microfinance institution on a wide scale has also faced trials and tribulations, but the legacy of Yunus and miscofinance persist. (See: Yunus Centre) The UN’s International Labor Organization (ILO) has also entered the discussion, and this worthy article in its title provides at least a hint: “How Microfinance Develops Decent Work – An ILO research project shows how microfinance moves small enterprises out of the informal economy and into profit.”