Focusing on Responsible and Client-Centered Microfinance
In less than 40 years, microfinance has spread around the world, today providing access to credit and other financial services to more than 205 million poor clients, most of whom were previously ignored by mainstream financial institutions. From modest roots, microfinance has built a global network of institutions dedicated to serving low-income people. It has transformed our understanding about the power of opportunity.
In early 2011, a group of CEOs from microfinance organizations that work globally began to have regular, informal conversations about the future of the microfinance sector as it matures and faces new challenges. They found that the leaders of various organizations shared many of the same values and concerns, including a desire to work together to help improve our organizations and advance the industry. At this moment, microfinance has an opportunity to build on past successes, learn from, and respond to the challenges it faces in order to be a more responsive, responsible, and transformative industry. By taking sincere and systematic action, we can build more successful financial institutions that help change the lives of the people we serve.
Highlights from their January 2012 meeting: The Challenges... Client Focus and Responsible Finance
"We believe deeply that microfinance is a powerful tool for improving the lives of the poor and that the field has not yet reached its full potential. The microfinance industry has much more work to do. However, in order for the industry to continue to serve as a vital and creative force in the world, it must recognize and actively address several issues that are crucial to its continued success. First, the microfinance industry must raise its standards of responsibility to clients. Second, the sector must create real, measurable, social and economic value for clients. We envision a microfinance industry that protects its clients, is transparent, and measures and achieves social outcomes and impact."
Read more... http://www.opportunity.org/press-releases/road-map-for-the-microfinance-industry-focusing-on-responsible-and-client-centered-microfinance/#.TzmVosVSQsd