Are microfinance tools used to exploit people rather than making their life better?
Larry Reed, Director of the Microcredit Summit Campaign, posed this question during his presentation “Recovering the Soul of Finance” at the Financial Inclusion Conference 2012, “The First Mile Walk into the Financial System” in New Delhi, India on August 8. After a short history of microfinance around the world, Reed presented the seven steps to recovering the soul of microfinance, which the Campaign first introduced in the State of the Microcredit Summit Campaign Report 2012. In short, they exhort the sector to:
- Do no harm
- Know your client
- Encourage savings
- Promote financial literacy
- Monitor and reward social performance
- Be transformative
- Recognize excellence
Through this address, Reed posed the questions and the issues we need to work on to make microfinance a tool for helping our clients improve their lives, including:
- How can we make life better for the poor?
- Can we be leaders in helping them live with dignity?
- Can their children see a better future?
Watch the video of his presentation, posted by Microfinance Focus, to learn more.