Around two thirds of the world population is cut off from the conventional financial market. Poor people typically have no collateral and therefore no chance to take out a loan, to save money or to invest for the future. Women especially are often considered as not credit-worthy by banks.
The purchase of a small plot of land, a sewing machine or a market stand for example would help many people to put their ideas into practice and to escape poverty. Often, the only alternative are local moneylenders, so called “loan sharks”, who charge extortionate interest rates of up to several hundred percent a month.
This is where microfinance comes into its own. Thanks to a regulated access to money microfinance offers three characteristics:
- economic growth,
- the opportunity, to take one´s future into one´s own hands.