Microfinance (a.k.a., microcredit or microlending) has been highly touted among many development folks and people interested in helping to alleviate poverty in developing countries (and communities in the US). For instance, Opportunity International claims:
Microfinance is the provision of financial services such as loans, savings, insurance, and training to people living in poverty. It is one of the great success stories in the developing world in the last 30 years and is widely recognized as a just and sustainable solution in alleviating global poverty.
There’s just one problem. There is virtually no systematic empirical evidence to support that claim. Continue reading Microfinance Not So Miraculous Afterall?