Magazine article Stanford Social Innovation Review

Editor's Note

Magazine article Stanford Social Innovation Review

Editor's Note

Article excerpt

WE CAN ALREADY ANTICIPATE THE VOLUME AND the passion of readers' responses to the lead article, "Microfinance Misses its Mark," in this issue of Stanford Social Innovation Review. At a time when the founder of microfinance and his organization have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, and when large commercial banks like Citigroup and small nonprofit start-ups like Kiva are scaling up to provide more microlending, many will no doubt see Aneel Karnani's piece as heresy. Yet others will say that it is about time that someone asked whether the emperor is wearing any clothes.

One of the reasons that microfinance is often identified as among the most important contemporary social innovations is that it seems to provide a powerful - yet elegant - marketbased solution to persistent poverty. Microfinance is a cross-sector approach that an NGO initiated and foundations initially funded; the private sector is now giving operational support and investment capital.

But Karnani, an associate professor at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business, argues that the growing investment in microfinance is misplaced. He acknowledges mat microfinance has improved the lives of some borrowers, particularly women, but points out that it has done little to alleviate poverty in the countries where it is widely practiced. A better path for alleviating poverty, he contends, is the one countries like China and Vietnam followed - the development of large-scale, labor-intensive industries. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.