Under Fire, Microfinance Faces Falling Out of Favor

Harvard Business Review

Microfinance has come under fire in the past 18 months, triggered in part by SKS Microfinance's IPO. Critics complain that the institutions supporting microfinance have become too greedy, and many are using this as an argument to deeply regulate or, even more, cut support to microfinance operations. Dr. Muhammad Yunus introduced the concept of microfinance in 1983; in 2006, he won the Nobel Prize for his pioneering efforts.

What is the best way to make a difference in the world?


My solution was to found a microfinance organization that puts women in a position to create their own destinies and achieve their full potential. This question is at the heart of Jacqueline Novogratz’s inspirational book, The Blue Sweater.

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How Social Entrepreneurs Can Have the Most Impact

Harvard Business Review

What happened in 2006? Or consider Kwabena Darko of Ghana, who helped found that country’s microfinance sector by forging a collaboration between global NGO Opportunity International , his national startup Sinapi Aba , and a myriad of village- and town-based trust groups. Social enterprise in the U.S. is a fast-growing, but fragmented, movement.

It Takes a Village to Raise an Entrepreneur

Harvard Business Review

We've extensively analyzed the applications to the Echoing Green fellowship between 2006 and 2011, and built a rich dataset that allows us to rigorously study trends in the field of social enterprise. In 2010 and 2011, almost 50% of the applicants to Echoing Green relied on hybrid models, versus 37% in 2006.