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Graduating the Poorest into Microfinance: Linking Safety Nets and Financial Services Image

Promoting Inclusive Markets and Financial Systems

Graduating the Poorest into Microfinance: Linking Safety Nets and Financial Services

Graduating the Poorest into Microfinance: Linking Safety Nets and Financial Services

Summary

"Today there is much debate about whether microfinance is for the poorest. Many millions of people living on less than a dollar a day (the very poor) are already being served by microfinance institutions (MFIs). And yet few MFIs reach the “poorest” customers at the bottom of the poverty scale in their own countries. Even in the case of MFIs that focus on reaching very poor clients, there are substantial numbers of people who are too poor to participate. For example, in Bangladesh, where MFIs are strongly focused on serving the very poor, MFI concentration is highest among the second poorest quintile group; it is lowest among the poorest quintile. Microfinance services are not aimed at the poorest communities. Why is this?"

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