Promoting Inclusive Markets and Financial Systems
And thus we come to the question: can microfinance reach very poor people? The authors of this paper believe the answer is yes, but recognize that doing so is not easy. The purpose of this paper is to highlight promising approaches to reaching and serving very poor people with financial and non-financial services. Such programs do not look like the majority of microfinance programs and are unlikely to achieve operational sustainability as quickly as mainstream microfinance institutions now achieve it. Nevertheless, there has been great innovation in the development of low-cost delivery mechanisms, products and services appropriate for very poor people. This paper will examine some of the common elements that make such programs successful and recommend areas for further research.