People living in poverty, like everyone else, need a diverse range of financial services to run their businesses, build assets, smooth consumption, and manage risks. However, almost 3 billion people do not have access to formal financial services and instead rely on irregular and unreliable sources of income.
Microfinance offers poor people access to basic financial services such as loans, savings, money transfer services and insurance. Whilst by no means the sole solution to ending poverty, microfinance has a role to play in contributing towards the achievement of all of the Millennium Development Goals, particularly those relating to eradicating hunger and poverty and the empowerment of women.
This section provides summaries of thematic areas in the field of microfinance. Summaries have kindly been provided by a range of contributors and are acknowledged on each respective document.