Microfinance in developing countries: accomplishments, debates, and future directions
Richard L. Meyer
This paper provides an overview of the microfinance industry in developing countries. It highlights the early development of the concept of microfinance and identifies some of the key issues and debates concerning its performance in terms of outreach, sustainability, and impact. Studies are summarized that report on industry performance by region. The frontiers for the industry involve broadening the range and diversity of services provided to existing clients and expanding services to difficult-to-reach populations, especially the remote, poorest, and the youth. In countries where the industry is still small and fledgling, the challenge is often one of addressing the problems of reaching people in remote and conflict-affected areas.
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