Join the Oxfid event Remapping Change: Where do We Go from Here? Saturday afternoon Mario La Torre and Milford Bateman will debate on the future of Microfinance
Microfinance is typically used to empower women living in poverty to invest in their own businesses. This economic boost is intended to push them out of the poverty cycle and improve their quality of life. However, in some cases, due to the many microfinance organisations in targeted areas, recipients can accumulate multiple loans, failing to improve their lives and instead pushing them into poverty due to debt. Over the past few years, microfinance has become increasingly popular as a policy for social mobility, but it has attracted growing criticism for systemic flaws. How can we justify the use of microfinance without proper financial advice? How can we regulate microfinance in order to prevent predatory lending rates? How do we prevent the drawbacks of microfinance from overshadowing its benefits? Is microfinance only suited to an area where women, as the primary recipients of micro-loans, have more autonomy from their husbands or male relatives? This debate aims to draw out the main benefits and downfalls of microfinance to establish whether microfinance should be limited, or proclaimed a key tool of modern international development.