What is Microfinance?

“Give a man a fish, he’ll eat for a day. Give a woman microcredit, she, her husband, her children and her extended family will eat for a lifetime.”

“This is not charity. This is business: business with a social objective, which is to help people get out of poverty.”
-Muhammad Yunus, founder of Grameen Bank


Photo from HOPE International

“Microfinance is a general term to describe financial services to low-income individuals or to those who do not have access to typical banking services.  Microfinance is also the idea that low-income individuals are capable of lifting themselves out of poverty if given access to financial services.”  (from Kiva.org)

Most of the world’s poorest people have no access to capital.  No way grasp hold of the dreams that they have for their small business, for their hard work.  If you or I wanted to buy a home or get a business idea off the ground, we’d probably have to take out a loan from the bank to make that dream happen.  Quite simply, it takes money to make money.  Many of the world’s poor possess a remarkable amount of knowledge and resolve- but they will never be able to break the cycle of poverty without access to the same opportunities and capital that you and I access every day.

Tied together

I give a micro loan to a struggling entrepreneur in a poor country whenever somebody here in Richmond buys or sells their house with my help.  The connection is simple: you needed a loan to buy a home, and someone in a poor country needs a loan (a much smaller loan) to achieve their dream as well.  When you achieve your dream of home ownership in Richmond, someone in a poor country will get a loan to achieve their dream of financial stability as well.


HOPE International