Can one extend credit to poor clients, devoid of any substantial collateral, and succeed? This is the challenge won by the Grameen Bank founded by the Nobel Peace Prize recipient Muhammad Yunus and other microcredit initiatives throughout the world. These innovative schemes combine economic growth and equal opportunity, and go beyond mere philanthropy, in that they confer trust on those who receive loans, encouraging them to behave in ways that promote their dignity, responsibility, and integration. Moreover, modern microcredit also entails the ability to mobilize small savers resources in order to finance projects having a high social value. This book describes achievements, potential, limits, and risks pertaining to this new mode of financial activity.
Leonardo Becchetti teaches Political Economy at the Tor Vergata University in Rome.