Microfinance Institutions (MFI) have proved that the poor can be bankable and that this may be an effective route to development. Funding institutions have begun to pour funds into these enterprises and even private banks are getting in on the act.
Yet there are doubts. Some MFIs no longer appear to regard the poorest families as clients of premier importance but are focusing instead on the 'middle and upper' poor.
Written just before the 1997 Microcredit Summit, this report looks at the pros and cons of microfinance and its implications for aid spending in other areas