An Impertinent Inquiry into Microfinance
Mar 19, 2013
Author & Senior Fellow, Center for Global Development
Microfinance has been a major inspiration for the social enterprise movement in developing countries. It has garnered more than 100 million customers, billions of dollars in financing, and a Nobel Prize. Yet microfinance has fallen on hard times in recent years. Microcredit bubbles have popped. Powerful politicians such as the Prime Minister of Bangladesh have dealt the industry smack-down, equating it with moneylending. New studies have questioned the perception that microfinance reliably reduces poverty.
Author David Roodman will share the findings of his book Due Diligence: An Impertinent Inquiry into Microfinance, which he wrote in public through a blog. The book is not a diatribe, but an open-minded sifting of evidence from many disciplines. His analysis offers important lessons for social entrepreneurs. There is genuine value in building durable institutions to mass-produce useful services for poor customers. But entrepreneurs must guard against the convenient assumption that what they want to sell is always good for the customer.
Tuesday, March 19, 2013 at 5:30pm
45 Carleton Street, Cambridge E25-111
This lecture is open to the general public & free of charge.