Micro-Finance and the Poverty Question: A Historical Perspective

Ojwang’ George Omondi


The pivotal emergence of micro-finance is a function of gross insensitivity of conventional finance sector to reach the overwhelming population of the poor and to assist in the drive to manage poverty. Micro-finance movement has captured the imaginations of academics, policy makers, and practitioners in terms of provision of financial means to access credit, and start small businesses, with the potential to enhance community, local and national development. It has been proven that when micro-finance is properly harnessed and supported, it can scale-up beyond the macro-level as a sustainable part of the process of economic empowerment by which the poor can lift themselves out of poverty. Poverty is a multi-dimensional problem, embedded in a complex and interconnected political, economic, cultural and ecological system. Owing to poverty's large scope and multiplicity of actors, there is no single guaranteed approach to its management. As a result solutions are as multifaceted as the causes. Problems and solutions are not isolated phenomena, but occur within an interconnected system in which actors and actions have reciprocal consequences. The greatest contribution of micro-finance is that it empowers people by providing them confidence, self-esteem, and the financial means to play a larger role in their development. The potential of micro-finance far exceeds the micro-level, scaling-up to address macro-problems associated with management of poverty.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.