Mainstreaming Microfinance: How Lending to the Poor Began, Grew, and Came of Age in Bolivia

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Kumarian Press, 2001 - Business & Economics - 242 pages
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* Tells the success story of how microfinance in Latin America lifted whole populations into the financial mainstream
* Offers a non-technical, in-depth analysis of the microlending debate

Some people tout microfinance as the most important tool now available for fighting poverty while still others doubt its contribution to the "truly" poor. This volume offers a reasoned, moderate voice on the virtues and problems of microfinance. Drawing on the success story of Bolivia, Rhyne traces the transformation of NGOs into formal financial institutions, and examines microfinance under the conditions of commercialization and competition that have altered the dynamics of the new industry.

Using participant interviews, Beth Rhyne details how Bolivia’s special breed of social entrepreneurs found the keys to unlock the huge unmet demand of informal clients. She explores how these social activists shaped the character of the institutions that now dominate Bolivia’s microfinance sector, and traces how these institutions proved that lending to microenterprises could become a commercial business. Rhyne investigates the transformation of NGOs into formal financial institutions, led by the creation of BancoSol, and closely examines microfinance under the conditions of commercialization and competition that have altered the dynamics of the new industry.

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Contents

A Sketch of Bolivian Microfinance in 1999
15
Microfinance in the Time of Adjustment
35
Builders
81
Copyright

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About the author (2001)

Rhyne is an independent consultant and was previously GEMINI Project Coordinator at the United States Agency for International Development. She has a Ph.D. in public policy from Harvard University.

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