November 16

NextBillion Editor

Watch the Recording of the Live-Streamed Debate: Is There Still Room in Microfinance for Smaller MFIs?

As European Microfinance Week concluded, the conference hosted a live plenary debate on whether there’s still room in microfinance for “the little guy” – ie: smaller MFIs.

Here’s some background on the debate:

Microfinance has been facing headwinds in some key markets in the last three years. Many MFIs that were supposed to be on a strong growth trajectory have fallen short of expectations, and they are now struggling to reach scale. At the same time smaller institutions – tier 2 and tier 3 MFIs – sometimes have more resilience to shocks than expected, and are capable of closer relationships with clients – if not massive scale.

Is there a continued role for these smaller MFIs – or indeed is the inexorable trend towards consolidation among a smaller number of larger players? This was an Oxford-style debate on these issues, with two speakers arguing that there’s no room for smaller players, and two arguing for the continued relevance of these institutions. The winning team was presented with a trophy by a panel of judges at the end of the debate.

The recorded live-stream can be viewed here:



Image credit: Wikipedia




financial inclusion, global development, impact investing, microfinance