Learning from Gandhi: Addressing the Current Dilemmas in Microfinance

32 Pages Posted: 18 Feb 2015  

Mark Hannam

University of London - School of Advanced Studies, Institute of Philosophy

Arvind Ashta

CEREN EA 7477 Burgundy School of Business - Université Bourgogne Franche-Comté

Date Written: July 1, 2014

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to consider the teaching of Mohandas Gandhi (1869-1948) and suggest the relevance of his thought to the current dilemmas facing MFIs. Gandhi was an inspirational political leader and India, the country of his birth, is also home to the largest and fastest growing MFI sector. Gandhi thought and wrote a great deal about the ethics of economic activity and acknowledged the influence of a number of other important moral thinkers on the development of his ideas. While we consider the study of Gandhi's life and thought to be of great pedagogical value for microfinance practitioners, we also caution of the need to be selective. Just as Gandhi borrowed ideas and insights from a wide range of sources, adapting them for his own purposes while discarding those parts he found to be suspect, so too the contemporary microfinance sector should be ready to be selective in its borrowing from Gandhi.

Keywords: Microfinance, Gandhi, Social Innovation, Business Ethics

JEL Classification: B31, D64, G21, I31, L31, O35, Z12

Suggested Citation

Hannam, Mark and Ashta, Arvind, Learning from Gandhi: Addressing the Current Dilemmas in Microfinance (July 1, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2565801 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2565801

Mark Hannam (Contact Author)

University of London - School of Advanced Studies, Institute of Philosophy ( email )

London, WC1E 7HU
United Kingdom

Arvind Ashta

CEREN EA 7477 Burgundy School of Business - Université Bourgogne Franche-Comté ( email )

29 rue Sambin
21000 Dijon
France

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