Learning from Gandhi: Addressing the Current Dilemmas in Microfinance
Strategic Change: Briefings in Entrepreneurial Finance, 26(6): 527-541, 2017
30 Pages Posted: 18 Feb 2015 Last revised: 7 Jan 2018
Date Written: 2017
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: Suggested Citation