Microfinance: Battling a Wicked Problem

P.I.E. Peter Lang, Brussels, DOI:10.3726/b10494

Posted: 31 Jul 2019

See all articles by Arvind Ashta

Arvind Ashta

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

Date Written: November 27, 2016


A school of thought hails microcredit as a social innovation, a messiah to enable people to help themselves out of poverty through entrepreneurship. An opposing school of thought considers microcredit as a capitalist demon ensnaring the poor in poverty and debt. The layman and the million professionals working in this industry are at a loss to make sense of the stories that circulate about microcredit. This book provides this sense-making, useful for students, professionals, investors and researchers who are attracted to this field.

Poverty is a wicked problem, akin to Hydra, the Greek mythological monster with many heads. As microcredit tries to balance multiple objectives to grapple with these multiple heads, it has needed to shift the weapons it uses. The arsenal for this battle has needed new philosophies, changing ethics, differing missions, institutional partnerships, the latest technologies and new products. These rapid innovations have differed in speed across the world, with adaptations in developed and developing countries. This book presents these with many case studies and field research.

It is clear that development initiatives, no matter how financial, cross academic disciplines. At the very least, they affect disciplines such as economics, business management, sociology, history, geography, politics, legal systems in place, as well as science, which is evolving at such a high speed. The book provides this multidisciplinary view and motivates future research and practices.

Keywords: Development Studies, Institutional studies, Microcredit, Microequity, Microfinance Information Systems, Crowdfunding, Social Innovation, Technology for development

JEL Classification: B52, G21, I39, O11, 012, 016, 032, 035

Suggested Citation

Ashta, Arvind, Microfinance: Battling a Wicked Problem (November 27, 2016). P.I.E. Peter Lang, Brussels, DOI:10.3726/b10494 , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3427656

Arvind Ashta (Contact Author)

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

29 rue Sambin
21000 Dijon

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