Microfinance Teams & Financial Institutions
Microfinance programs in lower-income communities
I think microfinance is a good idea to positively impact the residents of low-income communities or countries financially by reducing social and economic disparities. For instance, these banking services can provide small loans, such as business loans to the community residents at a low-interest rate, which includes safety features to avoid financial issues. Therefore, these new businesses that use the business loan will effectively re-circulate money back into the community, along with providing more job availability, and help the community grow financially, and eliminate social and economic disparities. Moreover, these banking services can be beneficial for people whose credit or financial background is not suitable to open a bank account (credit and checking account) at a traditional bank (WelsFargo or Bank of America). Microfinance in underserved communities or countries will help people to invest in themselves, family, and businesses. It will help people find stability and help improve people’s credit. Furthermore, socially, microfinance helps the community by preventing parents who cannot get access to money from pulling their children out of school.
The impact of BRAC
An example of a microfinance program in a low-income or middle-income country is BRAC, which was founded in Bangladesh. This program provides grants and small business loans to residents, along with providing housing assistance and other services. This organization offers services in various low-income to middle-income countries, such as Haiti and the Philippines (BRAC, 2021). The benefit to this program is the many services it provides apart from loans, such as providing services related to education, health, and agriculture. However, one challenge to this program is because it is a large organization with multiple branches all over the world, it might be hard to make sure the funds that are sent to each country are being disturbed to the right individuals or organizations and that no corruption is at hand.
The relationship between economic microfinance programs and social inequalities
When the economy is thriving, it creates a positive impact that reduces social inequalities. For example, a social inequality factor is those with lower socioeconomic status facing hardship, such as finding a job, having an education, and having healthcare access. However, if money is being circulated within the community through microfinancing programs, then the community will have money to fund various programs, such as access to health care (free clinics), providing business loans, which creates new jobs within the community and provide stability for the community.
BRAC. (2021). Powering people to rise above poverty. https://bracusa.org/
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