Microfinance in less developed countries: history, progress, present – charity or business?

https://doi.org/10.17221/45/2009-AGRICECONCitation:Srnec K., Svobodová E. (2009): Microfinance in less developed countries: history, progress, present – charity or business? Agric. Econ. – Czech, 55: 467-474.
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This paper describes the development of micro-financial activities in less developed countries in the world. The history of this development is divided into four periods with their short characteristics. Currently, the main questions in each period are highlighted and discussed by experts in microfinance. In the past, these problems were published in many scientific periodicals. It concerns mainly opinions, as for example, if the influence of microfinance on poverty reduction is overestimated, or on the other hand, the analysis related to the position of informal and formal micro-financial institutions, their development and acceleration of transformation, the influence of non-governmental organizations etc. At present, there is discussed the question of the preference – the model of ‘charity’ or ‘business’, which is mainly related to the fourth, current development period. For these reasons, this question is intensively focused and analysed. The conclusion of this paper concerns just this area which is fundamentally related to the future development of microfinance as a factor of poverty reduction in the less economically developed regions in the world.
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