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The Hidden Economics of Remarkable Women (HERO) Made possible through funding form the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

What Works in Microfinance



We explore why some microfinance practices work really well while others fall short.

In its simplest definition, microfinance refers to small loans usually worth less than $1,000 for people with low incomes. Microfinance is a widely discussed idea in development circles, particularly surrounding women’s empowerment. But how effective is it?

On this episode of the Hidden Economics of Remarkable Women, we look at why microfinance has had mixed results and learn about the best ways to distribute these kinds of loans. First, we talk to a Turkish Grameen Foundation/Kiva microcredit recipient named Kudret about the impact microfinance has had on her personally. Then, Roshaneh Zafar speaks with host Reena Ninan about her experiences launching the Kashf Foundation, the first microfinance institution in Pakistan and the largest loan provider to women in the country.

Special thanks this week to Stephen Rasmussen from the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor, who recommended FP talk to Zafar. Also, thanks to Aslıhan Köksal and Brit Heiring from Kiva, Andrée Simon from FINCA, and a number of others who spoke to us for this episode. The Hidden Economics of Remarkable Women is a Foreign Policy podcast made possible through funding by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

About The Hidden Economics of Remarkable Women (HERO):  Could empowering women in the workplace be the simplest way to boost the global economy moving? Host Reena Ninan talks to women around the world changing the status quo in surprising ways to improve their lives, their families, and ultimately, the world. The Hidden Economics of Remarkable Women (HER♀) is a Foreign Policy podcast supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. HER listeners can learn more about these topics by signing up for special access to an FP Analytics policy brief on gender equality. Sign up by clicking here.  See All Episodes


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