Nickels and Dimes
25 November 2006
Micro-finance is the business of providing very small or short term loans to individuals. Muhammed Yunus started the micro-finance ball rolling in Bangladesh and it is quickly spreading throughout the developing world.
Meanwhile, something similar is happening in the developed world. Payday advance companies are sprouting almost as fast as Starbucks outlets. They provide small, short-term loans to individuals.
Micro-finance and payday advance are essentially the same creature. They both offer small loans to people the banks won't touch. The interesting thing is that if one offers them in the developing world one (literally) gets the Nobel prize, whereas if one offers them here one is called "criminals or devils". Eh?