Deep versus Wide Impact

It pays to know the customer: Addressing the information needs of client-centered MFIs, Elizabeth Dunn

The Handbook of Microfinance, Beatriz Armendariz

The Micromagic of Microcredit, Karol Boudreaux and Tyler Cowen

Discussion Questions:

  • How much of our resources should go to evaluation?
  • Which is better for the sustainability of an MFI, breadth of coverage or more (better) services?
  • Is client loyalty a myth?  Why should (or shouldn’t) MFIs assume loyalty, and how should the knowledge that clients work with multiple organizations change the way we run MFIs?
  • This book suggests that the microfinance industry is itself hindered by the limited range of services it provides—that clients self-select out because they demand different types of services.  How should the industry innovate to meet this demand?  How should it be structured—with multiple MFIs each providing a different type of service over a broad geographic area,  or more comprehensive MFIs each having more of a monopoly over their region, or some combination thereof?
  • What new financial products and services should MFIs offer to better meet the realistic needs of their clients, if the traditional narrative of microloans for productive investments is not suited to the majority of borrowers?

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