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Microfinance and innovation in Africa's cities

  • ODI 203 Blackfriars Road London, SE1 8NL United Kingdom (map)
c. Miriam Gathigah/IPS 

c. Miriam Gathigah/IPS 

Microfinance is now a major supplier of financial services to millions of people in the emerging world. Yet there are major concerns about its reach and regulation, as well as its impact on economic growth, poverty reduction and indebtedness.

For many urban micro-enterprises, access to finance depends on a range of informal or semi-formal savings and borrowing institutions. These institutions have a multiplicity of regulators and limited oversight.  Meanwhile innovation is rapid, from urban self-help groups to mobile phone savings and borrowing. What protection do micro-enterprises need? How can (formal) institutions learn from innovation on the ground?

This event brings together key policy makers from Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania. They'll examine the challenges of microfinance and debate preliminary research findings from the DEGRP project led by Cardiff University, Inclusive Growth: Improving Microfinance to Support Growth and Innovation in Micro-Enterprise.

Event video