Summary

Microfinance was pioneered in the developing world as the lending of small amounts of money to entrepreneurs who lacked the kinds of credentials and collateral demanded by banks. Similar practices spread from the developing to the developed world, reversing the usual direction of innovation, and today several hundred microfinance institutions are operating in the United States.

Replicating Microfinance in the United States reviews experiences in both developing and industrialized countries and extends the applications of microlending beyond enterprise to consumer finance, housing finance, and community development finance. This book reviews experiences in both developing and industrial countries and extends the applications of microlending beyond enterprise to consumer finance, housing finance, and community development finance, concentrating especially on previously underserved households and their communities.

Replicating Microfinance in the United States is based on papers commissioned by the Fannie Mae Foundation and findings from an October 2001 conference jointly held by the Fannie Mae Foundation and Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

James H. Carr is senior vice president for innovation, research, and technology at the Fannie Mae Foundation. Zhong Yi Tong is senior research fellow in housing finance and economics.

Chapters

Foreword
Richard P. Taub

Acknowledgments

Introduction: Replicating Microfinance in the United States—An Overview
James H. Carr and Zhong Yi Tong

Part I. Review and Synthesis of Research
1. Opportunities and Challenges for Microfinance in the United States
Mark Schreiner and Jonathan Morduch

Part II. International Experience with Microfinance: Concepts, Approaches, and Best Practices
2. Microfinance in Developing Countries
J. D. Von Pischke 
3. Current Foundations of Microfinance Best Practices in Developing Countries
J. D. Von Pischke
4. Microfinance in Industrial Countries: Lessons from the World Bank’s Experience
Robert M. Buckley
5. Financial Sustainability in U.S. Microfinance Organizations: Lessons from Developing Countries
Andrés Vinelli

Part III. Microfinance in the United States: The Challenges and the Potential
6. Fulfilling the Potential of the U.S. Microenterprise Strategy
Lisa J. Servon
7. The Challenges of Outreach and Sustainability for U.S. Microcredit Programs
Mitin Bhatt, Gary Painter, and Shui-Yan Tang
8. From South to North: A Comparative Study of Group-Based Microcredit Programs in Developing Countries and the United States
Chi-kan Richard Hung

Part IV. Comparative Studies of Microfinance for Housing
9. Microfinance and Low- and Moderate-Income Lending for Housing in Emerging Markets and the United States
Sally R. Merrill and Kenneth Temkin
10. Microfinance of Progressive Housing: Can Techniques from Developing Countries Be Adapted in the United States?
Bruce Ferguson and Elinor R. Haider

Part V. The Future of Microfinance in the United States
11. The Future of Microfinance in the United States: Research, Practice, and Policy Perspectives
Ayşe Can Talen, Marc A. Weiss, and Sohini Sarkar

Reviews

“With the publication of this volume, knowledge and understanding of the practices of delivering micro-credit reach a new level of consolidation, and the stage is set for important further steps.”—From the foreword by Richard P. Taub, University of Chicago

“This book offers a useful introduction to the international microfinance field for US practitioners interested in gaining a better understanding of effective practices and potential areas of connection.”—Steve Shepelwich, Small Enterprise Development

“Finally, some reflections are offered on how the U.S. microfinance should evolve in the future…and on the links between microfinance and welfare policies.”—Giordano Dell’ Amore Foundation, Savings and Development