Want Impact? Build Market-Relevant Microlenders
Joyce Klein for FIELD at the Aspen Institute
First published March 2015
Joyce Klein of Aspen Institute’s FIELD program writes how impact investments can be used to scale microlending. The essay appears in a larger publication – Bottom Line – that addresses how impact investment can improve economic mobility in the U.S.
The ability of microenterprise finance to create jobs and raise incomes in the U.S. has been well documented. U.S. microenterprise lenders operate in an
established but dynamic financial services market; one that either fails to reach many entrepreneurs who can create opportunities for low-income communities,
or offers them only high-priced and sometimes predatory products. There is an opportunity to use impact investment to build the strength and scale of market-relevant,