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January/February 2008, 
Vol. 90, No. 1
Posted 2008-01-01

The Microfinance Revolution: An Overview

by Rajdeep Sengupta and Craig P. Aubuchon

The Nobel Prize committee awarded the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize to Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank “for their efforts to create economic and social development from below.” The microfinance revolution has come a long way since Yunus first provided financing to the poor in Bangladesh. The committee has recognized microfinance as “an important liberating force” and an “ever more important instrument in the struggle against poverty.” Although several authors have provided comprehensive surveys of microfinance, the aim of the authors of this article is somewhat more modest: They intend the article as a non-technical overview on the growth and development of microcredit and microfinance.