Cre8tive Philanthropy


Investment and innovation in the for-profit social impact community.

Microfinance: Two Sides to Every Coin – or are there Three?

As the altruistic and profitable characteristics of microfinance make their way to capitalist public markets, an interesting debate is taking hold. Will access to public capital build scale and impact for microfinance or will it destroy the central tenets of altruistic intimate community lending? The discussion is hot, and both sides offer a compelling argument. However, within this sense of either/or and right/wrong, the voice of how to maintain the character of microfinance while building scale and impact has been quiet. The voice of innovation, a willingness to chart a new path to bring the best of both together, will need to emerge.

Under standard charter, the structure of public companies is shareholder oriented. So, why not create microfinance companies under a B-corp structure? Or perhaps create a new legal entity to support the goals and purposes of TBL and multiple stakeholder structures? There is a way through; a way to bring microfinance (and other social enterprises) to scale and retain the core character. What that path requires are individuals willing to create it, to solve the problems and challenges as they emerge. It can be done. The world is waiting for it.


Filed under: Challenges, Impact Investing, Innovation, Social Entrepreneurs

One Response

  1. Aristotle says:

    “The world is waiting for it.”

    I agree. Why can’t “B” corps issue stock in different classes, one of which is ‘social’ shares with a specific set of voting rights and ownership?

    Who’d a thunk it!

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