13 Jul 2009

Microfinance deemed relevant in assisting poor to enter market economy

1:35 pm on 13 July 2009

Some business consultants say microfinance is becoming more relevant in assisting the poorest people in the Pacific to gain a foothold in the market economy.

This comes as the International Finance Corporation is to present the benefits of the approach at the Pacific Microfinance Week 2009 Conference in Nadi, Fiji.

Greg Pirie, a New Zealand business consultant working in community development, says given the global recession, microfinance services can provide a boost for small businesses in the Pacific.

"The fundamental theory is that if you provide a sensible and well designed access to basic financial services, especially savings and credit, then the poor who have an entrepreneurial idea are able to then make use fo those financial services, especially appropriate credit services, to be able to then enter into business."

Greg Pirie says there is a global need for policy makers and those responsible for microfinance initiatives to be trained to adjust the systems and create an environment to meet everyone's needs.