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Microcredit in the developed world - What is the difference?
Category: Microcredit | By CMC-2011, 5-Nov-2012 | Viewed 4734  Comments 0
Mark Durieux co-author of Social Entrepreneurship for Dummies
By way of a brief summary of the "domestic" theme of the Calgary Microcredit Conference 2012, the overarching finding was quite evident: for microfinance to succeed domestically, it must tap into exactly the same socio-cultural phenomenon as makes it successful internationally. 

What is that phenomenon? Simply put, collective sentiments and ethos. Over and over we heard that microfinance (or community lending, as it is often called in North America where loans tend to be larger) succeeds or fails depending on the deep commitment of borrowers to support each other as such. 

In a highly individualistic and competitive society such as we find in North America, many borrowers self-select out of microfinance because of their inability to commit to an alternative, more communal ideology. Will they be their brother's and sister's keepers? "Absolutely not. Why should I shoulder the burdens of a relative, acquaintance, or worse, stranger?" Yet microfinance is making inroads in North America in two areas. 

First, unsurprisingly, immigrant populations are quick to adopt and benefit from microfinance. Second, some organizations, such as Momentum in Calgary, are successfully bringing microfinance to the mainstream. However, this, in keeping with our observations, requires especially judicious screening of applicants, most carefully selecting only those who display a deep concern for and support of strangers who will ultimately become friends, neighbours, and fellow travelers in the journey toward financial betterment.

Social Entrepreneurship for Dummies
by Mark Durieux
Co-author of Social Entrepreneurship for Dummies
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