Taking Stock of Microfinance: Perception Survey Among Wealth Holders and Their Advisers in the US, Europe and Asia

Date Published: 
Jan 2011
Credit Suisse Microfinance Capacity Building Initiative (MCBI) & Microfinance Communications Council

Understanding perception of microfinance among its key stakeholders

This survey tries to gauge the perception of microfinance in general and the communication of the microfinance industry in particular, among wealth holders and their advisers (private wealth managers and multi-family offices) based in the United States, Europe and Asia.

Perception of microfinance remains positive, with many viewing it as an effective tool to alleviate poverty and support entrepreneurship. Findings include:

  • Most of the respondents felt that microfinance is needed to address issues of risk of client over-indebtedness and rapid industry growth;
  • Both investments and donations were seen as necessary and complementary, not mutually exclusive;
  • More comprehensive reporting and raising awareness among wealth holders was perceived as important in augmenting investments and donations in microfinance.

This study concludes that despite the turmoil that emerged over the last year, the microfinance industry continues to enjoy support from wealth holders and their advisers, two of its key stakeholder groups. Continued support and engagement in the sector will depend on the proactive action by the industry to provide assurance that lessons have been learned from past mistakes and necessary measures are being undertaken to prevent similar situations in the future.