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Microfinance is the collective term used to describe the process of providing funding to poor people who have no access to traditional finance institutions, such as credit unions and banks. Microfinance was championed by Muhammad Yunus with his revolutionary experiment in the early 1970s of providing finance to poor people, initially only women in Bangladesh. He later founded the Grameen Bank in 1983. Microfinance institutions (MFIs) can be characterized as banking or financial institutions for the poor, since they provide small loans and small savings programs. Numerous institutions have emerged dedicated to providing credit to poor entrepreneurs, especially in developing countries. According to a report by the World Bank, about 160 million people benefit from the services of microfinance providers.

In 2006, Brigit Helms categorized microfinance ...

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