Microfinance is a means of supporting individual entrepreneurs in both urban and rural areas, providing capital to grow businesses and livelihoods at scale in a sustainable and replicable model. The benefits flow to the entrepreneur themselves, their families and communities, and the broader society and economy in their country. Every successful business or farm produces income, often contributes to the tax base, and reduces government support needs.

This is grassroots economic development with the potential to build the middle class of a developing economy. When the U.S. or its allies help to provide this funding, they become valuable partners in this job creation and economic development – which can bring other relationship-level benefits between countries. The increasing focus on tech-led innovation also brings benefits in high-value infrastructure- telecommunications/bandwidth, alternative energy sources and cloud/data pipelines. China, on the other hand, has generally leaned away from microlending initiatives, instead focusing on its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which sees loans valued in the billions.

Commissioner for Microlending

Greg Nelson

Fmr Sr. VP of Microsoft; Board of Directors, Opportunity Intl.

Commissioner for Micro-Lending

Helping the world’s poorest people to achieve their own success through sustainable entrepreneurship–giving people a hand up, not just a handout–helps secure a better future for all of us. The partnership between The Krach Institute for Tech Diplomacy at Purdue and Opportunity International is bringing thought leadership, innovation, and momentum to this challenge.

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