Program Overview

Microfinance is an innovative strategy for poverty alleviation in developing economies that provide financial services for the economically active poor.  Lauded by leading practitioners and scholars in the development field as revolutionary, microfinance aims to meet the vast global demand for small-scale loans, savings accounts, and other financial services.  Through the establishment of sustainable and profitable institutions, microfinance is widely recognized as the most powerful tool to help the very poor throughout the world to rise above poverty.  Established in 2005, the United Nations International Year of Microcredit, The Martindale Center’s Microfinance Program aims to foster and promote understanding of the development and impact of microfinance locally and globally.  To accomplish these goals, the Center supports faculty research and curriculum development and works closely with departments and programs throughout the university, including the Global Citizenship and Integrated Product Development program.  The Microfinance Program is one of the very few programs nationwide housed in a department of business and economics that is devoted to research and teaching of this path-breaking approach to development.

Conferences and Workshops

March/April 2017

The Microfinance Industry: Revolution or Footnote?  Lessons for the Next 10 Years
An International Microfinance Industry Workshop, hosted and co-produced by The Martindale Center, Calmeadow and the Center for Financial Inclusion

Microfinance Panel 1 Video Microfinance Panel 3 Microfinance Panel 2 Microfinance Panel 4 Microfinance Panel 5
Panel 1 Panel 2 Panel 3 Panel 4 Panel 5
Regional Development of Microfinance Product
New Entrants and Competitive Challenges Financial Inclusion
and Impact Investing
Successes, Vulnerabilities and the Next Ten Years

Post Workshop Blog Series:

  1.  Microfinance Is Dead; Long Live Microfinance!
  2.  Time to Ditch Impact Investing’s Unproductive Self-Analysis
  3.  Can MFIs Deliver What Poor People Need?
  4.  FinTech in Microfinance: In Search of the High Tech – High Touch Unicorn

With thanks to our Workshop sponsors and co-organizers:


Expanding Financial Access in Africa: Prospects and Innovations in Microfinance


  • Marguerite Robinson, "Expanding Financial Access in Africa"
  • Colin Sloand, "Overview of Access to Finance and Microfinance in Africa"
  • Deborah Drake, "Transformations"
  • Alex Silva, "Investment Opportunities"
  • Todd Watkins, "New Technologies"

Innovation Roadmapping Workshop: MIS

Courses in Microfinance

Microfinance and Social Entrepreneurship Field Programs

  • 2017 - Kenya
  • 2016 - Kenya
  • 2015 - India
  • 2014 - Kenya
  • 2013 - Kenya
  • 2011 - Ghana/Kenya
  • 2010 - Zambia
  • 2009 - Ghana/Cambodia
  • 2008 - Peru
  • 2006 - Honduras

Microfinance Program Brochure