Microfi nance-plus services – from access to impact: empirical evidence from rural India
The importance of ‘fi nancial intermediation’ in attacking poverty has long been accepted. Yet, substantial challenges remain in providing affordable, useful and sustainable fi nancial services. Further, it is now well recognised, that along with fi nancial services, access to non-fi nancial services is necessary for the poor to break away from the vicious cycle of poverty. In this context, the microfi nance industry is rapidly transforming, as per the needs of the clients, by delivering not only services, but also (along with credit) non-fi nancial services, generally termed as ‘credit-plus services’. The advocates of microfi nance argue that the access to credit-plus services can help reduce poverty substantially through increased income and employment.