Visionary practitioners have created the microcredit revolution, and theorists have tried to explain exactly how they did it. But have the theorists correctly captured the essence of practitioners’ innovations? This question can only be answered by confronting theory with reality. The answer is not of mere academic interest, though that is important too; it may have important practical implications as well. Since different theories emphasise different aspects of microcredit delivery and offer different hypotheses about how it works, an understanding of which theories are empirically ‘relevant’ and which are merely ‘esoteric’ may also help identify and strengthen the truly potent aspects of microcredit practice. In Chapter 2, we touched on these issues in light of the experience of the evolution of the microcredit system in Bangladesh; but it may be noted that the experience of Bangladesh is unique in some respects, such as the maturity of the system and the flagship role of Grameen Bank. Here, instead, we attempt a review of the relevant academic literature based on worldwide experience.