Guide to Giving
MEDIA, JOBS & RESOURCES FOR THE COMMON GOOD
NEWS  |  General, Politics, Research, Social Innovation

Microfinance Challenges in Australia


Thursday, 11th March 2010 at 2:24 pm
Staff Reporter
New research underlines the key challenges facing microfinance development in Australia.

Thursday, 11th March 2010
at 2:24 pm
Staff Reporter


0 Comments


FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

 Print
Microfinance Challenges in Australia
Thursday, 11th March 2010 at 2:24 pm

A new report undertaken by the Brotherhood of St Lawrence and Foresters Community Finance highlights three key challenges facing the future of microfinance development in Australia. The report also provides recommendations on how to address these issues, with the aim of pushing forward debate and discussion.

The report, ‘From the margins to the mainstream: the challenges for microfinance in Australia’ has found that Microfinance development in Australia faces three main challenges:

  • The sustainability of the programs developed to date
  • Scalability – how programs can be moved beyond the pilot phase
  • Impact measurement – how to adequately measure whether programs are having an impact on addressing financial exclusion.

Microfinance offers low-income people access to basic financial services such as small loans, savings, insurance and financial advice.

The Federal Government announced plans in January to invest $7.5 million to pilot approaches for developing a Community Development Financial Institution sector in Australia.

Launching the initiative at the time, The Federal Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin, said financial inclusion is an essential part of social inclusion and individuals need to build their confidence and skills to manage their money and empower people to build their own financial security.

The microfinance report wants to open up debate and discussion around the issues and challenges facing the microfinance sector in Australia, by putting forward 9 recommendations around these challenges. The recommendations are:

  1. Broaden the definition of financial exclusion in Australia and undertake more empirical work to examine both the extent of such exclusion and the potential demand for microfinance.
  2. Give greater focus to the range of products and services that people are excluded from, examining in particular, those programs that support the insurance, remittance, bill-payment and superannuation needs of people living in poverty.
  3. Adopt a broad definition of sustainability in the microfinance sector that includes the financial impact, and social and institutional elements of sustainability.
  4. Encourage a more complex engagement with financial sustainability in the microfinance sector, away from prevailing charitable and commercial mindsets.
  5. Publish data on the true costs of microfinance program service provision to contribute to a debate on financial sustainability relevant to the Australian context.
  6. Move programs beyond pilot phases to building scale, although pilots have played an important role in demonstration, experimentation and innovation.
  7. Support programs that examine how microfinance could extend its reach to include the most vulnerable people in our society, and encourage action research around specific target populations.
  8. Ensure that government, community and financial institutions use a variety of approaches to trial and document microfinance initiatives.
  9. Channel greater investment into independent reporting on the impact of microfinance initiatives.

The report is based on literature reviews and one-on-one consultations with key stakeholders, and includes a directory of microfinance programs in Australia.

Click the link below to download the full report. 



Guide to Giving

FEATURED SUPPLIERS


NGO Recruitment is Australia’s not-for-profit sector recru...

NGO Recruitment

...


Helping the helpers fund their mission…...

FrontStream Pty Ltd (FrontStream AsiaPacific)

Brennan IT helps not-for-profit (NFP) organisations drive gr...

Brennan IT

More Suppliers

Get more stories like this

FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

NFPs Need Social Media More Than They Know

Alecia Hancock

Thursday, 21st September 2017 at 8:33 am

Social Media ‘Inspires’ Fundraising Globally – New Research

Lina Caneva

Wednesday, 20th September 2017 at 4:03 pm

Public Interest / Private Interest – A Fundamental Distinction

David Crosbie

Thursday, 14th September 2017 at 8:46 am

POPULAR

Moves to Stop Volunteering at Overseas Orphanages

Luke Michael

Wednesday, 13th September 2017 at 1:54 pm

Future Uncertain for Disability Organisations Following Funding Cuts

Wendy Williams

Tuesday, 19th September 2017 at 8:29 am

Majority of NFPs Are Not Believed to be Well-Run, According to New Survey

Luke Michael

Tuesday, 12th September 2017 at 4:14 pm

More Australians Are Giving Time Not Money

Wendy Williams

Monday, 11th September 2017 at 5:07 pm

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Guide to Giving
pba inverse logo
Subscribe Twitter Facebook

Get the social sector's most essential news coverage. Delivered free to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

You have Successfully Subscribed!