Mal Warwick is a social entrepreneur, impact investor and writer. He has traveled extensively through the "global south," teaching fundraising and marketing to NGO executives from more than 100 countries. A former volunteer for the Peace Corps (Ecuador, 1965-69) and chair of Social Venture Network (2002-2006), he is the co-author with Paul Polak of "The Business Solution to Poverty: Designing Products and Services for Three Billion New Customers."
Did microfinance chase profits at the expense of the poor the industry purports to help? If it has left the social benefits behind, should it not be considered an impact investment? Mal Warwick, Paul DiLeo and Paul Polak share their insights and lessons learned in this exclusive commentary.
The signature success of the microfinance industry has been its ability to marshal billions of dollars in capital, much of it from mainstream capital markets, to address the challenge of poverty. This is a huge achievement. But why haven't microfinance institutions had impact on the poor that's commensurate with the capital invested? Mal Warwick, Paul DiLeo and Paul Polak share their answers.