I’ve spent a lot of time recently researching the changes in the microfinance industry at a deeper level. I began to read research reports from the early 2000s and even (way back) in the ’90s, and it’s fascinating how much ideas have grown and changed – while still maintaining the same theme: helping those who don’t have an opportunity.
From the time when Muhammad Yunus lent his first bit of money to the local entrepreneur to now – microfinance has taken quite a path. Reading a recent report from J.P. Morgan and Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), it’s pretty impressive/interesting/confusing to read how institutionalized microfinance has become, and how the lines between traditional finance and microfinance are increasingly blurring.
Is this the state in which the pioneers of microfinance would have imagined in years later? At this point – it doesn’t matter. This is where we are. Take it or leave it.
If you’re the innovator behind an idea – what goal do you anticipate? Do you want your idea to scale and truly reach and impact the masses? If so, you’d better be okay with change occurring – change you cannot control.
As anyone taking an entrepreneurship class can tell you, if a good idea experiences success, there will likely be copy cats. Those competitors will put their own spin on the idea, and tweak it as they see fit. Iterations and iterations down the line, you’ll have a different animal – one that has grown and been shaped by the creative minds in the market.
In today’s rapid paced world, the examples of change are almost instantaneous. Embrace the daily change in the microfinance industry and if you’re concerned – do something about it. Take action and implement your own change.