Jan 18, 2012

The "classic dilemma" in Micro-finance

From a corporate governance perspective, microfinance companies and their boards of directors are faced with the classic dilemma. On the one hand, it is recognized that the principal goal of microfinance is to reduce poverty; to that extent the interests of borrowers (or customers) as principal stakeholders becomes paramount. On the other hand, a shareholder-centric approach operates as a major countervailing factor by compelling microfinance companies to generate profits to service investors and maintain stock price. The current discourse in corporate governance does not appear to satisfactorily address the predicament of boards of microfinance companies. This is due to the fact that investors and stock markets judge them against standards imposed by corporate governance norms and practices that are generally applicable in the corporate sector.
That is from the paper "Microfinance and the Corporate Governance Conundrum" by Umakanth Varottil 

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