Income Security through Micro-financing

The modern use of the expression "microfinancing" has roots in the 1970s when organizations, such as Grameen Bank of Bangladesh with the microfinance pioneer Muhammad Yunus, were starting and shaping the modern industry of microfinancing.

Microfinancing has enabled business development and the establishment of many microfinance institutions (MFI), which are now sustainable. Many clients of MFI have significantly raised their standard of living and increased their incomes, giving themselves the possibility to plan a future.

However, as the population is ageing and as MFI's clients grow older, it appears MFI are not necessarily adapting to the ageing population. On the one hand, many older people are not considering microcredit because of a lack of trust in banking institutions or because of a self-perception that they are too poor to be credit-worthy and to receive a loan. On the other hand, microfinancing institutions are often reluctant to lend to older people and specific program, loan or even services are not available for older people such as providing information on pensions or financial aids.

Microfinance products that could help older persons do exist, such as microsavings, microinsurance or micropensions - programs aimed at empowering poorer, at risk people to save money for older age. Considering the difficulty to manage those products and to wisely use them, especially on the long view for both MFI and their clients, a need for improving financial literacy arises.

Of special interest will be abstracts detailing how microfinancing institutions and programs can adapted to an ageing population and abstracts on how microcredits can be used in a long-term view to avoid a relapse into poverty.