QUARTZ | What the gig economy can learn from the mistakes of microfinance

…in November 2007, Muhammad Yunus won the Nobel Peace Prize for his pioneering work with Grameen Bank in Bangladesh. Almost overnight, microfinance heated up, and unprecedented amounts of capital began flowing into MFIs from India to Kenya, Peru, Bosnia and beyond. Investors began to see the economically active poor as bankable, and the power not only to alleviate poverty, but also to empower women (who represent the majority of microfinance clients) and develop emerging economies. They could return a healthy profit and social return as well. When the global financial crisis of 2008 struck, MFIs were largely unscathed, because their success was not tied to synthetic derivatives in London or Hong Kong, but rather hard-working, entrepreneurial individuals striving daily to build good businesses and provide for their families.