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Paradigms and Reality in Micro-Finance: The Indian Case

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image of Perspectives on Global Development and Technology
For more content, please see Journal of Developing Societies.

In India, micro-finance has grown rapidly. We examine qualitative local data on micro-finance in southern Andhra Pradesh. We compare and contrast Mayoux's three paradigms of micro-finance as being differentiated by their assumptions, their claims, and the mode of operation of those who adhere to them. Each paradigm offers a grounding for practice as well as a mode of discourse for microfinance practitioners. In Andhra Pradesh, the empowerment paradigm is fading away compared with the financial sustainability paradigm of micro-finance. The anti-poverty paradigm is also muted. The financial sustainability school is presently dominant in this complex micro-enterprise scene.


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