Microcredit is the provision of credit services to underserved populations. IPA's evaluations in this area aim to shed light on the underlying financial services needs of poor clients and how different financial services impact the lives of the poor. Evidence thus far suggests that microcredit, the small loans aimed at helping the poor become entrepreneurs, are not an effective poverty alleviation tool as once thought, but other products and product features, such as index insurance and commitment savings accounts, offer promising avenues for improving financial health. 

Lack of access to finance limits small business growth—a problem that is exacerbated for Muslim business-owners, many of whom do not take out traditional loans for religious reasons.

Millions of people make their living running microenterprises, but these businesses typically fail to expand or provide more than subsistence-level income to their owners.

Can fingerprinting borrowers improve repayment rates? For micro-lending to be viable microfinance institutions need to ensure that their clients repay their loans.