Societal Innovation

The Microcredit Summit Campaign as a Social Movement

By Vinod Khosla on

The Microcredit Summit Campaign (‘the Campaign’) has played a lead role in advocating for microfinance as one of the most important strategies to reduce poverty. Campaign data indicate that while the initial ‘100 million’ goal of the Campaign was a mammoth vision, participating microfinance institutions (MFIs) have converted much of its original audacity into quantifiable progress—making it one of the rare instances in history that the international community, led by civil society, set a collective, quantifiable, time-bound goal with global implications and impact and has come close to achieving it on time. Moreover, the Campaign has become a complex and collective social movement that supports a platform for united action.

While three decades ago microfinance was still a small niche in the international development field, the Campaign has since helped to invigorate capitalism for the poor, providing many people access to financial services where free enterprise and opportunity would otherwise not exist. This is catalyzing a process which, when taken to scale, has the potential to transform the nature of gender and class roles as well as grassroots economies in a period of rapid globalization. The global Campaign deserves ample credit for helping to bring about –or come close to achieving – a ‘tipping point’ for the microfinance field. The Campaign represents a cooperative effort in leadership for the eradication of poverty worldwide through the use of microcredit...

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