It is so easy to go into microfinance. With a small amount of capital, minimum policies set on the loanable amount that can be as low as P3,000 per client, interest rate, period of payment, mode of regular repayments, loan security which need not be hard collateral, savings or capital build-up, and a lean, efficient staff complement to run the credit and savings operations, one can already embark on the “business” of microfinance.
Microfinance became a popular tool for poverty alleviation in the Philippines in the late 1980s. Non-government organizations such as Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation Inc. (NWTF), Tulay sa Pag-unlad Inc. and Ahon sa Hirap Inc. pioneered in this field by replicating the Grameen Bank scheme of Professor Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize winner in 2006. Today, microfinance institutions continue to touch the lives of their poor clients, mostly women, with various financial and non-financial services.