Entrepreneurship through microfinance has proven to be an effective and successful route out of poverty for millions around the world. The government-to-government approaches favored by many international organizations can be successful, but they often fall victim to the corruption endemic in the governments and financial institutions in developing countries. By encouraging entrepreneurship and providing opportunities to launch small businesses, microfinance bypasses government and offers a different, more efficient and ultimately more effective model of aid and development.

Joyce and Donald Rumsfeld have supported microfinance since they became interested in its efficacy in Latin America in the 1980s. From its establishment until 2016, the Foundation partnered with five respected global microfinance organizations working in countries from Afghanistan to Colombia and awarded more than $3.7 million in grants to expand microfinance around the world.

While the Foundation no longer provides grants to microfinance organizations, we remain supportive of the power and impact of microfinance as an effective and successful route out of poverty for millions around the world. For those interested in learning more about microfinance, we encourage you to visit the pages of the terrific organizations below.

8 years MF
$3.7M Grants MF
25 Countries MF
5 Partners MF
Grameen Foundation
Hand in Hand
Opportunity International

The Foundation has provided grants towards the expansion of microfinance in the 20 countries highlighted below.