"Microfinance is the provision of financial services to the poor on a sustainable basis. Financial services that the working poor need and demand include different types of credit, savings, guarantees, insurance, transfer payments, remittances and other transactions. Microfinance is addressed to the poor and those excluded from market transactions. It seeks to broaden and deepen the market by emphasizing that ultimately microfinance institutions have to be sustainable, i.e. self-financing."
ILO policy statement : microfinance for decent work, Governing Body, 294th Session, Geneva, 2005 (pdf 41 KB)