This Article gives an account of the practice of microcredit that reveals its ambivalent relationship to global markets. Microcredit consists in nonprofit lending to poor communities, often at subsidized interest rates, to encourage small-scale entrepreneurial activity. Microcredit organizations view themselves, alternatively, as an extension of global markets into poor communities, designed to draw them permanently into the global economy, or as an efficient mechanism for providing aid to compensate the poor for their exclusion from the market. The Article argues that organizations would do well to clarify their relationship to the global market because that relationship has implications for how they should structure their lending program, whether they can become selfsustainable, and how they should measure their success. It further argues that, at a more general level, some residual ambivalence is unavoidable because the limits of globalization are unclear and microcredit necessarily is both an extension of, and a remedy for, the logic of the global market.
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