The debate between the proponents of maximising sustainability, outreach and scale and thus serving many poor people (including poorer people) and the proponents of targeting “the poorest of the poor” continues. The polarisation between the two camps of “sustainability” and “targeting the poorest” was encapsulated by the original positions of the Consultative Group to Assist the Poorest (CGAP) and the MicroCredit Summit. The debate is essentially a healthy one and should help all of us involved in the industry clearly focused on what matters: providing financial services to poor people. The paper argues for the inclusion of the ‘non-poor’ in MFI programmes to cross-subsidise outreach to the poor. The eventual impact of microfinance on poverty and the sustainability of MFIs will ultimately depend on the organisations’ systems and products. The overall challenge is to design appropriate products and efficient systems for the benefit of both MFIs and their clients

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