1963-2013 - 50 years of Research for Social Change

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Back | Programme Area: Social Dimensions of Sustainable Development

Cooperation, Association and Solidarity in International Finance? Forms of Social Solidarity Investment in Microfinance (Draft)



Can cooperation, association and solidarity – the features of the social and solidarity economy – exist on a large scale in international finance? This paper reviews efforts to build and expand such financial relations through two mechanisms to mobilize financial capital from individuals and social networks in wealthy societies for micro-finance services in low-income and transition societies. The two models are exemplified by Kiva, an internet-based peer-to-peer lending scheme, and Oikocredit, an international social investment network based in networks in the Christian churches. Both encourage not donations but investments by individuals (and in the case of Oikocredit institutions) through funds that use the capital investment to lend to microfinance institutions (and to cooperatives and small businesses).

Paul Nelson is Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Pittsburgh, United States.