Friday, 28 April 2017

Islamic microfinance: Shari’ah compliant and sustainable?

Together with a colleague, Professor Malcolm Harper, I have just spent the past 18 months researching and editing a book on Islamic microfinancei - which is defined as Shari'ah compliant financial services for poor people. The volume examines the experiences of 15 Islamic microfinance institutions (IMFIs) from 11 countries in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Eastern Europe. The institutions ranged from relatively small non-governmental organisations with a few hundred borrowers to large commercial institutions, such as the Islami Bank in Bangladesh which has almost one million clients. The book focuses specficially on the operating methodologies they employ, the challenges they face and their levels of financially self-sustainability. For a full description of the analysis and conclusions, I would of course, urge readers to buy the book as soon as it is published. However, I can share a few of the interesting findings.