Microcredit has proven an important economic instrument, first of all in developing countries and later also in industrialized ones, thanks to its ability to represent a relevant alternative to the growing demand for credit, both towards social and production ends.
The recent spread of regional programs of microcredit in Italy, aimed at financial and social involvement of less fortunate social categories, proves there is trust at an institutional level in the efficacy of microcredit as a measure against poverty and as an innovative welfare tool.
At the same time, microcredit offers also an interesting loan strategy. The integrated offer of assistance and monitoring services (Business Development Services, BDS), that are at the borrowers’ disposal for the whole length of the loan, allow the setting up and the survival of small entrepreneurial ventures, considered to be at risk of marginalization according to the production market principles.
An internal distinction in the definition of microcredit arises, through the separation of social and entrepreneurial microcredit.