Microcredit consists in the provision of small loans, granted on trust and with no real guarantees, to people excluded from the traditional banking system. Financing is mainly directed at starting up small businesses or at consolidating existing ones.
Microcredit programmes invest on people’s value, on their abilities and personal usefulness and aim at making them economically and financially autonomous.
Microcredit is truly revolutionary because it acts like a multidimensional instrument for the development of an individual and of his ability to give back to his own community. In doing so, microcredit does not simply focus on trust, by issuing monetary credit; first and foremost, it focuses on the educational and self-promotional value of the individual, by involving several actors in what is, de facto, a production process.
Therefore, microcredit is not just an innovative instrument for economic development, but it is an actual social mechanism which identifies a vertically integrated production chain, where two main actors (lender and borrower), cooperating with all other individuals in the chain, develop a long-lasting relationship – based on trust and a close connection to the community – which can (re)generate used resources and new social capital.
Faremicrocredito.it (2014), p. 22.