Rappaport is not the only investor pulling the plug these days. It is rumoured that George Soros’ Open Society Institute is pulling funding to the Microfinance Management Institute, which to all the world looked like a successful programme. Created by OSI and the World Bank’s Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) in 2004, the Institute’s goal was to bring together organizations providing microfinance education to improve the quality of the curriculum and ultimately of MFIs. Both MFMI’s network and the curriculum resources grew very rapidly, but apparently OSI/CGAP define success differently. They didn’t make fundraising part of the organization’s mission when they created it, and haven’t funded such efforts since, but they have given MFMI less than a year to become ‘self-sustaining’. So why has Mr Soros apparently changed his mind about MFMI? We await the real story … and to see if a white knight (Gates, Omidyar, Legatum?) will ride in to save the day.
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