Promoting Growth with Equity: The Inter-American Development Bank and Microenterprise

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Apr 1998
Today over 80 percent of the businesses in Latin America and the Caribbean have 10 employees or less and, depending on the country, they provide between 30 and 80 percent of employment. Yet, in spite of this new empowering view of microenterprises--as a means for the poor to earn their livelihood, often accompanied by charity, to microenterprise as business--it is undeniable that most microenterprise owners and their employees are people with low incomes living in difficult social and economic conditions. This report discusses the main issues on the microenterprise sector in Latin America and the Caribbean, including development obstacles and challenges; the IDB's microenterprise development strategy and experience; best practices in the sector's development and the future role of multilateral banks.