Generally, when people hear the term “microfinance,” they think about small amounts of money lent out to groups of impoverished women in developing countries. In their minds, this scene might occur against the backdrop of thatched huts or rice paddies in rural South Asia or
Although unable to alter this aspect of the urban setting, Yanki believes that NYANA must first and foremost strive for increased practicality. Instead of relying upon theoretical or academic teachings, NYANA workers should focus on the human aspect of microlending—they should seek out personal relationships with clients, pay heed to lessons learned in the field, and above all, employ common sense when faced with a problem. (An example of this sort of practicality is apparent in NYANA’s policy that agents of diverse racial and ethnic heritages should work within communities of similar cultural backgrounds.) At the same time though, the organization should streamline its services—it should employ an under-writer responsible for creating and maintaining a scoring model that would standardize the lending process. This, in turn, would allow agents to spend more time developing personal relationships with their clients.