“The great challenge before us is to address the constraints that exclude people from full participation in the financial sector.”
- Kofi Annan, former Secretary General of the United Nations

Paladin Connect is a non-profit organization dedicated to connecting microfinance institutions to leading law firms. Paladin Connect’s participating law firms offer expertise in capital markets transactions, mergers, charter transformations, corporate governance, regulatory, and other international business law issues affecting microfinance institutions. By connecting microfinance institutions with leading law firms, which offer their services on a pro bono basis, Paladin Connect ensures that microfinance organizations can continue to grow, expand, and flourish. Allow our professionals to connect you with law firms providing dedicated legal support to microfinance institutions and receive the specific legal services you need.

The World Bank reports that nearly half of the world’s population lives on less than two dollars a day. These three billion individuals lack access to traditional financial services offered by commercial banks, such as deposit and savings accounts, insurance products, and related financial tools, in part because they are viewed as not being creditworthy and they own assets, such as livestock, that are not suitable to serve as collateral for a loan. With few opportunities to save earnings or to leverage assets, individuals face significant challenges in moving out of poverty.

Microfinance provides a solution to this problem by offering retail banking services to the poor. Through the extension of small loans, individuals have the opportunity to start small businesses, such as developing products or services to sell in local community markets, engaging in small-scale agriculture and livestock husbandry, and even establishing schools and buying property.

A broad range of institutions offer microfinance services, including non-governmental organizations, credit unions, trust banks, and traditional banks. The World Bank estimates that there are over 7,000 microfinance institutions operating globally, and industry experts note that despite this seemingly large number, less than one in ten poor people are served by microfinance institutions.

The microfinance institutions that utilize Paladin Connect operate on a variety of business models, but all serve the same general objective – the reduction of poverty. Impact studies on the effect of microfinance indicate that the provision of financial services to poor people result in an array of benefits, such as the ability to meet basic household needs, to obtain more nutritious food, to access safe drinking water, to achieve lower incidence of illness, and to increase educational opportunities for children. Perhaps most importantly, microfinance transforms lives by lifting poor people out of their daily struggle for survival to planning for the future.

Contact us today to connect with law firms devoted to the needs of microfinance institutions.
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