Microenterprise: the Other Half of the World's Economy

While large corporations dominate the global economy and the attention of investors and lenders, they don't come close to providing their share of jobs—and are continuing to abandon off employees; thus, while the world's 500 largest corporations account for 25 percent of production, they provide only .05 percent of jobs. Meanwhile, it is tiny 1- or 2- or 5-person "microenterprises" that have taken up much of the slack. In some countries, microenterprises account for more than half of all production and a majority of all jobs. Microenterprises not only allow more people to work, but also allow workers to form closer ties to their local communities and environments. Lending organizations making loans to small enterprises that could never qualify for conventional bank loans are getting payback rates of 99-percent. That has inspired plans for a world microcredit conference to take place in early 1997—aimed at providing loans to 100 million such enterprises in the near future.