Small enterprise promotion in India
The Indian Government has one of the most extensive and lengthy experiences of programmes to assist small-scale industry. This fact has guaranteed that considerable attention has been paid to that programme, as many Indians now re-evaluate the economic strategies India has pursued since independence in 1947. It has also made these programmes a focus of interest to those in other countries who would either like to copy some of their features, or use them as the basis for avoiding similar programmes in their own country. On the one hand, like similar schemes in the United States, these programmes have a considerable constituency and are perceived as politically popular. On the other hand, a body of economic criticism has emerged which questions whether the programmes concerned are a cost-effective use of public resources. The critics suggest that they may even hinder the technological development of Indian industry.
Village banks in Honduras
This article reports on the progress in Honduras of a savings and credit scheme which is proving successful in central America: village banks. Charging relatively high rates of interest and incorporating compulsory savings, these village banks are progressing well towards their long-term goal of self-sustainability.
Micro-savings risks and rewards
Savings schemes are often incorporated into micro-finance programmes on the grounds that they enable the programme to support itself out of its own resources and that they help their clients achieve financial growth and independence. This article points to the dangers to individuals' savings in such schemes and suggests how they may be protected.