Students Study Microfinance in Malawi

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

To obtain a stronger understanding of how microfinance works in communities of Africa, 15 law students spent spring break in Malawi, led by Law Professor Christine Hurt, Dean of Students Virginia Vermillion, and Geophysicist Tim Larson from the Illinois Geological Survey. The trip was the culmination of a course in Law and Microfinance that explored various aspects of nontraditional banking, including micro-lending, crowd financing, peer-to-peer financing, and casual banking.

The group travelled to Blantyre (the commercial capital of Malawi), Zomba (the former colonial capital and a sister city of Urbana), and the village of Lisanjala. Among other sites, they visited for-profit, non-profit, and government-owned banks, local microfinance institutions, and a hospital and met with water ministers and public health officials.