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Mifos Open Source Microfinance Community – Mifos.Org

Mifos is an open source technology designed to help those interested in microfinancing local initiatives around the globe get the support they need.

I first learned about the Mifos.org initiative when I was visiting the Java website and saw “Java + Mifos” listed among their top downloads. I wondered what the heck that might be and investigated. Since I write so much about this stuff, I was blown about the Mifo is about microfinancing.

I told myself I’d have to write about this soon, because this program and the technical support it offers should get more coverage than it does. Open source programs are one of my favorite things these days, as readers of this website probably already know.

What Is Mifos.org?

College Student Using a Computer

MIFOS Is an Interactive Workspace.

Mifos.org is both an interactive workspace and a knowledge repository. The idea was to create a collaborative platform so a wide range of people could work together to implement and deploy Mifos.

This helps new contributors get involved in meeting Mifos community members locally and around the world. Those already active can let others know about their role, while everyone learns what kind of impact these microfinance users have made in their own community.

Contributors include Java developers, tech professionals, companies, testers, tech writers, and hackers (traditional hackers–not Hollywood hacks).

What Does Mifos Do?

Microfinance is a way of offering financial services to micro-entrepreneurs and small businesses who might not have access to the normal banking sector like you and I would. Microcredit is a way to bankroll people with local initiatives and entrepreneurship, offering funding turning a little bit of US money into a life-changing loan to the less fortunate.

Mifos has the slogan “Enabling 3 Billion Maries to Create a World Without Poverty”. Marie is a woman in Rwanda who had seen two husbands die and was suffering from HIV. With a $40 loan, she opened up a restaurant in her town. With the money from the restaurant, Marie bought a phone for her community. Now she’s trying to buy a second phone, and eventually hopes to build a home for her family.

MIFOS - Technology for Financial Inclusion

It Is Both an Interactive Workspace and a Knowledge Repository.

With forty dollars, Marie not only changed the course of her life, but the lives of her children and her community. Think about it: for the price of Netflix and a CD purchase or two, another person’s destiny is changed.

People often become cynical about helping developing countries, because they hear about rampant corruption of government officials and local warlords who take traditional financial aid for themselves. But social lending lets you send the money direct to a person. What seems like a pittance to an American becomes a boon for someone living in the heart of Africa, or countries elsewhere around the globe. Mifos has helped people in numerous other places, such as India, Nepal, the Philippines, Tunisia, Kenya, and Nigeria.

MFI Outfits and Mifos

In specific, Mifos is used by Microfinance Institutions as an open source platform to support local specialists and customers entering the world of social finance. Local tech companies often provide implementation and support services to MFIs using the Mifos technology.

MIFOS Is Also a Knowledge Repository.

MIFOS Is Also a Knowledge Repository.

An “MFI” is shorthand for a Micro-Finance Institution. You can join a regional group, get a timely update, share lessons, ask questions of the membership, answer questions from the community, or simply meet fellow contributors.

Microfinancing is an important step for developing communities, because a little bit of your money goes a long way to helping people in other parts of the world. But it goes far beyond that.

Sometimes, information is the key contribution you can make. Building a global community is therefore important on several different levels.

Mifos.Org Microfinancing Initiatives

Anyway, someone who understands technology better would be able to explain how everything works with this program. I know Javascript is important in its development, but I couldn’t even begin to tell you how that is. If you want to know more about the technology, follow the link I gave and learn from the source itself. If you want to learn how to help end poverty, follow the same link and meet all the good people who are changing the world around us through microcredit. Remember, for the sacrifice of a meal out on the town with you and your loved one, you can make a microfinance loan that allows another person across the globe gains the means to achieve success, dignity, and development.

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