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A large proportion of the world’s population has no access to any kind of formal finance. Microfinance institutions (MFIs) offer them opportunities to escape from poverty. We’re not talking about huge sums here – a microloan of just 200 euros is enough for people in many countries to improve their living conditions and those of their families. Most of them become self-employed – by opening a small shop or workshop, for example, or setting up a school.