This book presents the hot topic of microfinance, comparing the success of microfinance institutions across two geographic regions: Africa and Asia (specifically sub-Saharan Africa [SSA] and south Asia). The success of a microfinance institution is defined by its outreach and sustainabilty, which indicate social and economic performance as well as impact. Looking more closely at poverty issues, sub-Saharan Africa poverty has essentialy doubled to 380 million (more than the U.S. population) over 20 years despite many political and economic attempts to restore economic growth. Comparing reforms taken by China and Vietnam that resulted in large and sustainable reductions in poverty, this book argues that sub-Saharan Africa has much larger issues outside of access to credit by the poor that hinder economic development. While microfinance shows to have played a role in smoothing consumption, it has not shown increased entrepreneurship or self-sufficiency and has not affected aggregate poverty levels at all.