Of course it does. Poverty exists definitely in Africa and Asia, this much we've known a long time. But in our own West the gap between rich and poor has widened in some economies. But in addition to helping them, can not the same ideas be applied to our own poorer quarters of our towns and cities? The same factors are at work there, low self respect and poverty, in British social deprived regions as in India for example.
I just read [[http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/25/business/smallbusiness/25sbiz.html?_r=2]this article] and was truck at how much of what is going on there could be applied to our own countries in Europe. Microfinance loans for small businesses are very successful for women in regions where they are repressed. Can not these systems help our own people also? Do they already in fact exist? Can anyone tell me the difference between a desperate single mum in a poor region of Manchester with no opportunities and a desperate mother in India? Do mechanisms exist perhaps even where some microfinance institutions in India might even lend to deprived people in the West?
ManInAD - there's microfinance in the UK, I can remember reading something about schemes in Newcastle and Glasgow. But someone else will be better qualified than me to discuss - I don't know more than that.