Informal economy backstops job losses

A recent article titled The Rise of the Underground by Patrick Barta in the Wall Street Journal, examines how the informal economy in India (and other developing markets) is providing an important alternative form of income for workers laid off from jobs connected to the global economy. Without an informal economy, many of them would be destitute as there is very little social safety net in these countries.

I was in India’s Assam region earlier this month and once again saw the power of microfinance to empower women with working capital to expand their micro businesses. I was able to interview a number of the women in this picture about how their businesses were going and what they were doing with their profits. The #1 priority they told me was to ensure their children were able to go to school.

2 thoughts on “Informal economy backstops job losses

  1. In response to the topics that have been discussed in this blog, we would like to alert readers to Sankalp 2009, India’s first Social Enterprise and Investment Forum, which aims to change the landscape of social investing in India. Check out http://www.sankalpforum.com. Tuesday, April 28, 2009. Taj Land’s End, Mumbai, India.


  2. It is great to see that microfinance is surging even in times of economic downturn. surely a good indicator of its sustainability over time! i’d be interested to know what organization was lending in the Assam region where you were.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s