Imagine a microfinance institution in a remote rural part of a country. It caters to several thousand poor clients, most of them women. The poverty of clients shows in the very small size of average loans (3.1% of GNI per head) and very small deposits. This microfinance institution is the only financial service provider locally. It has a strong social commitment and offers a range of non-financial services. Compared to benchmarks in its peer group, the MFI is efficient, but it would be obliged to close down if it was not for grants from private donors and subsidies by aid agencies and the government.