Unión MicroFinanza is committed to research for the improvement of economic development in the pursuit of poverty alleviation. Our strategy is to apply advanced, academically rigorous research methods to find practical solutions the complex problems posed by poverty.

An important element of our approach to economic development is microfinance. Microfinance relies on social collateral instead of physical collateral to guarantee the loan. (Click here to learn more about microfinance.) We study social relationships involved in this process of social collateral. A better understanding of the communities' social networks means greater client success, better repayment, better organizational structure, and better services; all lead to better, more sustainable microfinance. Also, this research will especially improve the greatly needed rural microfinance.

Furthermore, our research will inform how the community affects microfinance, and how microfinance affects the community. Knowing the impact we have is an important thing. This helps us know that we're actually helping, and it identifies areas in which we ought to focus on in the future. This means that we will develop a more effective and helpful microfinance program as we continue our work in La Unión.

Our first priority is to help La Unión, but the deeper understanding we have of its social networks, the more understanding we will have of social networks in general. This may allow us to disseminate the knowledge we learn in La Unión to benefit poor communities throughout the world.