Supporting Social Enterprises to Support Vulnerable Consumers: The Example of Community Development Finance Institutions and Financial Exclusion
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This article examines the role of social enterprises in providing fair services to vulnerable consumers, focusing on the vulnerability of low-income consumers to high-cost exploitative credit as a result of a lack of access to mainstream financial services. It will be argued that both the state and the corporate sector have a role to play in providing the means with which vulnerable consumers can overcome financial exclusion, through access to fair services. However, this cannot and should not be achieved through increased welfare provision or through reliance on corporate social responsibility initiatives alone. In rejecting solutions focused on increased welfare or voluntary corporate social responsibility initiatives, this article suggests that regulatory support for the development and growth of social enterprises, such as community development finance institutions, will most effectively give rise to a social framework in which vulnerability and unequal opportunity with respect to financial services is addressed.
Journal of Consumer Policy: consumer issues in law, economics and behavioral sciences
Copyright 2011 Springer Netherlands. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. The original publication is available at www.springerlink.com
Law not elsewhere classified