Sometimes, small gestures can make huge differences in people's lives and livelihoods. That's the premise -- and the power -- of microlending. For proof, one need look no further than the stories of Marcia and Karen, two entrepreneurs in Costa Rica.
Microloans have taken off in Peru, where informal employment is high and access to credit is low.
Now, the nation ranks No. 1 in the annual Economist Intelligence Unit survey of world's best business environments for microlending. In fact, five of the top 10 countries are in Latin America.