Case | HBS Case Collection | September 2011 (Revised December 2011)

CARD Group: Mutually Reinforcing Institutions

by Cynthia A. Montgomery, Michael Shih-Ta Chen and Dawn Lau


CARD (Center for Agricultural and Rural Development) is a Philippines-based microfinance organization that began as an NGO and has since expanded into eight related entities providing services to the poor. Under Founding Director Dr. Aristotle Alip's leadership, CARD has become one of the top microfinance institutions in the world. More recently, larger commercial and financial institutions are seeking a slice of the microfinance market. The main dilemma Dr. Alip faces is: Should he partner with commercial institutions to reap benefits from their larger sources of capital and technology expertise? Would that mean compromising his original mission of elevating people from the base of the pyramid?

Keywords: Microfinance; Partners and Partnerships; Non-Governmental Organizations; Business Strategy; Competitive Strategy; Financial Services Industry; Philippines;


Montgomery, Cynthia A., Michael Shih-Ta Chen, and Dawn Lau. "CARD Group: Mutually Reinforcing Institutions." Harvard Business School Case 712-414, September 2011. (Revised December 2011.)