Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 17

Microfinance Related Abstracts

17 Microfinance and Gender Empowerment Discourse: Rethinking Minimalist View of Microcredit Programmes

Authors: Thomas Yeboah

Abstract:

In recent times, micro-finance programmes targeting women have become the central means of donor poverty alleviation strategies. In view of the renewed focus on post-Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) poverty reduction strategies, there is the likelihood that funding might increase in the next coming decades to support different initiatives by donor agencies. In this paper, we critically examine the role of microfinance in shaping gender relations and empowerment outcomes of women. It is widely argued that providing and reaching out to women with credit methodologies serves as a means of increasing women’s bargaining power and challenging existing gender subordination thereby releasing them from power structures which dominate their lives. This paper cautions this view and instead show that the mainstream argument surrounding microfinance and gender empowerment is much complex than what the popular rhetoric preaches. Drawing on empirical cases on microfinance literature, we argue that lack of systematic strategy to incorporate men and the wider socio-cultural dynamics within which women’s lives are embedded radically constraints the empowerment potential of microcredit programmes and in some context may lead to unintended consequences for women.

Keywords: Microfinance, Women, Empowerment, men, gender relations

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16 Self Help Groups among the Ao Nagas : A Case Study of Alongkima of Nagaland, NorthEast India

Authors: Imkongtenla Pongen

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Self Help Groups (SGHs) are socio-commercial instruments in addressing urban poverty and strengthening livelihoods. Being a member of Self Help Group helped in mutual exchanges of ideas, develop risk taking behaviour, learns flexibility in planning of a programme, and interpersonal communication within the group. In the present study, an attempt has been made to examine the functions, characteristics and practices of Self Help Groups and its impact on sustainable development among the Ao Nagas of Alongkima, Nagaland, NorthEast India. They are a tribal group and racially belong to the Mongoloid stock and linguistically to the Tibeto-Burman group. They follow endogamous, patriarchal, and patrilineal system. Major characteristics of Self Help groups in this study are found to be team spirit and group cohesiveness. Such groups are found to be geared towards a number of self-sufficiency based business ventures. The problems faced in normal functioning of the groups are unpunctuality and the inability to attend a meeting by all the members .Participation in such groups has increased women’s influence over the economic resources and decision making in the household, improved self-confidence and living standard, capacity building, self- dependent and self-reliant with no educational and entrepreneurial background, generate savings and hone their skills as motivators and leaders. All these has enhanced her status in every sphere of life in par with the opposite gender. In a nutshell, we can say that what she cannot achieve as an individual, she can achieve as a member of a Self Help Group. Hence, we should try to develop mechanisms to guarantee the sustainability of Self Help Groups which depends on the way they can deal with both internal and external conflicts like globalization and competition from new markets.

Keywords: Microfinance, Women Empowerment, Ao nagas, self help group

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15 Mitigation of Risk Management Activities towards Accountability into Microfinance Environment: Malaysian Case Study

Authors: Nor Azlina A. Rahman, Jamaliah Said, Salwana Hassan

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Prompt changes in global business environment, such as passionate competition, managerial/operational, changing governmental regulation and innovation in technology have significant impacts on the organizations. At present, global business environment demands for more proactive institutions on microfinance to provide an opportunity for the business success. Microfinance providers in Malaysia still accelerate its activities of funding by cash and cheque. These institutions are at high risk as the paper-based system is deemed to be slow and prone to human error, as well as requiring a major annual reconciliation process. The global transformation of financial services, growing involvement of technology, innovation and new business activities had progressively made risk management profile to be more subjective and diversified. The persistent, complex and dynamic nature of risk management activities in the institutions arise due to highly automated advancements of technology. This may thus manifest in a variety of ways throughout the financial services sector. This study seeks out to examine current operational risks management being experienced by microfinance providers in Malaysia; investigate the process of current practices on facilitator control factor mechanisms, and explore how the adoption of technology, innovation and use of management accounting practices would affect the risk management process of operation system in microfinance providers in Malaysia. A case study method was employed in this study. The case study also need to find that the vital past role of management accounting will be used for mitigation of risk management activities towards accountability as an information or guideline to microfinance provider. An empirical element obtainable with qualitative method is needed in this study, where multipart and in-depth information are essential to understand the issues of these institution phenomena. This study is expected to propose a theoretical model for implementation of technology, innovation and management accounting practices into the system of operation to improve internal control and subsequently lead to mitigation of risk management activities among microfinance providers to be more successful.

Keywords: Microfinance, Accountability, operational risks, management accounting practices

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14 Impact of Microfinance in Promoting Rural Economic Growth in Nigeria

Authors: Udeh Anastasia Ifeoma

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The need to develop the rural areas in developing countries where there have been decades of neglect are on the increase. It is against this background that this paper examined the impact of micro finance contribution to Nigeria’s gross domestic product. Time series data for 12-years period 1999-2010 were collated from Central Bank of Nigeria published annual reports. The least squares (LS) regression was used to analyze the data. The result revealed that microfinance activities have negative and non-significant contribution to gross domestic product in Nigeria. The paper recommends that rural poverty is often a product of poor infrastructural facilities; therefore government should make a conscious effort towards industrializing the rural areas thereby motivating the micro finance institutions to locate their offices and extend credit facilities to rural areas thereby improving rural economic growth.

Keywords: Microfinance, developing countries, Nigeria, rural economic growth

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13 Good Corporate Governance and Accountability in Microfinance Institutions

Authors: A. R. Nor Azlina, H. Salwana, I. Zuraeda, A. R. Rashidah, O. Normah

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Transitioning towards globalization in the business environment has necessitated more essential growing changes such as competition, business strategy, innovation in technology and effectiveness of societal trends on adopting corporate governance are seen to be drivers of the future. This transformations on business environment has a significant impact to organizations’ performances. Many organizations are demanding for more proactive entrepreneurs with dynamic team, who can run and steer their business to success. Changing on strategy, roles, tasks, entrepreneurial skills and implementing corporate governance in relationship development is important to enhance the organization’s performance towards being more cost-efficient and subsequently increase its efficiency. Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in most developing countries are contributors to the economic growth of a nation. However, the potential of Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) is always overlooked in contributing towards SMEs development. The adoption of corporate governance and accountability in MFIs as driving forces for these SMEs is not incorporated in measurements of organization performance. This paper attempts to address some of the governance issues associated with dimensions of accountability in improving performances of microfinance institutions. Qualitative approach was adopted in this study to analyze the data collected. The qualitative approach emerges as contributing factor in understanding and critiquing accountability processes, as well as addressing the concerns of practitioners and policymakers. A close researcher engagement with the field which concerns process, embracing of situational complexity, as well as critical and reflective understandings of organizational phenomena remain as hallmarks of the tradition. It is concluded that in describing and scrutinizing an understanding of managerial behavior, organizational factors and macro-economic relationship in SMEs firm need to be improved. This is also the case in MFIs. A framework is developed to explore the linkage of corporate governance and accountability issues related to entrepreneurship as factors affecting MFIs performances in facing ongoing transformation of organization performance within Malaysian SMEs industries.

Keywords: Microfinance, Corporate Governance, Accountability, Organization Performance

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12 Sustainability as a Platform in Microfinance Industry for Developing Countries

Authors: Normah Omar, Jamaliah Said, Salwana Hassan, Nor Azlina Ab.Rahman, Zuraeda Ibrahim

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Revolution in the business environment has crucial growing changes on most globalized markets. Numerous of organizations are necessitating towards producing more proactive entrepreneurs with a dynamic teams, who can run and steer their business to victory. Revolutionizing on business strategy and entrepreneurial skills, also implementing innovation and practices to enhance its performance is necessary for these organizations to be more cost-efficient and increase their efficiency. The study aims to clarify issues of whether measurement has a positive effect on different aspects of innovation and best practices. The study contributes to the current understanding in three ways; first by presenting the important aspects of organizational innovation and best practices. Second by showing the importance of measurement in promoting different aspects of innovation and best practices. Third is to examine the link between innovation, best practices and sustainability in microfinance. The study has been executed by conducting a qualitative study toward the microfinance industry. A representative of management and employees in each company was selected through an invitation to participate in getting information for data collection purpose in the study. The study contains a comprehensive description of the impacts of measurement on different aspects of innovation and best practices towards sustainability in both microfinance industries and SMEs. Findings from this study shows that performance measurement has positive effects on issues related to innovation and best practices. The measurement for several aspects of innovation and best practices is good potential in microfinance industries. Additionally, measurement on innovation and best practices shows a positively related with each other to enhance organization performance. The study suggests that both academics and practitioners should focus on the development of new methods and practices to describe and scrutinize further understanding for measuring issues which is related to innovation and best practices, in order to better develop innovation and best practices towards sustainability. This effort would not only contribute to firm’s success, but also toward the development of the nation in the developing countries.

Keywords: Innovation, Microfinance, Sustainability, best practices

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11 The Effect of Microfinance on Labor Productivity of SME - The Case of Iran

Authors: Sayyed Abdolmajid Jalaee Esfand Abadi, Sepideh Samimi

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Since one of the major difficulties to develop small manufacturing enterpriser in developing countries is the limitations of financing activities, this paper want to answer the question: “what is the role and status of micro finance in improving the labor productivity of small industries in Iran?” The results of panel data estimation show that micro finance in Iran has not yet been able to work efficiently and provide the required credit and investment. Also, reducing economy’s dependence on oil revenues reduced and increasing its reliance on domestic production and exports of industrial production can increase the productivity of workforce in Iranian small industries.

Keywords: Microfinance, Iran, panel data, small manufacturing enterprises (SME), workforce productivity

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10 How to Reconcile Financial Incentives and Pro-Social Motivations of Loan Officers in Microfinance?

Authors: Julie De Pril, Cécile Godfroid

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Nowadays, achieving double bottom line has become a widely recognized objective for microfinance institutions (MFIs). They would like to be financially sustainable or even profitable while continuing to focus on their social mission. In order to rise their financial performance, MFIs tend to grant financial bonuses to loan officers so that they increase their performance and efficiency. However, as argued by motivation crowding theory, monetary rewards may not have only positive effects but can also erode intrinsic motivation. Since MFIs pursue social objectives in addition to their financial ones, their employees’ intrinsic motivations may include the willingness to help others, like in many non-profit organizations. This is called pro-social motivation in the psychology literature. Particularly, this type of motivation should be highly reflected among microfinance loan officers as a part of their role consists in improving clients’ welfare. Therefore, it seems to be crucial for MFIs to find an equilibrium between the efficiency benefits obtained thanks to the granting of financial incentives and the deterioration of social performance that may result from the reduction of the loan officers’ pro-social motivation. This paper attempts to suggest, with a mathematical model, an optimal incentive scheme MFIs could rely on.

Keywords: Microfinance, rewards, loan officers, prosocial motivation

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9 A Qualitative Analysis of People Views of Microfinance in Lebanon

Authors: Ali Abu Ali, Mohammad Salhab

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Introduction: In the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) microfinance struggles to find momentum. The Lebanese economy has been struggling through the years due to domestic and external, political and social instability. Although as of 2014 there are around 23 MFIs that are mainly subsidized by the USAID, operating in the country, the Lebanese microfinance market is mostly dominated by three microfinance institutions: Al Majmoua, Vitas, and Al Quard Al Hassan Association. Methodology: A quantitative approach using a standardized questionnaire would analyse the perception of the average Lebanese towards microfinance. A questionnaire was designed and validated. Results: Almost half of the respondents earn a monthly income ranged between $100 and $600. Almost 52% of the respondents were university graduates, around 25% finished secondary and high school, and 12% hold a masters or MBA degree. Topic understanding towards microfinance differs across Lebanese areas. The highest percentage of respondents who claim that microfinance offers financial services to low income people are the residents of Beirut (35.1%), Bekaa (30.8%), and South of Lebanon (24.7%). Higher levels of topic understanding were associated with lower levels of age range. Al Quard el Hassan foundation was regarded as the most known micro financial institution operating in Lebanon. In general, Lebanese people tend to believe that microfinance can play an important role in reducing unemployment rates and poverty levels in Lebanon. When people were asked what would motivate you to get a loan from MFIs, most of the respondent (57.4%) across all the Lebanese region claimed that it was the need for money to satisfy a need such as paying back a loan, to fix something at home, or for self-consideration like buying a car. Conclusion: Our findings showed that in general Lebanese tend to have a positive perception towards microfinance. However, most Lebanese perceive microfinance as the process of just providing loans without specifying for whom it is intended. We advise that government introduces laws to regulate the microfinance market.

Keywords: Economics, Business, Finance, Analysis, Theory, Microfinance

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8 Microfinance and Microenterprise Development: Evidence from Bangladesh

Authors: Rahat Dewan

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The debate surrounding the efficacy of microfinance and the importance of microenterprise is fierce, lengthy and multifaceted. This paper reviews key issues, theory and evidence surrounding microfinance and microenterprise development for poverty alleviation. We report on a recently completed, large-scale microenterprise development intervention in Bangladesh using the rudimentary data available to us, and also our own qualitative field research. We find reasonable evidence for significant returns to several development outcomes.

Keywords: Development, Microfinance, Bangladesh, microenterprise

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7 Access to Financial Services to Rural Poor in Nepal: Challenges and Way Forward

Authors: Krishna Prasad Sharma

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Nepal’s financial sector has become deeper and wider, and the number and types of financial intermediaries have grown rapidly over the past two decades. However, access to financial services remains limited for many people in many parts of rural Nepal. While financial institutions have been expanding rapidly in an urban area in recent years, the access to the rural poor is excessively inadequate due to financial illiteracy and limited numbers of financial institutions that confined only to the district headquarters. Based on the focus group discussion, semi-structured interview of key people and literature review, this paper aims to examine the supply of and demand for financial services in Nepal and the constraints to increasing access to them, and offers way forward for making the financial sector work for all of Nepal’s people, especially the rural poor. While Nepal’s government has tried to increase access to formal financial services for small businesses and low-income households through directed lending programs for small businesses and low-income households, created specialized wholesale and retail institutions, and lowered market entry requirements, formal financial services are declining, and financial intermediation is stagnating. Supply and demand indicators show that, despite government efforts, formal financial institutions do not serve the needs of most of the Nepalese population. While access to and use of formal financial services are limited, in general, the problem is acute for small businesses and low-income households. Indeed, both access and use are closely correlated with business loan size and household income. This study concludes that banks and microfinance institutions with the use of mobile phones can connect hundreds of millions of unbanked and low-income people, especially rural poor to financial services at low costs. While there are many challenges ahead in expanding the service to rural areas, the mobile financial services will be beneficial that makes payments faster and cheaper, more convenient and accessible to a greater number of senders and recipients in rural areas. In rural areas, clients will benefit from money transfer and other mobile and online services.

Keywords: Microfinance, financial inclusion, rural poor, financial enabling environment, branchless banking

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6 Regional Disparities in Microfinance Distribution: Evidence from Indian States

Authors: Sunil Sangwan, Narayan Chandra Nayak

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Over the last few decades, Indian banking system has achieved remarkable growth in its credit volume. However, one of the most disturbing facts about this growth is the uneven distribution of financial services across regions. Having witnessed limited success from all the earlier efforts towards financial inclusion targeting the rural poor and the underprivileged, provision of microfinance, of late, has emerged as a supplementary mechanism. There are two prominent modes of microfinance distribution in India namely Bank-SHG linkage (SBLP) and private Microfinance Institutions (MFIs). Ironically, such efforts also seem to have failed to achieve the desired targets as the microfinance services have witnessed skewed distribution across the states of the country. This study attempts to make a comparative analysis of the geographical skew of the SBLP and MFI in India and examine the factors influencing their regional distribution. The results indicate that microfinance services are largely concentrated in the southern region, accounting for about 50% of all microfinance clients and 49% of all microfinance loan portfolios. This is distantly followed by an eastern region where client outreach is close to 25% only. The north-eastern, northern, central, and western regions lag far behind in microfinance sectors, accounting for only 4%, 4%, 10%, and 7 % client outreach respectively. The penetration of SHGs is equally skewed, with the southern region accounting for 46% of client outreach and 70% of loan portfolios followed by an eastern region with 21% of client outreach and 13% of the loan portfolio. Contrarily, north-eastern, northern, central, western and eastern regions account for 5%, 5%, 10%, and 13% of client outreach and 3%, 3%, 7%, and 4% of loan portfolios respectively. The study examines the impact of literacy rate, rural poverty, population density, primary sector share, non-farm activities, loan default behavior and bank penetration on the microfinance penetration. The study is limited to 17 major states of the country over the period 2008-2014. The results of the GMM estimation indicate the significant positive impact of literacy rate, non-farm activities and population density on microfinance penetration across the states, while the rise in loan default seems to deter it. Rural poverty shows the significant negative impact on the spread of SBLP, while it has a positive impact on MFI penetration, hence indicating the policy of exclusion being adhered to by the formal financial system especially towards the poor. However, MFIs seem to be working as substitute mechanisms to banks to fill the gap. The findings of the study are a pointer towards enhancing financial literacy, non-farm activities, rural bank penetration and containing loan default for achieving greater microfinance prevalence.

Keywords: Microfinance, Rural poverty, literacy rate, bank penetration, primary sector share, rural non-farm activities

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5 A Qualitative Study of Inclusive Growth through Microfinance in India

Authors: Amit Kumar Bardhan, Barnali Nag, Chandra Sekhar Mishra

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Microfinance is considered as one of the key drivers of financial inclusion and pro-poor financial growth. Microfinance in India became popular through Self Help Group (SHG) movement initiated by NABARD. In terms of outreach and loan portfolio, SHG Bank Linkage programme (SHG-BLP) has emerged as the largest microfinance initiative in the world. The success of financial inclusion lies in the successful implementation of SHG-BLP. SHGs are generally promoted by social welfare organisations like NGOs, welfare societies, government agencies, Co-operatives etc. and even banks are also involved in SHG formation. Thus, the pro-poor implementation of the scheme largely depends on the credibility of the SHG Promoting Institutions (SHPIs). The rural poor lack education, skills and financial literacy and hence need continuous support and proper training right from planning to implementation. In this study, we have made an attempt to inspect the reasons behind low penetration of SHG financing to the poorest of the poor both from demand and supply side perspective. Banks, SHPIs, and SHGs are three key essential stakeholders in SHG-BLP programmes. All of them have a vital role in programme implementation. The objective of this paper is to find out the drivers and hurdles in the path of financial inclusion through SHG-BLP and the role of SHPIs in reaching out to the ultra poor. We try to address questions like 'what are the challenges faced by SHPIs in targeting the poor?' and, 'what are factors behind the low credit linkage of SHGs?' Our work is based on a qualitative study of SHG programmes in semi-urban towns in the states of West Bengal and Odisha in India. Data are collected through unstructured questionnaire and in-depth interview from the members of SHGs, SHPIs and designated banks. The study provides some valuable insights about the programme and a comprehensive view of problems and challenges faced by SGH, SHPIs, and banks. On the basis of our understanding from the survey, some findings and policy recommendations that seem relevant are: increasing level of non-performing assets (NPA) of commercial banks and wilful default in expectation of loan waiver and subsidy are the prime reasons behind low rate of credit linkage of SHGs. Regular changes in SHG schemes and no incentive for after linkage follow up results in dysfunctional SHGs. Government schemes are mostly focused on creation of SHG and less on livelihood promotion. As a result, in spite of increasing (YoY) trend of number of SHGs promoted, there is no real impact on welfare growth. Government and other SHPIs should focus on resource based SHG promotion rather only increasing the number of SHGs.

Keywords: Microfinance, Inclusive Growth, financial inclusion, Self-Help Group (SHG), Self-Help Group Promoting Institution (SHPI)

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4 Analysis of Effect of Microfinance on the Profit Level of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises in Lagos State, Nigeria

Authors: Saheed Olakunle Sanusi, Israel Ajibade Adedeji

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The study analysed the effect of microfinance on the profit level of small and medium scale enterprises in Lagos. The data for the study were obtained by simple random sampling, and total of one hundred and fifty (150) small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) were sampled for the study. Seventy-five (75) each are microfinance users and non-users. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics, logit model, t-test and ordinary least square (OLS) regression. The mean profit of the enterprises using microfinance is ₦16.8m, while for the non-users of microfinance is ₦5.9m. The mean profit of microfinance users is statistically different from the non-users. The result of the logit model specified for the determinant of access to microfinance showed that three of specified variables- educational status of the enterprise head, credit utilisation and volume of business investment are significant at P < 0.01. Enterprises with many years of experience, highly educated enterprise heads and high volume of business investment have more potential access to microfinance. The OLS regression model indicated that three parameters namely number of school years, the volume of business investment and (dummy) participation in microfinance were found to be significant at P < 0.05. These variables are therefore significant determinants of impacts of microfinance on profit level in the study area. The study, therefore, concludes and recommends that to improve the status of small and medium scale enterprises for an increase in profit, the full benefit of access to microfinance can be enhanced through investment in social infrastructure and human capital development. Also, concerted efforts should be made to encouraged non-users of microfinance among SMEs to use it in order to boost their profit.

Keywords: Microfinance, Small and medium enterprises, logit model, credit utilisation

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3 Microfinance for the Marginalised: The Impact of the Rojiroti Approach in India

Authors: John Best, Gil Yaron, Rebecca Gordon, Sunil Choudhary

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There have been a number of studies examining the impact of microfinance; however, the magnitude of impact varies across regions, and there has been mixed evidence due to the differences in the nature of interventions, context and the way in which microfinance is implemented. The Rojiroti approach to microfinance involves the creation of women's self-help groups (SHGs), rotated loans from savings and subsequent credit from a Bihar-based NGO. Rojiroti serves customers who are significantly poorer and more marginalised than those typically served by microfinance in India. In the data analysed, more than 90 percent of members are from scheduled caste and tribes (62 percent) or other disadvantaged castes. This paper analyses the impact of Rojiroti microfinance using panel data on 740 new SHG members and 340 women in matched control sites at baseline and after 18 months. We consider changes in assets, children's education, women's mobility and domestic violence among other indicators. These results show significant gains for Rojiroti borrowers relative to control sites for important, but not all, variables. Comparison with more longstanding SHGs (at least 36 months) helps to explain how the borrowing patterns of poor and marginalised SHG members evolve. The context of this intervention is also important; in this case, innovative microfinance is provided too much poorer and marginalised women than is typically the case, and so the results seen are in contrast to numerous studies that show little or no effect of microfinance on the lives of their clients.

Keywords: Gender, Microfinance, Impact, pro-poor

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2 Promoting Incubation Support to Youth Led Enterprises: A Case Study from Bangladesh to Eradicate Hazardous Child Labour through Microfinance

Authors: Md Maruf Hossain Koli

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The issue of child labor is enormous and cannot be ignored in Bangladesh. The problem of child exploitation is a socio-economic reality of Bangladesh. This paper will indicate the causes, consequences, and possibilities of using microfinance as remedies of hazardous child labor in Bangladesh. Poverty is one of the main reasons for children to become child laborers. It is an indication of economic vulnerability, inadequate law, and enforcement system and cultural and social inequities along with the inaccessible and low-quality educational system. An attempt will be made in this paper to explore and analyze child labor scenario in Bangladesh and will explain holistic intervention of BRAC, the largest nongovernmental organization in the world to address child labor through promoting incubation support to youth-led enterprises. A combination of research methods were used to write this paper. These include non-reactive observation in the form of literature review, desk studies as well as reactive observation like site visits and, semi-structured interviews. Hazardous Child labor is a multi-dimensional and complex issue. This paper was guided by the answer following research questions to better understand the current context of hazardous child labor in Bangladesh, especially in Dhaka city. The author attempted to figure out why child labor should be considered as a development issue? Further, it also encountered why child labor in Bangladesh is not being reduced at an expected pace? And finally what could be a sustainable solution to eradicate this situation. One of the most challenging characteristics of child labor is that it interrupts a child’s education and cognitive development hence limiting the building of human capital and fostering intergenerational reproduction of poverty and social exclusion. Children who are working full-time and do not attend school, cannot develop the necessary skills. This leads them and their future generation to remain in poor socio-economic condition as they do not get a better paying job. The vicious cycle of poverty will be reproduced and will slow down sustainable development. The outcome of the research suggests that most of the parents send their children to work to help them to increase family income. In addition, most of the youth engaged in hazardous work want to get training, mentoring and easy access to finance to start their own business. The intervention of BRAC that includes classroom and on the job training, tailored mentoring, health support, access to microfinance and insurance help them to establish startup. This intervention is working in developing business and management capacity through public-private partnerships and technical consulting. Supporting entrepreneurs, improving working conditions with micro, small and medium enterprises and strengthening value chains focusing on youth and children engaged with hazardous child labor.

Keywords: Microfinance, Enterprise Development, child labour, youth entrepreneurship

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1 Microfinance and Women Empowerment in Bangladesh: Impact in Economic Dimension

Authors: Abm Mostafa, Rumbidzai Mukono, Peijie Wang

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Using 285 respondents from two microfinance institutions, this research aims to assess the impact of microfinance on women’s economic empowerment in Bangladesh. Empirical measures of economic empowerment used in this paper are underpinned by a bargaining theory of household. Questionnaire is used for data collection following purposive sampling. Descriptive statistics, chi-square test, Kruskal-Wallis test, binary, and ordinal logistic regressions are deployed for data analysis. The findings of this study show that around three quarters of respondents have increased household income. They have increased their savings overwhelmingly; nonetheless, many of them are found to have a very small amount of savings. Still, more than half of the respondents are reported to have increased their savings when it is checked against at least 500 BDT per month. On the contrary, the percentage of women is moderate in terms of increasing control over finances. Empirical findings demonstrate the evidence of a relationship between the amount of loan and women’s household income, their savings, and control over finances. Nonetheless, no relationship is found in women’s areas. This study infers that women’s access to financial resources is fundamental to empower them in economic dimension.

Keywords: Microfinance, Economic, Women, Empowerment, Bangladesh

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