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Article
Publication date: 23 August 2013

Glòria Estapé‐Dubreuil and Consol Torreguitart‐Mirada

The study of the relationships between the public sector and the microfinance sector in Spain; through the analysis of the microcredit programs undertaken by the diverse…

Abstract

Purpose

The study of the relationships between the public sector and the microfinance sector in Spain; through the analysis of the microcredit programs undertaken by the diverse governmental bodies, as well as their repercussion in the development of the microfinance sector.The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

Details on the public policies analyzed have been mainly extracted from the web sites and annual reports of the agencies. Semi‐structured interviews to members of the boards of most microfinance institutions (MFIs), as well as a database compiled by the authors on the MFIs and their clients had been used. As a theoretical reference, concepts within the institutional theory are applied.

Findings

Financial services provided by governmental bodies to underprivileged are scarce, raising a lot of interest following its introduction, but with decreasing levels of realizations in recent years. Public policies have been found to influence in different ways the development and consolidation of the Spanish microfinance sector, although in general having feeble institutional impact.

Research limitations/implications

The scope of the analysis, limited to only one European country.

Practical implications

Suggested paths for further collaboration between governmental bodies and MFIs and other social organizations related to the sector.

Originality/value

Focus on the public policies related to the microfinance sector in a developed country.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 40 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 15 November 2010

Glòria Estapé‐Dubreuil and Consol Torreguitart‐Mirada

The purpose of this paper is to focus on the role played by microfinance institutions (MFI) in the improvement of women's micro‐entrepreneurship in economically developed…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to focus on the role played by microfinance institutions (MFI) in the improvement of women's micro‐entrepreneurship in economically developed countries. In the context of Catalan MFIs, the paper aims to study the allocation of resources to business projects led by women; and analyze the main features characterizing both women's personal traits and their business initiatives. Microcredit programs are also compared by gender.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were gathered from Catalan MFIs, configuring a sample of 549 instances of business projects funded between 1998 and 2006. Applicants were individual entrepreneurs located in Catalonia, seeking to start up or expand their own business. For the purpose of contrast and generalization, data from a public nationwide program have also been considered. The research methodology of the paper is based on a quantitative approach, using inferential statistics to support the descriptive analysis.

Findings

The results of this research indicate that social credit is truly a good source of capital for women; women of very different ages, with different business ideas have been funded by the Catalan microcredit sector. MFIs have also played a significant role in the social integration of immigrant women, thus contributing to alleviate poverty regardless of nationality.

Research limitations/implications

Extension to other developed countries is subject to considerations about their financial system, the role played by social entities, the impact of governmental institutions, as well as the special legal requirements of each country.

Originality/value

This paper points out that social credit offers female entrepreneurs the opportunity to carry out independent economic activities, despite their lack of financial capital. It also furthers the knowledge of how effectively it contributes to women's entrepreneurship.

Details

Management Research Review, vol. 33 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8269

Keywords

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