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Within the past few years, a new phenomenon has taken place among the world's leading microfinance institutions (MFIs) – entry into new capital markets through initial…
Within the past few years, a new phenomenon has taken place among the world's leading microfinance institutions (MFIs) – entry into new capital markets through initial public offerings (IPOs). “Going public” launches MFIs into a new frontier, not only presenting challenges but also providing new opportunities for the institutions and the clients they serve.
Microfinance which refers to the issuance of microloans and the delivery of other related financial services to mostly necessity entrepreneurs has remained a major…
Microfinance which refers to the issuance of microloans and the delivery of other related financial services to mostly necessity entrepreneurs has remained a major developmental tool across the developing world. With its inception from Bangladesh’s village of Jobra in 1976, microfinance has provided financial capital to many poor households to engage in income-generating activities in order to increase their assets and reduce vulnerability. Most often than not, necessity entrepreneurs who endeavor to start their own businesses depend on microfinance as a source of financial resource into their Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs). Using Ghana as the study country, this study investigated the impact of microfinance on the necessity entrepreneurs in the areas of poverty reduction, employment generation as well as the various difficulties associated with Microfinance delivery in the Greater Accra region of Ghana. We conducted a paper-based survey with 378 MSE owners from this region. The results indicate that microfinance has contributed to employment generation and poverty reduction in the Greater Accra region of Ghana through the provision of microloans to necessity entrepreneurs to engage in various types of income-generating activities. However, necessity entrepreneurs are faced with loan inadequacy issues coupled with under-financing difficulties. More so, they are also faced with non-flexible loan terms and cumbersome loan application procedures which do not support business expansion and employment generation. This study contributes to the debate on the social logic concept of microfinance delivery and poverty reduction. Microfinance therefore remains an indispensable tool in supporting necessity entrepreneurs in promoting self-employment.
Woller, Dunford, and Woodworth (1999) and Morduch (2000) were among the first to discuss the existence of a “schism” in the study of microfinance. Although the exact dimensions of this divide are stated differently by various authors, the existence of alternative schools of thought is widely accepted (Brett, 2006; Bhatt & Tang, 2001; Mitlin, 2002; Robinson, 2001; Rhyne, 1998).
Purpose – These last three years, the global reputation of microfinance has been damaged by some major crises, notably in India. The Microfinance Investment Vehicles…
Purpose – These last three years, the global reputation of microfinance has been damaged by some major crises, notably in India. The Microfinance Investment Vehicles (MIVs), funded by public money and socially inclined investors, are believed by observers to be part of the causes of the crises (von Stauffenberg & Rozas, 2011). As a consequence, they now have to demonstrate their commitment to the social mission of microfinance. This chapter aims at putting forward the debate on MIVs’ ability to effectively contribute to the social mission of microfinance by analyzing how they integrate social performance in their investment decisions.
Methodology/approach – Analysis of interviews with microfinance fund managers based on a framework of recognized impediments to a socially responsible approach in investing.
Findings – While social performance is recognized by respondents to be an important topic for the industry, fund managers still do not give a strong role to social criteria in investment decisions. The findings of the qualitative analysis in the chapter demonstrate that this is linked to a number of major impediments such as the tendency to believe that microfinance is social per se, the lack of standardization in social performance tools, and also a loose regulation regarding social reporting.
Research limitations/implications – The findings of the study are limited due to the relatively small sample size and the focus on fund managers’ answers only. Future research could investigate the viewpoints of different stakeholders in the investment process, such as the back investors of microfinance funds or the regulatory institutions.
Originality/value – To the best of our knowledge, this is the first attempt to get insights on the impediments to a stronger focus on social performance by MIVs, with the application of a recognized framework from the Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) literature.
The disagreement over the contribution of microfinance to fight poverty is mainly related to the wide range of methodologies used to study it. The aim of this chapter is…
The disagreement over the contribution of microfinance to fight poverty is mainly related to the wide range of methodologies used to study it. The aim of this chapter is to reveal the limitations of these methodologies and explore whether the capability approach may improve impact assessment, especially in the microfinance field.
The author’s contribution is based on a comprehensive literature review of the most cited scholarly studies on microfinance impact.
This contribution has two main findings: It identifies the characteristics of an impact assessment conceptual framework based on the Capability Approach. It also gives a documented justification on why this approach is an interesting way to evaluate the potential effects of microfinance programs.
Applying the capability approach to poverty in microfinance is not new. However, as far as we know this is the first contribution that tries to apply it to the specific issue of impact assessment.
Microfinance is an effective tool for poverty alleviation. The sustainability of microfinance institutions is essential to create desired social impact. The chapter…
Microfinance is an effective tool for poverty alleviation. The sustainability of microfinance institutions is essential to create desired social impact. The chapter provides insight into how microfinance organizations create sustainable value, using a case study of ACCION San Diego (ACCION SD). The evolution of and progress of ACCION SD is studied through the lens of Appreciative Intelligence framework. A conceptual framework of the appreciative approach to sustainable microfinance is developed and applied to ACCION SD, describing sustaining cycles of success. ACCION SD emerges as an organization with a vision of possibilities, continuously reframing and expanding what is successful. The Appreciative Intelligence of its leadership and innovative programs has led to competitive advantage and sustainable value. The Appreciative Intelligence of its clients reinforces ACCION SD's sustainability. The case study shows that building upon positive possibilities and ability to reframe are important success factors for both clients and microfinance organizations.
This chapter is a contribution to a recent restricted literature dealing with the return of microfinance investment in the financial markets. We study the performance of…
This chapter is a contribution to a recent restricted literature dealing with the return of microfinance investment in the financial markets. We study the performance of public microfinance investment vehicles (MIVs). Microfinance is an asset class with a double bottom line: social and financial returns have to be generated. Despite a significant currency risk, we find that the integration of microfinance assets diversifies the investor’s risks and improves the efficient frontier. We conclude that microfinance institutions, via investment vehicles, are likely to attract capital from socially responsible investors seeking new investment opportunities.
In April 2007, Banco Compartamos of Mexico held a public offering of its stock in which insiders sold 30 percent of their holdings. The sale was over-subscribed by 13…
In April 2007, Banco Compartamos of Mexico held a public offering of its stock in which insiders sold 30 percent of their holdings. The sale was over-subscribed by 13 times, and Compartamos was soon worth $1.6 billion (for details of the story, see Rosenberg, 2007; Malkin, 2008; Accion International, 2007). A month before the offering, the Economist (2007) had written: “Compartamos may not be the biggest bank in Mexico, but it could be the most important.” Compartamos’ claim to importance stems from its clients – not from their elite status, but from the opposite. The bank describes them as low-income women, taking loans to support tiny enterprises like neighborhood shops or tortilla-making businesses. The loans the women seek are small – typically hundreds of dollars rather than many thousands – and the bank requires no collateral. It is a version of “microfinance,” the idea associated with Muhammad Yunus and Grameen Bank of Bangladesh, winners of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize. For Yunus, microfinance can unleash the productivity of cash-starved entrepreneurs and raise their incomes above poverty lines. It is a vision of poverty reduction that centers on self-help rather than direct income redistribution.
Rural poverty has been a significant problem in Indonesia for decades. To address this issue, rural microfinance institutions play an essential role. Badan Kredit Desa…
Rural poverty has been a significant problem in Indonesia for decades. To address this issue, rural microfinance institutions play an essential role. Badan Kredit Desa (Village Credit Institution/BKD) is an existing microfinance institution at the village level. This study aims to assess the financial health of BKD and explore whether transformation into a formal form of microfinance institutions can be done to help improve the welfare and economy of people in rural areas. This study used a mixed-method approach to understand the rural microfinance institution's condition by analyzing financial data for the 2016–2018 period and conducting an in-depth interview with BKD stakeholders to explore the possibility of transformation. This study found 15 out of 20 BKDs with relatively healthy criteria that can be transformed into a formal microfinance institution. In comparison, five BKDs that fall under the criteria cannot be transformed into formal ones. Moreover, BKDs have to face internal and external problems that might cause their low financial performance in conducting their operational activities. This research has several significant implications; first, as a baseline for local governments to determine the future of BKDs; second, transformed BKD will foster entrepreneurship by giving productive loans to village people; third, more economic activities as a result of increased entrepreneurship will lower poverty levels in the village; fourth, increased entrepreneurship and reduced poverty will support positive economic growth for Indonesia.
The global recession has strongly affected the credibility of the international banking system, damaging also the real economy.Developing countries, not fully integrated…
The global recession has strongly affected the credibility of the international banking system, damaging also the real economy.
Developing countries, not fully integrated with international markets, seem less affected and local microfinance institutions might also allow for a further shelter against recession, even if foreign support is slowing down and collection of international capital is harder and more expensive.
Intrinsic characteristics of microfinance, such as closeness to the borrowers, limited risk and exposure and little if any correlation with international markets have an anti-cyclical effect. In hard and confused times, it pays to be little, flexible and simple.