Bibliography for Women and Microfinance in Africa

 

Abiola, B. (2011). Impact analysis of microfinance in Nigeria. International Journal of Economics and Finance, 3(4), 217-225.

       This paper applies the financing constraints approach to study whether microfinance institutions improved access to credit for microenterprises in Nigeria. According to this approach, microenterprises with improved access to credit rely less on internal funds for their investments. Thus, investment sensitivity to internal funds of micro enterprises in Lagos State (a municipal with significant presence of Microfinance Banks (MFBs) was compared to that of micro enterprises in Ekiti State (a municipal with no (or limited) presence of MFBs) using a cross sectional survey method and Microfinance Institutions (MFI) branch location data. Results indicate that MFBs alleviated micro businesses’ financing constraints. This approach is applicable to evaluating microfinance impact in other countries. I don’t know how much focus I will place on Nigeria, but I need to begin looking at impact. I have a few other sources that also deal with Nigeria, so “impact” is a good place to start. Note: The “impact” here is purely financial, as opposed to social.

Abraham, H., & Balogun. I. O. (2012). Contribution of microfinance to GDP in Nigeria: Is there any? International Journal of Business and Social Science, 3(17), 167-176.

       The study highlights the state of the institutions since 2006. The growth of microfinance in Nigeria is phenomenal with over 900 licensed institutions, mostly operating in urban areas. Though some microfinance banks have closed, there are still some that are to provide services. Where is the strength of this industry in Nigeria? It is observed that providing the poor with good service, professional monitoring, supervision in accordance with best practice and a strong media is crucial. I chose this study to compare it to the “impact” study of microfinance in Nigeria, and to see if the factors that determine success are consistent across studies and papers. What constitutes a “contribution” and what constitutes “success?”

Appah, E., John, M. S., & Wisdom, S. (2012). An analysis of microfinance and poverty reduction in Bayelsa state of Nigeria. Kuwait Chapter of the Arabian Journal of Business and Management Review, 1(7), 38-57.

       This study used relevant studies and four hypotheses to investigate the relationship between microfinance and poverty reduction for 286 female respondents in the small scale business in Bayelsa State of Nigeria. The analysis of the data revealed that there is: a) significant relationship between microfinance and poverty reduction in Bayelsa State; b) significant difference between microfinance and the traditional rotating system; c) significant difference between loan repayment by the women and poverty reduction in Bayelsa State, and d) significant difference between microfinance and the status of women in Bayelsa State, Nigeria. The conclusion drawn from this study is that microfinance alone cannot reduce poverty in any society where basic infrastructures like good roads, steady power supply, and good transportation systems, etc. are not available. I selected this as a resource because I wanted to see the factors that may erode away at the benefits of microfinance, and the specific impact of microfinance in poverty reduction in Nigeria.

Ashta, A., & Fall, N. S. (2012). Institutional analysis to understand the growth of microfinance institutions in West African economic and monetary union. Corporate Governance, 12(4), 441-459.

       The extent to which microfinance succeeds varies greatly even among countries. The paper aims to look at the reason microfinance develops in some countries, and not others. It tries to identify institutional factors that can be introduced to enable microfinance to succeed in a country. Again with some focus on Nigeria, this paper explains the success of microfinance while controlling for cultural and regulatory factors, and also goes into public governance indicators. I like this approach. When looking at the success of microfinance across regions, most have failed to take into account differences in cultures and regulations; thus there is a residual bias. I think that this will be helpful to me as I look at the factors contributing to success.

Baumann, T. (2005). Pro-poor microcredit in South Africa: Cost-efficiency and productivity of South African pro-poor microfinance institutions. Journal of Microfinance, 7(1), 95-117.

       This article compares the performance of selected South African microcredit nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) that have a poverty-alleviation focus against various benchmarks drawn from the MicroBanking Bulletin. Donors, governments, and many analysts regard sustainability as the benchmark of microfinance institutions’ (MFIs) performance. However, the most relevant question is whether microcredit NGOs are doing as well as they can in their context. Of particular contextual importance is income inequality in a society. South Africa has the world’s second worst income inequality, after neighboring Botswana. South Africa MFIs face the options of moving upmarket (which many have done), adopting methodological innovation or new product development, or closing. Of these, there is a strong argument to be made for supported savings and credit approaches as an alternative to NGO-based microcredit. Such an approach has the advantages of greater voluntary input and social capital formation.I chose this because a) I am unfamiliar with the MicroBanking Bulletin, b) it’s in a different region, and c) it discusses a savings and credit approach. I think that this will certainly be used in my Capstone so that I can reference the savings and credit approach.

Bercaw, D. W. (2012). Empowering women through microfinance: Microfinance interventions in Ghana and South Africa. International Forum of Teaching and Studies, 8(1), 23-35, 80.

       Female disempowerment is a major problem throughout the world. Can microfinance interventions help? What are the empowerment “indicators?” Disempowered women face a variety of economic, social, and physical ills which erode their self-image, limit their ability to make independent choices, and leave them powerless against abuse. This study was interesting because even though women involved in the interventions saw substantial increases in female empowerment, the majority of them continued to rely on their husbands for financial support. The paper asserts that future interventions should consider increasing women’s access to larger microloans so they can maximize their business profits and become more self-reliant, and that they establish stronger, cross-sector collaborations and consider how other factors (such as geographic location, village design, education, and local laws) might contribute to the severe disempowerment of women. I am keeping this in the list because I am intrigued by the role of husbands. Note: this is the second source having South Africa as its region.

Burand, D. (2012, June). Beyond microfinance: Creating opportunities for women at the base of the pyramid. International Trade Forum, 1(2), 20-21.

        A growing number of innovative social entrepreneurs are tackling microfinance problem by creating businesses inspired by Avon. These very small franchise or consignment businesses are affordable enough to be acquired and operated by women living at the base of the economic pyramid. Microfranchise and Microconsignment networks may prove incredibly valuable. I am interested in Durand’s  assertions that: “The three lessons that the experience of microfinance might offer are: 1. Build investment-ready networks that are financially and operationally sustainable at multiple levels. 2. Measure the success of these networks holistically and transparently — both as to financial outcomes and development impacts on the micro-entrepreneurs and the communities that they serve. 3. Front-load micro-entrepreneur and customer protections into the business model of microfranchise and microconsignment networks from the start.” I appreciate that this offers some approaches to microfranchising without being region specific.

De Haan, L., & Lakwo, A. (2010). Rethinking the impact of microfinance in Africa: ‘business change’ or social emancipation. The European Journal of Development Research, 22(4), 529-545. 

      This article questions whether poverty reduction is truly followed by social emancipation, as the authors assert that microfinance doesn’t improve the well-being of clients in any more than a marginal way. I love that they factor in a gender model approach, and call for a rethinking of the microfinance outreach campaign in Africa—asserting that social emancipation should be pursued in its own right rather than waiting for poverty reduction to occur first. I should certainly address social emancipation in my capstone, along with any societal shifts that come along as women earn more money. This article will be very helpful. Note: this takes place in Uganda.

Mustafa, A. K. A., & Saat, M. M. (2012, September). Assessing performance and intervention of microfinance institutions: A case study in Sudan. Interdisciplinary Journal of Contemporary Research in Business, 4(5), 401-418.

       Microfinance is generally accepted as an important tool for poverty alleviation, but there isn’t enough knowledge about the actual achievements of microfinance. The objective of their study is to develop a conceptual framework for assessing performance and intervention of MFIs in Sudan from three dimensions of measurement: outreach, sustainability, and assessment of social impact as a direct MFIs intervention. The conceptual framework the authors have developed is relatively new since it combines two different schools of thoughts; intended beneficiary school and intermediary school. This study uses a case study of three institutions in Sudan. I would like to compare the impact here to the impact studies for Nigeria. This will also be good because it includes an assessment for performance.

O K’Aol, G. (2008). The role of microfinance in fostering women entrepreneurship in Kenya. Paper presented at the 1-14. 

      The main purpose of this study was to determine the impact of Microfinance funding on women entrepreneurship in Kenya, and asked 3 pointed questions: a) What policy and regulatory framework affect the participation of women entrepreneurs in microfinance programs? b) What strategies are used by microfinance institutions to fund women entrepreneurs? c) What is the impact of the microfinance programs on women entrepreneurs? The author used a case study research design was used to work with 300 female loan beneficiaries, and collected the primary date. In spite of a legal environment that was fairly hostile, high interest rates, and loan repayment periods that were too short, most beneficiaries in the study had expanded their businesses and increased their house hold income. This shows that there can be benefits even in a less than ideal situation. I can weigh these findings against some of the other findings from sources in this list. I should also be asking the above questions as I read the other articles.

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