Microfinance is considered to be a promising solution for poverty reduction and entrepreneurship development in the developing as well as developed economies. The central argument of the thesis is that microfinance services to poor entrepreneurial women helps in the development of their enterprise and entrepreneurial abilities. The thesis also investigates the role of microfinance in women’s economic empowerment, well-being of the family and further access to finance from commercial banks. The study is guided by the current state of knowledge and previous research on the impact of microfinance on women’s development. This empirical study is based on 300 questionnaire responses from women borrowers from microfinance institutions. The findings are triangulated with 50 interviews from women entrepreneurs and 14 interviews from loan officers and heads of microfinance providers to gain a deeper insight into finance constraints on women in Pakistan and to seek the lenders’ point of view. The findings suggest that women micro entrepreneurs can only access microfinance; and commercial bank loans are unavailable to them due to the lack of track record and collateral. Findings suggest that the injection of an optimal size of microcredit in female enterprises with training and mentoring facilities improves the profit of enterprise; this enhances the contribution to the household income that increases family welfare. The outcome on the well-being of the family is the same whether the loan is used for business or consumption resulting in the conclusion that the fungibility of the loan also benefits women borrowers. The argument that microfinance programme contributed to the development of entrepreneurial skills is not well supported by the empirical findings. Finally, evidence shows that the objectives of female economic empowerment and entrepreneurship are attained by those microfinance schemes that provide formal training, saving facilities and social benefits with credit in the package. The analysis discloses the issue of multi-borrowing in the semi urban areas of Punjab where there is a concentration of microfinance institutions with no centralised database of borrowers. These empirical results contribute to the wider microfinance literature by studying the relatively less researched developing economy of Pakistan. The study makes a theoretical and methodological contribution to the study of microfinance.
|Publisher||Birmingham City University|
|Source Sets||Ethos UK|
|Type||Electronic Thesis or Dissertation|
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