Impact of Microfinance Institutions for Female Entrepreneurs: Evidence from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
38 Pages Posted: 31 Aug 2018 Last revised: 11 Sep 2018
Date Written: August 31, 2018
Microfinance encompasses a broad range of financial services including deposits, loans, payments, and is targeted at underprivileged individuals seeking to build income and assets. There has been extensive research on the role of microfinance institutions (henceforth “MFIs”) in developing countries on poverty reduction, particularly for female clients. Research on MFIs operating within the United States is more limited. This study seeks to fill this gap in the literature and will be one the first to focus on the impact of an MFI on female clients in the US using data from a Philadelphia-based MFI. The first phase of the study analyzed repayment histories for both male and female clients of the MFI. Detailed loan histories for 598 loans from the periods between 1999 to 2017. The data was analyzed for males and females to compare favorable repayment histories (<30 days from due date of payment) as well as charge-off histories. Based on the analysis, there is no statistical difference between the repayment and charge-off histories of male and female loan clients during the evaluation period.
The second phase of the study will include an analysis of semi-structured interviews with a sample of female clients in an effort to determine success factors. The female clients will provide demographic information about themselves and experiences as female entrepreneurs. It is expected that this qualitative information will provide insight as it relates to isolating the success factors for female entrepreneurship.
Keywords: Microfinance, Female Entrepreneurship, Poverty Reduction, Social Enterprise, Empowerment, Financial Inclusion
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