Microfinance sustainability versus development objectives : an assessment of the South African environment

Hoskinson, Brenda (2010) Microfinance sustainability versus development objectives : an assessment of the South African environment. Masters thesis, Rhodes University.




In a world where almost half of the population lives in poverty, the alleviation of poverty is a serious developmental challenge for many states. Microfinance has grown in popularity as a means for achieving poverty reduction all over the world. Due to the success of microfinance institutions, such as the Grameen Bank, in achieving self-sufficiency and improving the lives of its clients, the expectations for similar institutions are high. MFIs attempt to find a balance between business and development goals. It is not necessarily a contradiction to be a business seeking profit as well as being an institution committed to development. However, the values coupled with these two objectives are sometimes conflicting. Thus it is important to see how equilibrium can be achieved and to note what sacrifices must be made in order to reach a balance. This thesis will focus on examining and assessing the challenges faced by South African MFIs in balancing development goals while at the same time having to be self-sufficient. The Small Enterprise Foundation will be used as a case study to consider the particular experiences of a South African MFI. The evaluation of the unique challenges that the South African landscape presents will provide a context in which to understand microfinance operations and a clearer understanding of the particular problems and challenges faced by the South African micro-finance industry in balancing the achievement of development goals against the imperative to be self sustainable in providing services to the poor. Through that understanding the common conception of what makes a “successful” MFI will also be challenged.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Microfinance, South Africa, Poor
Subjects:H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Humanities > Political Studies and International Studies
ID Code:2555
Deposited By: Mrs Carol Perold
Deposited On:03 Apr 2012 08:15
Last Modified:03 Apr 2012 08:15
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