Help Me, I'm Succeeding: A Critical Look at Microfinance Institutions' Measurements of Success

Date
2013
Authors
Lee, Johanna
Access rights
Worldwide access
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Abstract

My thesis outlines the origin of microfinance institutions and their “double bottom line” business structure. Working to achieve a social good and a desired profit is worth the investment. Assessing the impact of these two goals educates the public about microfinance’s ability to alleviate poverty. I examine the current measures of success and their focus on the institution’s operations. These measurements do not always communicate if the borrower has come out of poverty. It is important that these measures are transparent and reflective of the borrower’s success in both the short and long term. Without proper measurements, an illusion of success in microfinance lending can hurt the poor. Proving that the poor are credit worthy is not enough to continue microfinance lending if the social mission is not being met. Finally, I survey the success of microfinance, by looking at multiple metrics, that when combined can unambiguously determine the success of the borrower.

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Keywords
Success measurements., Microfinance institutions., Business-charity hybrids.
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