Microfinance, women’s entrepreneurial development and empowerment in Nigeria

Nkwocha, Obinna Udodiri (2019) Microfinance, women’s entrepreneurial development and empowerment in Nigeria. Doctoral thesis, Birmingham City University.

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Abstract

The literature and applied studies report that microfinance is an effective tool to tackle poverty, gender inequality, female disempowerment and financial dependency issues. Earlier studies on microfinance reported successes in Bangladesh (Pitt and Khandker,1998) and some Latin American countries (Bolivia) (Velasco & Marconi, 2004). However, the findings of these studies have been overshadowed by recent studies that have reported weak (Ganle, et al., 2015) and sometimes negative microfinance outcomes in other regions (Salia et al., 2018; Karim, 2011). These mixed results have raised doubts about the effectiveness of microfinance and its relevance to promoting women development, especially when donor funding is declining.
This empirical study investigates the impact of microfinance intervention on women’s empowerment and entrepreneurial development by analysing microfinance interventions and the perspectives of women service users in Nigeria. I drew data for the study from secondary sources, 350 questionnaire responses, 11 focus groups interviews with the women clients, 28 one-to-one interviews with loan officers and heads of a Non-government organisation (NGO) microfinance. Using qualitative, Chi-square, Analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Ordinal regression. The analysis found that access to microcredit, training and mentoring services supports women microenterprises: increased awareness and use of formal financial services and increased business assets and the development of critical soft business skills. This further leads to enhancing the contribution to household decision-making, autonomy in decision-making and decreases in family dispute often triggered by lack of money. Evidence shows that women’s social capital development was realised through taking part in group meetings which encouraged social solidarity, mutual support and business networking amongst women entrepreneurs. However, control of spending on household assets (land, building) remains the exclusive prerogative of the male household heads. The results of the study support the previous literature (Swain & Wallentin, 2017; Kabeer, 2010) mainly based on South Asian economies that microfinance support for women positively affects their entrepreneurial development, raises equality levels and reduces their dependency on male household heads. Finally, the study suggests that microfinance efforts at promoting women’s empowerment may produce better outcomes within a larger framework that includes the cultural acceptance of women ownership and the control of family assets.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Date: April 2019
Uncontrolled Keywords: Microfinance, Entrepreneurship, Women empowerment, Nigeria
Subjects: N100 Business studies
N300 Finance
Divisions: REF UoA Output Collections > Doctoral Theses Collection
Depositing User: Doris Riou
Date Deposited: 30 Jan 2020 14:47
Last Modified: 30 Jan 2020 14:47
URI: http://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/8846

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