Women Empowerment through Microfinance and Enterprise: Evidence from Nigeria

Aninze, Festus (2023) Women Empowerment through Microfinance and Enterprise: Evidence from Nigeria. Doctoral thesis, Birmingham City University.

Festus Aninze PhD Thesis published_Final version_Submitted Dec 2021_Final Award Jan 2023.pdf - Accepted Version

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Microfinance is considered a promising method to mitigate the negative impact of poverty and promote enterprise amongst women in developing economies, such as Nigeria. The thesis investigates the role of microfinance in women’s economic empowerment, the well-being of the family, and access to finance from commercial banks.

The empirical study examines and extends microfinance interventions in rural and urban settings in Nigeria. Its focus is on the provision of non-collateral financial services to low-income and financially excluded households. The literature supports the view that limited or no access to finance negatively impacts enterprise, living standards, health, and economic well-being of the country and its residents.

The empirical evidence of the results suggests microfinance institutions help to mitigate or eradicate poverty. Therefore, the findings are supported by literature in that microfinance promotes enterprise supports family well-being, and access to education, and promotes strategies to exit poverty, amongst Nigerian women.

This study reviewed a range of methodologies approaches and selected a mixed method approach to gain a deeper insight into the use of microfinance and its impact on borrowers. For this purpose, the study employed 305 questionnaires that were carried out with women borrowers who were supported by microfinance institutions. The results of the questionnaires were validated with 43 interviews and findings triangulated.

The key findings suggest microfinance loans led to an increase in the enterprise's growth through sales, profit, and acquisition of assets. The empirical evidence suggests women who borrowed money from MFI do not become bankable and financial exclusion persists. Thus, the argument presented in the literature that microfinance loans contribute towards entrepreneurial culture is not supported by this research. The evidence further suggests women borrowers' aim is to support the immediate family and not necessarily desire to grow the business. Compared to rural, the economic empowerment of women in urban areas is more evident than in rural areas. There is evidence of women borrowing from multiple MFIs as there is no central database to monitor borrowers, thus MFIs create dependence on microfinance loans. The analysis of MFI borrowers suggests women borrow use MFI loans to support their families and merely for setting up businesses.

The empirical findings reported in this study contribute to the theoretical and methodological study of microfinance in Nigeria. Although similar studies are reported for other countries, but this study is original and relevant within the region where women's empowerment is lacking and their contribution towards GDP is low compared to other similar countries. Therefore, the study makes both theoretical and methodological contributions to the country Nigeria regions, and wider literature within the domain of microfinance.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
9 December 2021Submitted
23 January 2023Accepted
Uncontrolled Keywords: Microfinance, women empowerment, poverty alleviation
Subjects: CAH17 - business and management > CAH17-01 - business and management > CAH17-01-02 - business studies
CAH17 - business and management > CAH17-01 - business and management > CAH17-01-07 - finance
Divisions: Doctoral Research College > Doctoral Theses Collection
Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences > Birmingham City Business School
Depositing User: Jaycie Carter
Date Deposited: 13 Feb 2023 14:31
Last Modified: 22 Mar 2023 11:48
URI: https://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/14182

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