The impact of microfinance on microenterprises

  • Received April 3, 2017;
    Accepted September 11, 2017;
    Published October 11, 2017
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  • Article Info
    Volume 14 2017, Issue #3, pp. 82-92
  • Cited by
    6 articles

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The provision of and access to financial services, particularly credit, can contribute greatly to the development of microenterprises in South Africa. Such provision has been an issue ignored by conventional banks or formal financial institutions. The problem associated with this ignorance includes high transaction and operation costs, lack of collateral, and the inability to obtain information about microenterprises resulting in difficulties to extend such credit. Microfinance therefore becomes an alternative to conventional banking and a mainstream and sustainable development activity for extending credit to microenterprises. However, the benefits of microfinance, which include, among others, the ability to provide the much-needed financial support for microenterprises, have not been fully harnessed in South Africa. The objective of this article is to evaluate the impact of microfinance on microenterprises in a typical South African township and to propose specialized financial mechanisms to support and improve the provision of credit to microenterprises. The article draws on the findings of a study undertaken in the Ga-Rankuwa township located in the Tshwane Metropolitan area in the Gauteng province of South Africa. It further draws on a wide range of extensive review of literature that documents the impact of microfinance on microenterprises. A case study approach is adopted and mixed method research paradigm (qualitative and quantitative) is used to gather information. Structured questionnaires and interviews were used to solicit information from the randomly selected microfinance institutions and microenterprises in the Ga-Rankuwa township.

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