Evaluating the Impact of Microfinance for Women in Albania

Oltiana Muharremi, Filloreta Madani, Erald Pelari

Abstract


Microfinance is defined as any activity involving the offering of financial services such as loans, savings and insurance to individuals with low income. Creating social value includes reducing poverty and having a better impact to improve living conditions through capital for micro-enterprises; insurance and savings deposits for reducing risk and boosting consumption. Worldwide microfinance actors promote access to basic financial services by developing new tools, a variety of products and the adoption of an integrated banking access.

Initially, microfinance was largely gender neutral: it sought to provide credit to the poor who had no assets to pledge as collateral. It quickly emerged, however, that women invested their business profits in ways that would have a longer-lasting impact on their families and communities. Consequently women became fundamental to the success of the microfinance model as a poverty alleviation tool. The purpose of this article is to examine the impact of microfinance loans in improving the lives of women borrowers, as well as in strengthening their social influence and the microcredit impact in promoting savings. This study is based on an empirical investigation of 384 structured questionnaires and surveys directed at microfinance institutions and their clients in the regions of Vlore and Fier, Albania.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.22158/jbtp.v4n2p233

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