Social Inclusion through Microenterprise Development
Elgar original reference
Karl Dayson, Bárbara Jayo Carboni, Jill Kickul, Maricruz Lacalle Calderón and Silvia Rico Garrido While Grameen Bank has attracted public attention, with its founder Muhammad Yunus, being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006, most Europeans are probably unaware that the continent has a flourishing microfinance sector. Yet some of the world’s most successful (and probably some of the smallest) microfinance providers are based in the continent. There are many reasons for this but the most straightforward is a desire to contribute to national economic growth, particularly by those considered economically and socially excluded. In environments where information asymmetries, intense competition and changing market conditions are ever-present, the debate over which factors within and across countries facilitate the rate of growth of entrepreneurial and emerging firms continues to thrive in many forums and research arenas (Dickson and DeSanctis, 2001; Tapscott et al., 2000). Firms in countries with less support and structure for enabling entrepreneurship may be at a disadvantage when compared to their counterparts in countries that have public and private resources, personnel and funding – especially at the microcredit level. As such and with a supply-side perspective, the actions, policies and programmes taken by government and practitioners to ensure survival of their microcredit organization and to improve the service to their borrowers should not be overlooked. The onset of the credit crunch and subsequent recession has highlighted the precarious nature and availability of credit, particularly to entrepreneurs and microenterprises. Thus those nations that have the policy tools to...