Research Handbook on Small Business Social Responsibility
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Research Handbook on Small Business Social Responsibility

Global Perspectives

Edited by Laura J. Spence, Jedrzej G. Frynas, Judy N. Muthuri and Jyoti Navare

The vast majority of businesses globally are small. If business is to be socially responsible, we need to go beyond the westernised concept of 'Corporate Social Responsibility', to develop 'Small Business Social Responsibility'. This agenda-setting Research Handbook on Small Business Social Responsibility includes leading research from around the world, including developed and developing country contexts. It provides a foundation for the further development of small business social responsibility as a scholarly subject and crucially important practice and policy field.
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Chapter 8: Financial development and the efficiency of microfinance institutions

Niels Hermes, Robert Lensink and Aljar Meesters

Abstract

Microfinance is an instrument for achieving responsible finance as its aim is to contribute to the financial inclusion of poor households and small businesses. We investigate whether the country-level financial environment in which microfinance institutions (MFIs) work affects their operations. In particular, we argue that the efficiency of MFIs and their capacity to contribute to increasing financial inclusion of poor households and small businesses is determined by the extent to which financial markets of countries are developed. On the one hand, well-developed financial markets provide an environment in which MFIs are able to flourish and increase their efficiency, which increases their capacity to contribute to financial inclusion. On the other hand, well-developed financial markets may also substitute for MFIs and/or may lead to MFI clients taking up multiple loans, reducing efficiency. We find strong evidence that MFI efficiency is positively associated with the level of financial market development.

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