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Contribution of microfinance on women empowerment case study of Vision Finance company ltd Nyaruguru

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Protestant institute of arts and social sciences - Bachelor's degree in Business studies with education 2016

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2.3. Theoretical framework

This section is a presentation of theoretical debates about microfinance and poverty reduction and an illustrative analytical framework that is relevant for understanding this study.

Empowerment theory

This study is based on Empowerment theory, the Empowerment is both a value orientation for working in the community and a theoretical model for understanding the process and consequences of efforts to exert control and influence over decisions that affect one's life, organizational functioning, and the quality of community life (Perkins & Zimmerman, 1995; Rappaport, 1981; Zimmerman & Warschausky, 1998).

A distinction between the values that underlie an empowerment approach to social change and empowerment theory is necessary. The value orientation of empowerment suggests goals, aims, and strategies for implementing change. Empowerment theory provides principles and a framework for organizing our knowledge. The development of empowerment theory also helps advance the construct beyond a passing fad and political manipulation

2.4. Related literature review

The women empowerment has become the object of unparalleled concentration now days both at national and international levels. As one of the MDGs, elimination of poverty has become a key issue for all those interested in development of the developing countries (Nalunkuuma, 2006), with microfinance as one of the predominant methodologies for making finance accessible to the poor especially women, among the donor community. Many donor agencies and governments in developing countries are now funding a growing number of microfinance organizations (Lont and Hospes 2004).

According to A. Kayiranga (2013); Microfinance is considered to be a solution for overcoming poverty. Lack of savings and capital make it difficult for many poor people who want jobs in the farm and non-farm sectors to become self-employed and to undertake productive employment-generating activities. Providing credit seems to be away to generate self-employment opportunities for the poor. But because the poor lack physical collateral, they have almost no access to institutional credit.

At the same time, informal lenders in many developing countries often charge high interest rates, inhibiting poor households from investing in productive income-increasing activities (Khandker, 1998).

It has been well-documented that an increase in women's resources results in the well-being of the family, especially children (Mayoux, 1997; Kabeer, 2001; Hulme and Mosley, 1997). A more feminist point of view stresses that an increased access to financial services represent an opening/opportunity for greater empowerment. Such organizations explicitly perceive microfinance as a tool in the fight for the women's rights and independence.

2.4.2. Characteristics of financial Services that meet Women's needs

1. Loans are available for trade and services as well as manufacturing.

2. Collateral is not required because substitutes such as solidarity groups, character references, and personal effects are acceptable.

3. Deposit services are offered.

4. Loans are available for short-term working capital.

5. Loans are available in small amounts.

6. Loan repayment schedules fit women's business cycles.

7. Loan sizes may be increased upon satisfactory repayment of first-time loans.

8. Micro-enterprises with few employees are eligible.

9. Signature of spouse or male relative is not required.

10. Literacy is not a requirement.

11. Loans are easily and quickly processed.

12. Loan officers can assist women in completing forms.

13. Loans are given to home-based or ambulant businesses.

14. Location is convenient and safe for women.

15. The hours of operation of the institution are compatible with women's business and domestic obligations.

16. Training is not required for disbursement of credit.

17. There are special arrangements to assist women borrowers unfamiliar with formal financial service institutions. ( viewed 30/06/2016)

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