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Islamic microfinance: the evidence from Australia

Abu Umar Ahmad () and A.B. Rafique Ahmad

Humanomics: The International Journal of Systems and Ethics, 2009, vol. 25, issue 3, 217-235

Abstract: Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the existing body of work in the area of Islamic microfinance by examining the co-operative nature of Islamic financial services providers (IFSPs) in Australia. Design/methodology/approach - The method employed in this study is a mixture of one of the authors' post-graduate research and their personal experience, curiosity and association with this industry. Findings - Islamic financial cooperatives, relevant government authorities and Islamic micro-lenders in Australia should cautiously examine the following opportunities for the development of Islamic microfinance in Australia: merging of Islamic cooperatives with each other for their future growth and development through attracting more capital; integration of microfinancing Islamic investment and retail banking facilities to provide the twin engines of fulfilling communities' religious needs and Australia's economic development; and introducing more creative Islamic microfinance techniques to suit the financial needs of individuals and groups to facilitate their contribution in the country's economic development. Practical implications - The paper offers: an introduction to the emergence and development of Islamic microfinance in Australia; studies the current realities of the Islamic financial system of Australia from the perspective of Islamic microfinance contracting perspectives; explains the key role of IFSPs in Australia in fulfilling the microfinance needs of Muslim community; and examines the Islamic microfinance techniques they use. Originality/value - Examination of the issues of the study is undertaken aiming at introducing Islamic microfinance with relevant parties including government authorities and Islamic micro-lenders in Australia to find it as a viable alternative system of financing for Muslims in Australia.

Keywords: Islam; Co-operative organisations; Australia; Communities; Financial services (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2009
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