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Does Access to Finance Matter in Microenterprise Growth? Evidence from Bangladesh

Shahidur Khandker (), Hussain Samad and Rubaba Ali

Working Papers from Institute of Microfinance (InM)

Abstract: In less-developed economies such as Bangladesh where the farm sector is the major source of employment and income, the rural non-farm sector (RNF) often as an additional source of income increasingly plays an important role in fostering the development of the rural economy, and microenterprise activities constitute a significant share of this sector. However, the key to participation in such activities requires investment and access to adequate funds. This paper investigates the role of access to finance in promoting efficiency and growth of microenterprise activities. Our findings suggest that the households engaged in microenterprise activities besides farm and other nonfarm activities are much better off (in terms of income, expenditure and poverty) than those who do not engage in such activities. However, fewer than 10 per cent of the enterprises have access to institutional finance (formal banks or microcredit) although the rate of return on microenterprise investments is more than sufficient (36 per cent per year) to repay institutional loans. Our findings suggest that credit constraints may reduce the enterprise profit margin by as much as 13.6 per cent per year. As the returns to microenterprise investment are found high, microfinance institutions (MFIs) can play a bigger role in supporting microenterprise growth in Bangladesh.

Pages: 40 pages
Date: 2013-03
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