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Understanding the Dynamics of Product Diversification on Microfinance Performance Outcomes: A Case Study in Barbados

Koen Rossel-Cambier ()

No 11-008, Working Papers CEB from ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles

Abstract: This paper aims at gaining deeper understanding of the possible effects of combined microfinance (CMF) on social and economic performance outcomes. By means of a case-study on the City of Bridgetown (COB), one of the leading credit unions in Barbados, it explores the possible limits, challenges and economies of scope of CMF. This case-study suggests that CMF, especially the combination credit-savings, may enhance the cost-efficiency of loan delivery and that it can generate economies of scope for marketing purposes. Savings is at the heart of the growth strategy of the credit union and has contributed to its current large breadth of outreach. The paper observes that more female than male clients participate in insurance schemes, highlighting gender differences. The case-study suggests that CMF can also lead to a number of combined and additional costs and financial risks, which need to be taken into account. The nature of product diversification can lead to additional access barriers for unbankable clients, especially related to financial costs and information asymmetry.

Keywords: microfinance; combined microfinance; microinsurance; microcredit; microsavings; poverty; social inclusion; Caribbean (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C12 G21 G22 L31 O54 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 40 p.
Date: 2011-03
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dev, nep-hme, nep-ias and nep-mfd
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