Micro-credit is necessary but not sufficient for entrepreneurs in desperate poverty

Tonelli, Marcello & Dalglish, Carol L. (2012) Micro-credit is necessary but not sufficient for entrepreneurs in desperate poverty. FSR Forum, 14(4), pp. 17-21.

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Abstract

Micro-credit has often been used as a poverty alleviation strategy. However, there is little evidence to suggest that micro-credit alone can promote economic activities because micro-credit does not teach anything by itself (Brett 2006; Mayoux 1999; Sievers & Vandenberg 2007). Mistakenly, the focus of micro-credit has been the alleviation of immediate poverty, rather than the development of economic activity that would provide a long term solution. Paraphrasing the age old saying, "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach him to fish and you will feed him for a life time" micro-credit enables the fisherman to buy a net, but in many cases does nothing to ensure that he knows how to use it to benefit his family and the community. If the borrower doesn't know how to use the net, he will return to his old way of doing things-but with the added burden of having to pay back the debt. Given the state of extreme poverty experienced by the vast majority of the population in developing countries, borrowed money is often used for purposes other than creating the foundations for a sustainable economic growth. Typical examples of how micro-credit is generally used include covering funeral costs, buying food, medicines, and other similarly important necessities. The main problem that derives from using loans in this way is that apart from not improving living conditions in a sustainable manner, borrowers are also exposed to the risk of over-indebtedness, with its subsequent human and social implications.

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ID Code: 52652
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: No
Keywords: Micro-credit, Entrepreneurs , Poverty
ISSN: 1389-0913
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (150300) > Entrepreneurship (150304)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Management
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 ISSUU
Deposited On: 24 Jul 2012 00:50
Last Modified: 24 Jul 2012 05:46

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