Sep 08, 2014

Microfinance, or access to financial services, has an effect on the lives of the poor. This is one of the main conclusions of the extensive ING-NpM research 'A Billion to Gain?' which was presented during the conference on 3rd September in The Netherlands.

The ING-NpM research conducted in India and Ghana finds that there are many positive effects from having access to financial services. At the same time it is also clear that microfinance is not the silver bullet to poverty it once promised to be. The research shows that microcredit is largely used for expanding existing businesses to generate more income. In both countries, borrowers feel less financial stress as it allows them to manage their daily payments better. Another effect is that women feel more empowered in decision-making, both at home and outside the household. Although clients do reserve part of their income for education, no effect was measured on the level of education. Finally, the study shows that microcredit positively changes the quality of food consumption, which also positively affects the health of the poor.

To view the 'Billion to Gain? Social impact of microfinance in India and Ghana' report click here

To view an infographic click here

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