Journal of Microfinance / ESR Review


Delivery of microcredit to operators of small and micro enterprises (SMEs) in developing countries is increasingly being viewed as a strategic means of assisting the so-called "working poor" (ILO, 1973). Over the past decade, a considerable amount of multi- and bilateral aid has been channeled into microfinance programs in the Third World with varying degrees of success. Like all development interventions, donors, governments, and other interested parties demand evaluations and impact assessment studies to ascertain the achievements and failures of these programs. This paper reviews two such studies conducted in Ghana and South Africa that focused mainly on impact results. The outcomes of the two case studies have established that microfinance interventions have achieved significant improvements in terms of increased business incomes, improved access to life-enhancing facilities, and empowerment of people, particularly women.


Mr. Friedman has fifteen years experience in the development, implementation, and management of economic and workforce development programs that focus on underserved populations and communities. For seven years, he served as Director of Economic Development and Director of Marketing and Communications for the Institute for Social and Economic Development (ISED), one of the largest microenterprise organizations in the U.S. During his tenure with ISED, the organization was awarded the 1998 Presidential Award for Excellence in Microenterprise Development.



Journal Title

Journal of Microfinance

Issue and Volume