Journal of Microfinance / ESR Review


This paper provides a framework for the integration of two asset-building instruments, Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) and loans for microenterprise. Initially, it provides an overview of the emergence of the asset-based approach to poverty alleviation in the U.S. context and the evolution of IDAs and microenterprise development (MED). Then, it evaluates the potential role of IDAs in reducing risk using conventional lending criteria. The paper summarizes the findings of initial research on integrated programs and highlights four case studies. Finally, the paper provides some preliminary observations regarding potential benefits and challenges of the integrated approach and proposes an agenda for future research that will test these hypotheses.


Caroline Glackin is the Executive Director of the First State Community Loan Fund of Delaware.; Eliza Mahony is a Senior Program Manager at the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED).



Journal Title

Journal of Microfinance

Issue and Volume