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Competition and Commercialisation of Microfinance Institutions: Implications for the Sector

International Journal of Business Ethics in Developing Economies

Volume 7 Issue 2

Published: 2018
Author(s) Name: Joyeeta Deb | Author(s) Affiliation: Assis. Prof., Commerce, Dept. of Commerce, Assam Univ., Silchar, Assam, India.
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Abstract

Until 1990s microfinance was mainly seen as an impact – driven development programme based on the support of government and private donors. However, the failure of many subsidy dependent development institutions advocated for microfinance institutions to be self-sufficient and sustainable. This prompted MFIs to be commercially oriented and profit motivated. Also, with the growing proliferation of new providers of microcredit and influx of commercial investment in the sector, there is an increasing intensity of competition in the sector. Increased competition coupled with commercialisation helped in integrating the low-income population into a more formal financial system. But critics view that, this process has led the MFIs to search for better off clientele, thereby in many cases, departing from their social mission. Increasing competition followed by saturation in the sector has led to the mission drift of MFIs and has become a major cause of concern globally. However, some view this process to be a “win-win’ scenario whereby there exists scope for widening outreach and attaining sustainability. The present paper is devoted to examine the process of commercialisation and gauge the potential impact of competition and commercialisation of microfinance institutions on MFI performance from a theoretical standpoint.

Keywords: MFIs, Commercialisation, Competition, Mission Drift, Outreach

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