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1.1. BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Microfinance is the provision of small loans (micro-credit) to poor people to help them engage in production activities or grow very small businesses. This also refers to the provision of financial services to low income clients, including the self employed. More broad1y, it refers to a movement that envisions a world in which as many as possible of the poor and near poor households have permanent access to an appropriate range of high quality financial services, including not just credit but also savings, insurance and fund transfer.
Microfinance is often considered one of the most effective and flexible strategies in the fight against global poverty. It is sustainable and can be implemented on the massive scale necessary to respond to the urgent needs of those living on less than $1 a day, the World's poorest.
Microfinance consists of making small loans, usually less than $200, to individuals, usually women, to establish or expand a small, self-sustaining business. For example, a woman may borrow $50 to buy chickens so she can sell eggs. As the chickens multiply, she will have more eggs to sell. Soon she can sell the chicks. Each expansion pulls her further from the devastation of poverty.
Microfinance has a positive impact far beyond the individual client. The vast majority of the loans go to women because studies have shown that women are more likely to reinvest their earnings in the business and in the families. As families cross the poverty line and micro-businesses expand, their communities benefit. Jobs are created, knowledge is shared, civic participation increases, and women are recognized as valuable members of their families and communities
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The high percentage of unemployment among the youths, both educated and uneducated increases the level of poverty in the country. Hundreds of thousands of Nigerians attain this youth’s status every day; hence a need for an alternative way out. The death of employment opportunities either in government or private sectors is the more reason why alternative ways of providing means of livelihood be sought for this class of people. The hard core poor comprising people who lack basic education and skills for any kind of employment happen to be the most disadvantaged.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
1. To determine the strategies for empowering the poor through micro financing.
2. To evaluate service delivery by micro finance institutions to micro entrepreneurs.
3. To determine the relevance of micro financing to the poor.
1.4. RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The research questions postulated for this study are as follows:
1. What are the strategies for empowering the poor through micro financing?
2. What service is delivered by micro finance institutions to the poor?
3. What is the relevance of micro financing to the poor?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study is significant because it evaluates the strategies for empowering the poor through micro financing. The study will help the
poor and penury know how micro financing affect and help them. It will also serve as a reference for future researchers in the same field.
1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
The study is on the strategies of empowering the poor through micro financing. The main constraints of the study include the following:
1. Time: Due to the limited time given for the study, the researcher could not get all the required information needed for the study.
2. Finance: The researcher has not got enough money to embark on the study and therefore could not visit places where information relevant to the study could be obtained.
3. Attitude of Respondent: The attitude of the respondents affected the research work because some of the respondents were unwilling to co-operate with the researcher. They felt they have nothing to benefit from the study financially or other wise.
1.7 DEFINITIONS OF KEY TERMS
These are the definitions of the key terms used in this study.
Canadian International Development Agency
Centre for Self Help Development
Human Development Initiatives
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