Microfinance and Clientele Description - Tanzania

Joackim Kessy, Christopher Mtamakaya, Damian Jeremia, Jacqueline Uriyo, Babill Stray-Pedersen, Botten Grete, Sia Msuya
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Microfinance programs are considered as an effective tool for poverty alleviation among poor women who constitute over 80% of clients globally. The proliferation of the programs since their inception (1970s) is evident, but there is limited information on clients’ characteristics and type of services accessed. We conducted population based cross sectional study among 900 women to describe clients characteristics and type of services received from the programs in Moshi district, Tanzania Clients reached were 38%, generally older (p<0.001) enjoyed credit related services. Illiteracy and unemployment rate was greater among non clients (76%) and (61%) respectively. Low income earners were more in non client category (67%). The study concludes that microfinance industry is growing steadily, but the growth pace doesn’t commensurate enrolment of the poor, strategies for reaching the poorest is important.