Case Study

Ten Grantees Expected to Shed Light on: Institutional Models for Microenterprise Development Programs

Analyzing impact of institutional setting on program effectiveness
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This report presents insights from a FIELD initiative to examine the effects of institutional setting on microenterprise program operations. FIELD made two-year grants of US $70,000 to ten microenterprise programs nested in a variety of institutional settings. The report provides details of this grant cluster, and describes the organizations that received the grants.

Grantees included credit unions, community action agencies, networks, employment and training agencies and community development financial institutions. Potential benefits of such embedded programs include the ability to:

  • Tap into existing relationships;
  • Draw on players in the community who can provide access to resources;
  • Spread costs over a wide range of programs.

While microenterprise programs nested within broader organizations are increasingly common, they face some challenges and weaknesses such as:

  • Parent organization may lack a long-term commitment to microenterprise;
  • Microenterprise program may have to compete with other programs;
  • Skill base of implementing staff may be low.

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