Women's Networks and Microcredit in Yunnan

Proceedings from the Nordic Association for China Studies conference, 2003, Oslo, Norway
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This paper provides an introduction to microcredit, particularly in China and the concept of social capital. It discusses how microcredit is accessed through women’s networks and compares it to access to other sources of credit in villages in Yunnan.

Microcredit is not only a part of many international donors’ development projects, but also constitutes a significant part of the Chinese government’s poverty alleviation program.

The paper draw from preliminary results of fieldwork done in Yunnan in 2001 and 2002 at a government microcredit program at Xuanwei County and two cases that illustrate how access to different sources of credit can be determined by nature and extent of a woman’s network. Study findings include:

  • Impact of microcredit program in Yangliu is limited;
  • Demand exceeds available funding, there are few incentives to seek out new borrowers;
  • Target group is not the most disadvantaged with poor access to any kind of credit;
  • Attempts to gather more women to access credit is non-existent;
  • Groups were only useful as group chairmen took on the task of ensuring repayments.

About this Publication

By Bislev, A.