Microfinance Around the World – Regional SWOT Analysis
This paper aims to provide a policy oriented analysis of microfinance, its functioning, specific features, and characteristics. It studies the effectiveness, strengths and weaknesses, potential threats, and opportunities in microfinance markets across developing regions around the world. The comparisons made in the paper are primarily based on social impact, sustainability, and efficiency of the sector in these regions. It also offers insights and suggestions on how the sector could be more efficient. Further, the paper presents a brief evaluation of the benefits of microfinance and based on its findings, provides a prediction of the further development of the sector globally. The research for the paper uses data obtained from the Microfinance Information Exchange. The paper covers the following sections in detail:
- Introduction to the microfinance sector and prevalent trends in the sector;
- Discussion on the sector in developing regions of Africa, East Asia and Pacific, South East Europe and Central Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, Middle East and North Africa, and South Asia with a focus on interregional comparison;
- SWOT analysis of the microfinance sector in country groups such as the least developed countries (LDCs), heavily indebted poor countries (HIPCs), small island developing states (SIDSs), and failed states.