Effects of Microfinance Cooperatives on Women Capabilities through Microentrepreneurship: Application of Amatya Sen’s Capabilities Approach
In the context of the approach by Sen, microfinance when adopted as a tool to reduce and defeminise poverty, can expand women’s capabilities and increase the freedoms or opportunities and choices to acquire the desired things. The feminisation of poverty is occurring in Tsholotsho District despite a plethora of microfinance cooperatives which are supposed to reduce and defeminise poverty. The objective of the study was to analyse the impact of microfinance on capability enhancement among women through microenterprise development in Tsholotsho District. The target population for the study was 2,233 women under ORAP’s Amalima programme out of whom a sample of 100 was selected and matched by a similar number of non-participants. The study assessed microfinance in terms of microenterprises formation. Results show that microfinance increases the probability of forming a microenterprise. The findings confirm that microfinance increases individuals' capacity to meet their basic capabilities. The study proposes replication of Tsholotsho's microfinance models within and outside Tsholotsho; ensuring community participation in microfinance by considering factors that determine participation and tailor-make microfinance packages to cater to the target population's needs; and developing and strengthening Cooperative- Bank Linkages.
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