Microfinance and poverty alleviation : A case study of Grameen Bank and BRAC

University essay from Högskolan i Skövde/Institutionen för teknik och samhälle; Högskolan i Skövde/Institutionen för teknik och samhälle


Microfinance and micro credits are concepts that are used frequently when talking about poverty reducing actions. This paper is a case study of the poverty alleviation impacts of microfinance institutions and it contrasts the effects of Grameen Bank and Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC) operating in Bangladesh. The case study examines the organisations effects in the 21st century since most of the reports have compared the effects in the past not reflecting on future conditions. The questions at issue are if Grameen Bank and BRAC can affect the poverty status of its members in a positive way and if there is a positive effect, which of the approaches are the best to use? To analyse the non monetary dimension, concepts such as health and education has been used as indicators for poverty reduction and the monetary indicator used is income through employment. Simultaneously economic models and concepts have been considered throughout the paper.

The findings of this case study implied that both organisations have positive effects on reducing poverty among its members, but BRAC has the broadest view seeing to all factors investigated and therefore its approach is the best to use. Nevertheless, as previous studies have implied sustainability and cost-effectiveness within the microfinance programme is important for the long-run poverty reduction. Evaluating the economic performance of the two organisations Grameen Bank is more efficient in using its resources than BRAC, but Grameen Bank show a decreasing rate of efficiency while BRAC is improving significantly. With this in consideration BRAC is still showing the best poverty reducing result for its members today, but if the organisation does not find a way to improve its economical performance its actions will not be sustainable in the long run.

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