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Understanding the Dynamics of Product Diversification on Microfinance Performance Outcomes: A Case Study in Barbados

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  • Koen Rossel-Cambier

Abstract

This paper aims at gaining deeper understanding of the possible effects of combined microfinance (CMF) on social and economic performance outcomes. By means of a case-study on the City of Bridgetown (COB), one of the leading credit unions in Barbados, it explores the possible limits, challenges and economies of scope of CMF. This case-study suggests that CMF, especially the combination credit-savings, may enhance the cost-efficiency of loan delivery and that it can generate economies of scope for marketing purposes. Savings is at the heart of the growth strategy of the credit union and has contributed to its current large breadth of outreach. The paper observes that more female than male clients participate in insurance schemes, highlighting gender differences. The case-study suggests that CMF can also lead to a number of combined and additional costs and financial risks, which need to be taken into account. The nature of product diversification can lead to additional access barriers for unbankable clients, especially related to financial costs and information asymmetry.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles in its series Working Papers CEB with number 11-008.

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Length: 40 p.
Date of creation: Mar 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published by:
Handle: RePEc:sol:wpaper:2013/78912

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Keywords: microfinance; combined microfinance; microinsurance; microcredit; microsavings; poverty; social inclusion; Caribbean;

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References

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  1. Koen Rossel-Cambier, 2010. "Do Multiple Financial Services Enhance the Poverty Outreach of Microfinance Institutions?," Working Papers CEB 10-058, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  2. Koen Rossel-Cambier, 2008. "Combined Micro-Finance: Selected Research Questions from a Stakeholder Point of View," Working Papers CEB 08-004.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  3. Koen Rossel-Cambier & Tom Olsen & Niloufar Pourzand, 2007. "Investing in knowledge for evidence-based social policies for children: two case studies of knowledge dissemination initiatives in the Eastern Caribbean," Working Papers CEB 07-040.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
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