INCLUSIVE GROWTH THROUGH MICROFINANCE AND ENTREPRENEURIAL TRAINING: AN IMPACT STUDY

Principal Investigators: Santosh Kumar (University of Houston), Mir Salim (University of Virginia)
Research Team: Misha Sharma & Parul Agarwal
LEAD Centre: Centre for Microfinance (CMF)
Focus Area: Livelihoods
Project Geography: Tamil Nadu, India
Partner: Hand in Hand, India
Status: Ongoing

Background:

The self-help group (SHG) program, which began as a women’s empowerment initiative in the 1980’s added a significant financial component in 1992, when a NABARD initiative linked a small number of SHGs with banks. Despite the scale and potential of SHGs to improve the lives of some of India’s poorest citizens, surprisingly little rigorous evidence has been produced on the impact of SHGs.The present study investigates the impact of an SHG-based microfinance and entrepreneurship training program provided by Tamil Nadu-based NGO, Hand In Hand. While the objective of the study is to broadly test whether microfinance improves well-being, researchers will also analyze the impact of microfinance and business training on the following outcomes: consumption, savings and borrowing, business creation and profits, access to water and electricity, vulnerability to shocks, education, health and sanitation, domestic violence, and intra-household decision making. This study is unique as it is the first randomized control trial impact evaluation of the self-help group model and it measures the combined impact of microfinance and entrepreneurial training on well-being.