Effect of Microfinance Banks on the Performance of Women Entrepreneurs in Anambra State
Category : Latest Publications
EFFECT OF MICROFINANCE BANKS ON THE PERFORMANCE OF WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS IN ANAMBRA STATE
1Department of Entrepreneurship studies
Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Igbariam, Anambra State Nigeria
This study examined effect of microfinance banks on the performance of women entrepreneurs in Anambra State, Nigeria. The study investigated the effect of microfinance banks savings mobilization and strategic partnership on the performance of women entrepreneurs in Anambra State. The study reviewed relevant conceptual, theoretical and empirical literature. This research work was anchored on resource-based theory. Descriptive research design was adopted in this study. The researcher made use of primary and secondary sources of data. The population comprises 1822. The sample of the study consists of 328 using Taro Yamane’s formula. The researcher used face and content validity and reliability of the instrument used was test-retest and Cronbach Alpha. The data generated through questionnaires were analyzed using simple percentage while multiple linear regression analysis was employed to test the hypotheses. The study found out that microfinance bank credit schemes can significantly assist the performance of women entrepreneurs. Microfinance banks savings mobilization can significantly encourage the performance of women entrepreneurs and Strategic partnership of microfinance banks can significantly help the performance of women entrepreneurs in Anambra State. Based on the findings of this study, the study concluded microfinance banks can significantly assist the performance of women entrepreneurs. The study recommended that Federal Government should put in place policies and programs that support the existence of Microfinance banks across the country. The researcher also recommend that more people should still research more in this area, to enable the Government pay more attention to this area since the poor in the society mostly operate at this level. Government should assist some women entrepreneurs in Anambra State who do not have Microfinance Bank in their town to establish one in order to help the citizen achieve their goals and make life meaningful for them.
KEYWORDS: Microfinance Bank Credit Schemes, Microfinance Banks Savings Mobilization, Strategic Partnership of Microfinance Banks and Performance of Women Entrepreneurs
Entrepreneurs development seems to have become a ambitious task for African countries to handle over the years. The acceleratory rate of poverty and its associated problems has affected the masses that the people eat below a dollar per day like in the case of Nigeria. The entrepreneurs that are supposed to be the drivers of the economy, some are unable to access adequate funds from commercial banks to finance their businesses. More so, the old-fashioned ways of helping people in starting businesses like the “Isusu” and other local means have neither helped businesses compete favourably with other developed countries let alone women entrepreneurs (Hussien and Hussain 2013). The idea of helping the women entrepreneurs in establishing businesses becomes a national discourse and as such, microfinance banks as a financial institution came into the picture in making funds available and access for business purposes (Lindvert, 2014). The inception and activities of microfinance have changed the perception of many people in different countries in the way funds are made available to the poor entrepreneurs in the rural areas and have also ensured that sustainable funds are given to the low-income people for businesses and as well helped women entrepreneurs development (Kurmanalieva, Montgomery, & Weiss, 2013). Microfinance banks have made it as duty and as one of their prime objectives in making sure funds are made available and accessible to the 99% of the poor entrepreneurs in the rural areas. Microfinance bank is acting as a tool for reaching out to the low-income earners in starting up businesses. In addition, Anyanwu (2014) opined that microfinance banks do not just make funds available and accessible to the poor entrepreneurs, but their activities have also helped in reducing poverty in the local communities. This is because they serve as financial institutions that give financial services to the poor or low-income earners who are unable to access funds from the conventional commercial banks.
Microfinance bank is widely known for providing and making financial services such as credits, savings and sometimes, insurance to the poor entrepreneurs that are unable to access these services from the conventional banks. Since the start of the activities of microfinance banks from the early 1970s, it has gained the approval of many people and governments due to its activities to the poor, low-income earners and poor entrepreneurs (Conroy, 2013). Based on these activities of microfinance banks to the poor entrepreneurs in the rural areas, Adebayo (2011) defined microfinance as a bank for the poor. Rolando (2010) sees microfinance banks as a financial institution that is established in supporting the poor and increasing the growth of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) with the rural areas. Microfinance banks make funds available with none or low-interest rate that helped borrowers sustain their source of income and as well as making savings. However, Jegede (2011) observed that because of the financial services rendered to the poor entrepreneurs prefer, the entrepreneur’s microfinance banks to commercial banks because of the accessibility, lack of collaterals, and low-interest rate. This has necessitated the rise of microfinance in the country. Hussien and Hussain (2013) added that the alliance of microfinance banks and the poor entrepreneurs has generated employment and as well help the poor startup businesses that alleviated poverty within the rural areas. Mejeha and Nwachuckwu (2008) stated that starting up a business means setting up of micro, small, and medium enterprises. In Nigeria, many scholars have defined microfinance in different ways.
Women entrepreneurship, who account for more than 50% of the Nigerian population, contribute to a large extent, the enforcement and enlargement of entrepreneurship through demonstration of proactive capacities and skills in business operations (Cheton, 2012). The deterioration of the economic situation in the 1980s adversely affected the women entrepreneurship condition globally. Hence, it exposed them to a high poverty level situation that has resulted in regarding them as the “poorest of the poor” (Burkett, 2013). They have been recognized as the most neglected and marginalized sector as long as access to credit is concerned due to their inability to provide collateral security and other conditions required by financial institutions. This is a typical case of gender inequality, which can hinder economic growth (World Bank, 2001). As a result, they need both financial and other business assistance to cope with their socioeconomic tendencies facing them in the economy.
Looking for an alternative way to enhance women’s access to credit for smooth operation of their business activities is crucial. Developing microfinance programs as means of empowering women entrepreneurs has been adopted by many international agencies such as World Bank, African Development Bank, United Nation Development Programme, USAID and Non Government Organizations as a panacea for poverty alleviation and means of empowering women entrepreneurship for their contribution to economic development and growth. It has been an accepted belief that designing microfinance programs in favour of women will among other things improve their socio – economic conditions through the adoption of various activities and approaches that have women as primary target.
These challenges of microfinance banks on entrepreneurs development according to Osuala (2015), probably appears to hinder the granting of loans/services for promoting new business in Nigeria especially in Anambra State where there are some people that have the mindset of venturing into entrepreneurship. Anyanwu (2014) maintained irrespective of challenges bedeviling microfinance banks on entrepreneurs development, it is a necessary mechanism that would always alleviate poverty in the rural areas through the creation of more microfinance. Based on these activities of microfinance banks, it becomes necessary to examine the impact of microfinance banks in entrepreneurs development in Anambra State.
Statement of the Problem
In Nigeria, there seems to be a high rate of poverty, many women entrepreneurs are struggling to survive, and the poor women entrepreneurs are folding up. Majority of women entrepreneurs are unable to build up their capital base, save for the future, let alone create employment for reducing the rate of poverty in the area (Acha, 2012). However, irrespective of the fact that entrepreneurs development is generally regarded as the engine room of a nation in terms of development, employment creation, and alleviating poverty, they are unable to fill in this gap. This is because most of them are unable to access funds from the banks in expanding their businesses. The low-income earners that are ready to start up businesses are also not able to access funds from commercial banks due to high-interest rate and collateral in accessing these funds (Uzohuo, 2016). Furthermore, CBN (2012) observed that some of the commercial banks are not helping matters in women entrepreneur development. These money deposit banks make access to funds difficult for the poor entrepreneurs; they have continually increased their interest rate and mandatory demand for collateral in accessing these funds for businesses. Some of these banks have demanded three to five years entrepreneurial experiences from the low-income earners. These challenges of accessing loans from banks have necessitated the creation of microfinance banks in helping women entrepreneurs. CBN (2005) launched the Microfinance Policy, Regulatory, and Supervisory Framework (MPRSF) so as to create microfinance banks that would avail sustainable financial services to the poor entrepreneurs. The creation of microfinance banks has become a means of increasing Microfinance in the country.
Nevertheless, there are some underlining problems experienced by microfinance banks for its proper functioning. The high cost of operation in making financial services has affected the activities of microfinance banks in making financial services available to the women entrepreneurs and as well as alleviating poverty coupled with lack of financial intelligence of some members of women entrepreneurs, high operational cost, lack of adequate manpower to carry out some service delivery such as monitor the business, low capital base, and lack of saving culture for future investments among others. These micro-financing challenges in Nigeria, especially in Anambra State, have made it difficult to initiate supportive and sustainable programmes for the growth and increase of women entrepreneurs. Uzohuo (2016) argued that irrespective of these challenges affecting microfinance banks in granting loans and other financial services like helping them build saving culture, monitoring the progress of their businesses, and giving advice on financial activities to the poor, microfinance still remain the most effective and efficient tool in alleviating poverty through encouraging the increase the performance of women entrepreneurs. It is against this background that this study tends to examine the impact of microfinance bank ion performance of women entrepreneurs in Anambra State.
1.3. Objectives of the Study
The broad objective of this study is to examine the effect of microfinance banks on the performance of women entrepreneurs in Anambra State. Specifically, the objectives of the study are:
- To examine how microfinance bank credit schemes affect the performance of the performance of women entrepreneurs in Anambra State
- To determine the extent microfinance banks savings mobilization affect the performance of women entrepreneurs in Anambra State
- To evaluate how strategic partnership of microfinance banks affect the performance of women entrepreneurs in Anambra State
The following research questions will guide the study:
- How can microfinance bank credit schemes affect the performance of women entrepreneurs in Anambra State?
- To what extent microfinance banks savings mobilization affect the performance of women entrepreneurs in Anambra State
- How can strategic partnership of microfinance banks affect the performance of women entrepreneurs in Anambra State?
This study will test the following null hypotheses:
H01: Microfinance bank credit schemes has no significant effect on performance of women entrepreneurs in Anambra State
H02: Microfinance banks savings mobilization has no significant effect on the performance of women entrepreneurs in Anambra State
H03: Strategic partnership of microfinance banks has no significant effect on the performance of women entrepreneurs in Anambra State
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
Microfinance has been used as a word to mean the various activities of providing financial facilities to customers that are not able to obtain financial services from the conventional banks due to their low-income earnings. The financial services come in the form of micro credit, loans and savings through microfinance banks that ready to give in addition other services like insurance and payment services. Microfinance is employed as an avenue for economic development by making financial services available for the poor entrepreneurs at an affordable and economical price (CBN, 2004). Ashmawians and El-fouadh (2006) explained that since ever the evolution of microfinance in Bangladesh some years ago, microfinance has spread to many countries with its appreciated activities such as providing financial services to the poor entrepreneurs in fighting poverty. It has transformed poor peoples’ livelihood. It is globally accepted that microfinance has been a major support to the poor who are ready to go into business. It has been a mechanism for making available loans and other financial services to the poor entrepreneur and at the same time, alleviate poverty.
Microfinance is meant to avail loans, insurance, and other services to the poor entrepreneurs who are not able to meet up with the demands of commercial banks. The ability of the poor entrepreneurs to get access to loans helps them to be in charge of their production, becomes self-employed, create more jobs, increase families’ incomes, and reduce poverty drastically. These characteristics of microfinance make it different from commercial banks. More so, microfinance gives the smallest financial services like loans to the poor entrepreneurs without collateral and helps them sustain their business growth. This means that microfinance is all about providing loans to poor people that are ready to become micro, small, and medium entrepreneurs (Anderson & Miller, 2003).Recently, in the developing countries, the activities of the microfinance banks have made them become a topic of debate that they have the ability to develop rural areas looking at their structural base in providing financial assistance to the low-income earners (Iheduru, 2022). The evolution of microfinance banks for some years back and its ability in providing financial services to the poor entrepreneurs has revealed that they are the drivers of economic growth of a country. This means that microfinance is a very important tool that any government would use in reaching out to the poor because of the ripple effect microfinance has on the production sector and the ability to increase the consuming rate of produced goods as well. The ability of the poor entrepreneurs to get loans helps their production, sales, income, and consumption (Obasi, 2012).
In Nigeria, the activities of microfinance banks have been in existence from age-old mostly through other traditional financing activities except that government has not made policies and mechanisms that would regulate and supervise their works. The incapability of microfinance banks in making loans available to the poor people living in urban and rural areas prompted the Central Bank of Nigeria (2004) to officially institute microfinance banks so as to help provide financial services to the poor, reduce poverty, and as well as drive economic growth. Microfinance becomes an important institution that is allowed to provide micro credit to the poor people in the rural areas and as well as the low-income earners in the urban areas.
The term “women entrepreneur” deals with that section of the female population who venture out into industrial activities i.e. manufacturing, assembling, job works, repairs/servicing and other businesses. Women entrepreneurs are women who organize and manage an enterprise, especially a business. Women entrepreneurship has steadily increased in the United States during the 20th and 21st centuries, with female owned businesses increasing at a rate of 5% since 1997. McClellad et al. (2005) defines a woman-owned business as one which is at least 51% owned by one or more women or, in the case of any publicly-owned business, at least 51% of the stock of which is owned by one or more women; and the management and daily business operations of which are controlled by one or more women. Adhikari (2008) mentions that women entrepreneurs may be defined as a woman or a group of women who initiate, organize and run a business enterprise. In terms of Schumpeterian concept of innovative entrepreneurs, women who innovate, initiate or adopt a business activity are called business entrepreneur.
Women entrepreneurs may be defined as the women or a group of women who initiate, organise and operate a business enterprise. Women are expected to innovate, imitate or adopt an economic activity to be called women entrepreneurs. The term “women entrepreneur” deals with that section of the female population who venture out into industrial activities i.e. manufacturing, assembling, job works, repairs/servicing and other businesses. Women entrepreneurs may be defined as the women or a group of women who initiate, organise and operate a business enterprise. Women are expected to innovate, imitate or adopt an economic activity to be called women entrepreneurs. Women entrepreneurs may be defined as the women or a group of women who initiate, organise and run a business enterprise. According to Schumpeter, “Women who innovate, imitate or adopt a business activity are called women entrepreneurs.” According to the Government of India, a woman entrepreneur is defined as “an enterprise owned and controlled by a woman and having a minimum financial interest of 51 percent of the capital and giving at least 51 percent of the employment generated in the enterprise to women. But this definition is opposed by the women entrepreneurs because of the imposition of the condition of employing more than 50 percent women workers. They point out that this condition is discriminatory. They argue that the enterprises set up by women should be provided with incentives and support on the basis of their ownership and management characteristics and not on the basis of employment of women.
In a nutshell, we may state that women entrepreneurs are those women, who think of a business enterprise, initiate it, organise and combine the various factors of production, operate the enterprise and undertake risks and handle economic uncertainties involved in running a business enterprise. An enterprise owned and controlled by a woman having a minimum financial interest of 51% of capital and giving at least 51% of the employment generated by the enterprise to women. According to Kamala (2018), women entrepreneur is a confident, innovative and creative woman capable of achieving economic independence individually or in collaboration generates employment opportunities for others through initiating establishing and running an enterprise by keeping pace with her personal, family and social life.
Micro Finance Bank and Development of Women Entrepreneurs
The idea of micro finance bank, development of women entrepreneurs has different meanings in different countries depending on the way they run their activities in line with the amount with which they used in starting up the businesses and carried out their activities. More so, the definitions of Microfinance depend on the economic and developmental policy of an economy. In the United States of America, women entrepreneurs employees are less than 100 workers, and in the European Union, they are less than 50. Individuals own these women entrepreneurs and operate them within their locality. Women entrepreneurs are mostly businesses that are not registered and their operations are little investments (Shane 2003). Shane and Venkataraman, (2000) defined micro enterprises as business organizations that have up to 5 or lesser number of workers and their investment is not more than N50, 000.
Chukwemeke (2004) defines women entrepreneurs as businesses, which their mode of operation with capital, equipment, and the amount of running their operation is not up to N250, 000 and their workers are not up to 50 full-time workers. On the other hand, The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN, 2004) defines women entrepreneurs as small and medium enterprises as business enterprises, which their annual income is between N25, 000 to N50, 000. These definitions made many scholars believe that the basic characteristics of women entrepreneurs are that the owner of the businesses make available the funds used in starting up the businesses and as well run the businesses themselves. In addition, they usually operate in local areas, they use small technological gadgets to run their businesses, and their labour is not capital intensive.
Udechukwu, (2013) cited three major characteristics which could be used to define women entrepreneurs. One of the characteristics is the size of the business and its contributions to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the opportunities of employment generated, and their basic exports. The second is the relative growth of the businesses within a particular period of time, and the third characteristics are how these businesses are able to compete with other countries of the world. However, these definitions have been criticized that it has weaknesses, which states that their owners manage the businesses in the very way they like, and not through the stipulated structure of women entrepreneurs the country. These do not suit the definitions that state that women entrepreneurs have up to hundred workers. This is because the owner of a business cannot manage all the workers without the help of other employees such as the managers and managerial posts in the organization.
Micro Small and Medium Enterprises has been very instrumental in the industrialization of a developing nation. They make available massive job opportunities and have a relatively higher labour-capital ratio. Women entrepreneurs take a small period of time to start, have small markets to sell their products, and need small investment capital to startup. They make sure that the national income of a nation is equally distributed among all sector of the economy. They also assist in the effective and efficient deployment of capital and skills which might be used. They encourage the growth of entrepreneurship and drive the economic development of a country. Women Entrepreneurs play important role in ensuring that the rural areas are fast developed by making the people self-reliance and increase equal distribution of economic wealth within the rural area (Reynolds, 2013).
The assistance of women entrepreneurs to the economic development of a country cannot be overemphasized. Women entrepreneurs boost the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of a country by generating employment, production of goods and services, increase export as it helps in strengthening the currency of the economy, and support self-independence. In Nigeria, it a report of CBN (2015) shows that the GDP of Nigeria was increased by 41% through industries, 32% came from agriculture, and the servicing women entrepreneurs contributed 27%. In countries like Japan, the industrial sector of women entrepreneurs contributed 80% of their GDP. In Germany, women entrepreneurs contributed to the 50% of their GDP while in the USA, women entrepreneurs contributed 46% of the increase in GDP (Udechukwu, 2013).
The theoretical frameworks for this study are anchored on resource-based theory. Barney (1991) propounded resource-based theory and the theory that states that having a calculated resource gives a business organization the avenue to compete favourably with other business organizations. These favourable advantages against other business organizations help the business organization make a marginal profit. A resource is considered valuable when it assists business organizations to take strategic actions that would help capture business opportunities and defend itself from the business menace. Resources that are valuable are hard to come by and can be imitated to represent the original. For instance, the imitated resources cannot withstand long-term competitions, but on short-term market competitiveness (Akande, 2012).
The resource-based theory maintains that having a complete system is better than having it in pieces. This means that it is important to understand that strategic resources can be instituted by different single strategies and applying these strategies in separate ways, but having the strategies as a whole would give the business organization competitive advantage over other business organizations. Business organizations have their own separate strategies that help them recognize opportunities and bringing them together. It is important to note that recognizing opportunities and using the whole resources to achieve these opportunities give a business organizations edge against other businesses (Davidson & Honing, 2003). Alvarez and Busenitz (2001) argued that the resource-based theory having enough resources helps a business organization to grow. Barney (1991) stated that a resource base is a strong approach that gives business organizations a competitive advantage over their rivals. Aldrich (2009) opined that having an unrestricted avenue to resources gives an entrepreneur the opportunity to take advantage of any opportunity that surfaces. Resources can be classified as financial, social, and human capital.
In relation to this study, it implies that a business organization that has a strong capital base (resources) can easily take advantages of opportunities when it surfaces. The opportunities are giving out loans to the low-income earners and poor entrepreneurs. More so, giving poor entrepreneurs loans through microfinance banks would help entrepreneurs, which are the women entrepreneurs to make use of the available resources for productivity. This means that once people are able to get loans, new Micro finance are formed, all hands would become busy. The formation and increase of Micro finance boost employment generation thereby reducing the rate of poverty within the society. Poverty comes into a society mostly when the majority of the people are idle and without a job. Financing Microfinance would help in reducing poverty within the society.
Microfinance Bank Financial Credit Schemes and Performance of Women Entrepreneurs
Providing necessary finance to micro, small, and medium enterprises through microfinance bank without too much bureaucracy, administrative bottlenecks, and short repayment period will guarantee the expansion of performance of women entrepreneurs and overall development of a country. This is possible when the activities of microfinance banks encourage banking and saving habits of women entrepreneurs the rural areas. The availing of credit facilities, loans and advances could help in the proliferation and performance of women entrepreneurs in rural areas. Provision of loans and advances helps in equal distribution of national income among the different class of the society. More so, microfinance empowers women and reduces their marginalization in the socio-economic system. The empowerment of women goes beyond increasing the income of low-income of women entrepreneurs. Empowering women includes enhancing their relative physical mobility, economic security, ability to make various purchases on her own, freedom from domination and gender-based violence that have ravaged many families, increase their political and consciousness, within the family, political, legitimate awareness, and involvement in they elect their proffered candidates during the election period. Through women empowerment, microfinance can contribute to improve the living conditions of a family by generating an additional source of income that would be used to supply food and send the children to school among the basic needs.
MFB provides an avenue where the women entrepreneurs can borrow loans and advances in advancing their production and at the same time, encourage them to save. In this regard, while MFB are in a better position than the banks to mobilize savings from the women entrepreneurs the formal financial sector has a comparative advantage in mobilizing a much higher volume of savings from the economy, including from the MFB. On the credit side, MFB enjoy a relative benefit in retailing credit to women entrepreneurs while the formal banks are better suited to ‘wholesaling’ it to MFB for lending to the performance of women entrepreneurs, or wholesaling it to groups of the poor directly. In the end, connecting the two sectors in unified financial services increases the efficiency of the financial system as a whole and enhances the capacity of the MFB to provide financial services to women entrepreneurs, which in turn, help in the increase of new Microfinance in the rural areas.
Microfinance Bank’s Encouragement Savings Mobilization and Performance of Women Entrepreneurs
The activities of microfinance banks have shown that their different types of savings, which individual savings seem to be the most appropriate and easy of saving for poor entrepreneurs. Savings can widely be accepted as comprising all the remaining money the entrepreneur leaves in an account after the business transactions and family expenses. Because of the unstable nature of the household economic portfolio, savings can be easily shifted between the household and enterprise. In many instances, savings from the business are transformed into household assets. These same assets may be transformed later to invest in the business. Savings could be used for investments and withdrawn whenever it is needed so far there is profit in the business. Investment in the business usually reflects savings accumulation (Youssoufou, 2002).
In some cases, poor entrepreneurs make some savings but do not have enough money that would help him or her withstand the challenging business environment. This is the reason microfinance was instituted to help these poor entrepreneurs save and know how to make more investment so as to have a strong capital base that would help withstand the market challenges. Few microfinance institutions have developed a mechanism to collect voluntary savings. Many, however, require members to deposit into a mandatory savings account. This provides a source of security in case of loan default. Some institutions allow clients to deposit excess savings into their mandatory savings account. The willingness of clients to deposit mandatory and voluntary savings reflects their ability and willingness to save with microfinance institutions. The operations of microfinance banks in the rural areas have revealed to them that making it compulsory to save would help the poor entrepreneurs imbibe saving culture habit. Offering saving services would provide motivation for clients to retain membership. Entrepreneurs must always engage in some form of short-term or long-term savings so as to help in future investments of these funds when the need arises (Banerjee and Duflo, 2007).
Strategic Partnership and Performance of Women Entrepreneurs
Strategic partnership is a type of relationship that exists between two business organizations, mostly for business purposes (Nwanyanwu, 2015). Sometimes, business partnership does not have legal backings, and in some partnership, there is a legal backup, agency, or business associate relationship. Strategic partnership can take different forms ranging from just shake hand agreements, signing contracts, or helping the other business enterprise grow (Acha, 2014). However, when two enterprises form a business partnership, there is mutual understanding and both parties have one or more assets that would help in enhancing their business organizations. Strategic partnership can be developed when one of the parties have the desire of growing their corporation through engaging the other enterprises (Uzohuo, 2016). Strategic partnering is a concept that is partially used to define whatever that forms mutual cooperation in executing a business. Therefore, it is a way of bringing two business enterprises or organizations to form a synergy that would help in overcoming mutual challenges encounter by both parties. Through strategic partnership, organizations are able to pool their resources together so as to create business, utilize business opportunities with little investment, become effective, take advantage of their strengths that would drive costs, and at same time, become competitive in the business environment (Hitt, Ireland, & Hoskisson, 2014). In addition, Grant (2008) stated that strategic partnership of microfinance banks and low income earners in establishing and running business activities gives the low income earners the opportunities of a wide range of business opportunities that would them overcome business weakness and threats that might collapse the business.
Women entrepreneurs taking advantage of strategic partnership with microfinance banks can help them utilize the strengths of microfinance banks to make them stronger in the long run. Typically two companies form a strategic partnership when each possesses one or more business assets that will help the other, which individually, they cannot achieve as a single entity (Crook, Ketchen, Combs, & Todd, 2015). Partnership makes available the partners utilized their pooled resources such as credit financial facilities, create channels of distributions, increase performance of women entrepreneurs capability, helps in the funding of projects, purchase capital equipment, share knowledge, utilize the expertise involved, access both intellectual properties of the different partners, and enhance the legitimacy of the businesses (Luypaert, 2008). In essence, strategic partnerships have the potential to address challenges and opportunities that could not have been handled in the same way outside of a partnership (Davis & Cobb, 2010). In essence the procurement of external resources is an important tenet of both the strategic and tactical management of any company (Hillman, Withers, & Collins, 2015). Presence of a large base of resources allows an organization to outlast competitors by practicing a differentiation strategy. An organization with greater resources can manage risk and sustain profits more easily than one with fewer resources. This provides the foundation for corporate growth (Bamisile, 2016).
Many researchers have been carried out on this particular topic. In order to authenticate this research work, the following studies were reviewed; Salamatu (2022) seeks to identify how microfinance banks can be used as means to alleviate poverty in Kaduna South LGA. Four women entrepreneurs and their members were used to buttress the point. The study was a cross-sectional survey design with 150 participants. Primary and secondary data were used in collecting data. T-test was used to test the hypotheses. The study revealed that poverty is on the rampage, thus the need to stamp or alleviate is a welcome development. More so, in the findings, the microfinance banks have alleviated poverty in Kaduna South Local Government Area by measures of their activities in giving loans to the women entrepreneurs and at the same time, educating them on how to manage these loans for maximum productivity.
Kareem, Arigbabu, Akintaro, & Badmus, (2016) conducted a research on how consultancy services of microfinance banks support low income women entrepreneurs in engaging in business activities in Ghana. The study adopted descriptive survey method with 240 participants. One Way ANOVA was to test the hypotheses. The findings revealed that consultancy support services of microfinance banks have helped in supporting the growth of women entrepreneurs. This shows that adequate consultancy support services of microfinance banks can boost the growth of women entrepreneurs in the country.
Edafiaje (2022) examines how strategic partnership of Microfinance Banks (MFBs) influence in engaging low income women entrepreneurs in business activities in Ozoro and Warri parts of Delta State, Nigeria, through the use of descriptive statistics. The study has a sample size of 300. The study shows that strategic partnership builds strong synergy between microfinance banks and low income women entrepreneurs, which help the low income women entrepreneurs, see business opportunities. This also leads to adequate disbursement of loans microfinance thereby influencing the lending capacity of Microfinance banks to the low income women entrepreneurs.
Onyeneke and Iruo (2018) examined how strategic partnership of microfinance banks influence granting of micro credit for encouraging low income women entrepreneurs engage in business activities in Imo State. The study made use of descriptive statistics and regression analysis to test the hypotheses. The study has 250 participants. The results revealed that strategic partnership helps the low income women entrepreneurs to develop business strength in challenging environment. This has also helped the low income women entrepreneurs engage in business activities thereby alleviating poverty in the country.
Akande (2022) investigated the impact of consultancy support services of microfinance banks in granting financial services in engaging in business activities of women entrepreneurs in Delta State. The study is a cross-sectional design which is made up of survey Design. A sample size of 200 participated in the study. Chi-square was adopted in testing and analysing the hypotheses formulated for the study. The findings of the study revealed that consultancy support services help women entrepreneurs in strategic direction and marketing strategies that has helped the low income women entrepreneurs get direction in seeing business opportunities and plan businesses.
Ayopo (2022) investigates the effects of effective MFB strategic partnership of microfinance banks with the low income women entrepreneurs for the promotion of new women entrepreneurs in Osun State. The main objective of the study is to know how strategic partnership of microfinance bank and the low income women entrepreneurs would the people to engage in business activities in Osun State. This is intended to know how strategic partnership would lead to women entrepreneurs survival, growth, productivity, and performance in south-west Nigeria. The study is qualitative in nature that employed descriptive statistics through the survey of 443 micro enterprises and one hundred and eighty (180) small enterprises, which were randomly, selected using multi-stage random sampling technique. The findings revealed that effective strategic partnership of microfinance bank with the low income women entrepreneurs would strengthen the overcoming of unexpected challenges and increase of new women entrepreneurs. This helps microfinance banks in financing women entrepreneurs so as to enhance the survival of women entrepreneurs
Yahaya (2022) employed t-test and Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) with a population of 250 participants to examine the effectiveness of strategic partnership of microfinance banks and the low income women entrepreneurs in promoting women entrepreneurs in Kano State, Nigeria. The results reveal that effective strategic partnership of microfinance banks and the low income earners would boost the ability of MFBs to give technical advisories to the people and at the same time, meet the demand of their clients. This helps microfinance play significant role in the economy, as it helps to reduce poverty by providing financial services to the active poor, help in generating employment and also provide small loans to grow small businesses.
Magaji and Saleh (2019) examined the effect of savings mobilization of microfinance banks on creating new by women entrepreneurs in Kogi State. The study made use of secondary source of data. Regression analysis in testing and analyzing data obtained from field work. The study found out savings mobilization of microfinance banks help women entrepreneurs in savings that guarantee enough funds for future investments and engage in more business activities.
Obadeyi (2015) examines the influence of microfinance bank credit schemes in increasing the productivity of the active women entrepreneurs in Osun State, Nigeria. The study employed descriptive statistics and regression analysis and the result reveals that microfinance banks have the capacity to alleviate poverty in Nigeria through the support of microfinance banks. The study also reveals that the credit schemes help lending capacity of microfinance in creating sufficient finance, generating employment opportunities, creating wealth and enhancing women entrepreneurs.
Islam and Islam (2022) reported the relationship microfinance bank’s encouragement savings mobilization and the encouragement of low-income earners in business engagement of women entrepreneurs an empirical study. The study adopted a primary and secondary source of data, and a descriptive statistics and Chi-square inferential statistics were used to analyse the data obtained from the field of study. The study has a sample of 1,535 selected organizations in 20 in Bangladesh. The study reported that savings encourage has empowered many women entrepreneurs globally to respond swiftly and effectively to new opportunities and unforeseen market challenges, thereby re-establishing their competitive advantage and increasing in business activities as well.
Haneefa (2022) undertook a study on the impact of microfinance bank’s encouragement savings mobilization on the encouragement of low-income women entrepreneurs in business engagement in selected firms in Kerala (India). The study is a cross-sectional design. The study is a survey of 120 employees of 12 organizations in Kerala. The method of data collection was a questionnaire, semi-structured interviews with workers in the organizations. Frequency tables and percentages were used to analyze the generated data. The analyses revealed that encouragement gotten from microfinance banks boosts the morale of women entrepreneurs to save and invest more in businesses. The study further found out that savings has helped women entrepreneurs execute businesses without relying on borrowing from people, this is because savings could be used for investments and withdrawn whenever it is needed so far there is profit in the business. Investment in the business usually reflects savings accumulation.
Kopsovich (2022) examined the relationship between strategic partnership of microfinance banks and the help of low-income women entrepreneurs in business engagement in business organizations in Edo State. 25 women entrepreneurs participated in the study. Multiple regression analysis was applied to the data collected from 150 randomly selected entrepreneurs in North Benin. The results showed that strategic partnership of microfinance banks and entrepreneurs boosts service delivery of women entrepreneurs as the confidence of the e women entrepreneurs is gotten from the partnership of both parties. The study further revealed that when both parties are engaged, the robust service delivery have the capabilities of empowering women entrepreneurs to make entrepreneurs engage in business activities that would deliver service delivery improvements, ensure effective service system performance and survive on turbulent and challenging environment.
Amao-Kehinde, (2016) conducted a survey on the consultancy support services of microfinance banks and the help of low-income earners in business engagement of selected Microfinance in Calabar, Cross River State. The research was a quantitative and qualitative research design that has a sample size of 100 employees drawn from the selected Microfinance in Calabar. A structured questionnaire with 8 items on four point scale rating was administered to the respondents. The researcher also organized an interview to supplement the information gathered through the questionnaire. The responses were analyzed using frequency tables and simple percentages. The results revealed that consultancy support services of microfinance banks encourage better business activities of MSMEs. Better business activities of microfinance are a positive step towards customer satisfaction and loyalty. Owing to global competitive market, consultancy support services of microfinance banks facilitate workforce productivity and organizational profitability, which leads to uniqueness of selling proposition and survival of the business organization.
A research design is aimed at answering some essential questions raised on the topic of research that brought into the scope of the study. The research design is also an enquiry initiated in finding solutions and facts to problems raised in the course of research. This study, therefore, adopted descriptive survey method to get adequate information from the participants of the study. Data for this research work was gotten from two sources, primary and secondary sources. The primary source is the structured questionnaire designed to get information from the participants. On the other hand, secondary sources of data are data gotten from journals, textbooks, dissertations, handouts, theses, and other related materials from the internet. The study has unknown population since there was no record of women entrepreneurs in Anambra State. The sample size consisted 328 women entrepreneurs. Since population was unknown purposive sampling technique was used to select women entrepreneurs. Purposive sampling technique was adopted because the samples selected were for a specific purpose. The research instrument was subjected to content validity. The instrument was pilot tested using Cronbach Alpha method in confirming the reliability of the instrument and the reliability score of the study was gotten as 0.84. A Cronbach Alpha of 0.84 was obtained with the aid of Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) version 21. The result revealed that the instrument was reliable. The data generated for this study were analyzed using both descriptive and econometric analytical method. Simple percentage analysis was use in analysis while the hypotheses were tested using simple regression analysis.
DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS
Analysis of Questionnaire Distribution and Respondents Characteristics
The analyses of the questionnaire and respondents’ characteristics are analysed below:
Table 1: Questionnaire Distributions
|Number of Questionnaire||No. of Questionnaire Distributed||No. of Questionnaire Returned||No. of Questionnaire Used for the Study|
Table 1 showed that the study has 328(100%) of questionnaire to be distributed. At the field of study, 320(97.56%) of the questionnaire were distributed while 308(93.90%) of the questionnaire were returned after the distribution. After strict monitoring and the filling of the copies of the questionnaire, 300(91.46%) of the copies of the questionnaire that were fully and properly filled were used for the study.
Analysis of Questionnaire
Research Question One: How can microfinance bank credit schemes assist low-income earners engage in business activities in Anambra State?
Table 2: Microfinance Bank Credit Scheme and performance of women entrepreneurs
|Microfinance Bank Credit Scheme||5||4||3||2||1|
|1||I get financial advices from MFB on how to start up a business||123 (615)||93 (372)||35 (105)||29 (58)||20 (20)||300 (1170)||3.90||Agreed|
|2||I was able to access loans from MFB for the start up a business||75 (375)||102 (82)||53 (159)||48 (96)||42 (42)||300 (1000)||3.33||Agreed|
|3||I was given loans to boost my failing business||99 (495)||86 (344)||65 (195)||39 (78)||11 (11)||300 (1123)||3.74||Agreed|
|4||The assistance of MFB on my business feasibility study has boost my morale in starting new business||116 (580)||75 (300)||53 (159)||46 (92)||10 (10)||400 (1141)||3.80||Agreed|
|5||The loans I got from MFB helped me execute my business plan||117 (585)||121 (484)||49 (147)||12 (24)||1(1)||300 (1241)||4.14||Agreed|
Table 2 shows the extent microfinance bank financial services promotes the increase the performance of women entrepreneurs in Anambra State. The results revealed that items 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 4.26 respectively. This showed that all the mean scores of the items 1 to 5 were above the decision point of 3.00; hence, they were agreed.
Research Question Two: To what extent microfinance banks savings mobilization encourage performance of women entrepreneurs in Anambra State?
Table 3: Microfinance Bank Savings Mobilization and Performance of Women Entrepreneurs
|Microfinance Bank Savings Mobilization||5||4||3||2||1|
|6||The daily money MFB collect from me has helped me in saving||131 (655)||153 (612)||13 (39)||2 (4)||1 (1)||300 (1311)||4.37||Agreed|
|7||MFB’s advice on the importance of savings has made me save more||104 (520)||127 (508)||32 (96)||19 (38)||18 (18)||300 (1180)||3.93||Agreed|
|8||MFB monitoring my shop activities has helped me save daily||85 (425)||138 (552)||51 (153)||19 (38)||7 (7)||300 (1175)||3.92||Agreed|
|9||I always attend the monthly workshops of MFB in my area||118 (590)||120 (480)||38 (114)||15 (30)||9 (9)||300 (1223)||4.08||Agreed|
|10||MFB has made savings compulsory for MSMEs||124 (620)||139 (556)||18 (54)||14 (28)||5 (5)||300 (1263)||4.21||Agreed|
Table 3 shows the mean scores of the responses of extent will microfinance banks encourage performance of women entrepreneurs savings culture for future investments in Anambra State. The results revealed that items 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 have mean scores of 4.28 respectively. This showed that all the mean scores of the items 11 to 20 were above the decision point of 3.00; hence, they were agreed.
Research Question Three: How can strategic partnership of microfinance banks help the performance of women entrepreneurs in Anambra State?
Table 4: Strategic Partnership of Microfinance Bank and Performance of Women Entrepreneurs
|11||I formed a strong synergy with MFB and overcame market threats||128 (640)||124 (496)||25 (75)||19 (38)||4 (4)||300 (1253)||4.18||Agreed|
|12||I was able to see business opportunities||144 (720)||138 (552)||14 (42)||3 (6)||1 (1)||300 (1321)||4.40||Agreed|
|13||I was able to develop business strength in challenging environment||120 (720)||130 (520)||29 (87)||15 (30)||6 (6)||300 (1240)||4.14||Agreed|
|14||I compete favourable with other business enterprises||114 (570)||137 (548)||22 (66)||19 (38)||8 (8)||300 (1230)||4.10||Agreed|
|15||I was able to develop confidence in business activities||131 (655)||153 (612)||13 (39)||2 (4)||1 (1)||300 (1311)||4.37||Agreed|
Table 4 shows how the operational costs of microfinance banks affect the funding of new women entrepreneurs in Anambra State. The result revealed that items 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 have mean scores of 4.28 respectively. This showed that all the mean scores of the items 40 to 30 were above the decision point of 3.00; hence, they were agreed.
Test of Hypotheses
Here, we examine the effects of microfinance banks in through the hypothesis formulated for this research work. The hypothesis which is used to test on the basis of the evidence of the sample estimates is called the null hypothesis because it implies that there is no significant relationship between the true parameters and the hypothesis value. Whereas a counter proposition to the null hypothesis, which implies that, there is a significant relationship between the true parameters and the hypothesis.
Test of Hypothesis One
H0: Microfinance bank credit schemes cannot significantly assist performance of women entrepreneurs in Anambra State
H1: Microfinance bank credit schemes can significantly assist performance of women entrepreneurs in Anambra State
|Table 5: Coefficientsa Results of Hypothesis One|
|Model||Unstandardized Coefficients||Standardized Coefficients||T||Sig.|
Table 5 shows the results of hypothesis one. Microfinance bank credit schemes can significantly assist performance of women entrepreneurs in Anambra State (P = .000 < .05). This implies that the efforts of microfinance banks in increasing their credit schemes to women entrepreneurs would promote the engage of business activities and as well as increase performance of women entrepreneurs in Anambra State.
Test of Hypothesis Two
H0: Microfinance banks savings mobilization cannot significantly encourage performance of women entrepreneurs in Anambra State
H1: Microfinance banks savings mobilization can significantly encourage performance of women entrepreneurs in Anambra State
|Table 6: Coefficientsa of Test of Hypothesis Two|
|Model||Unstandardized Coefficients||Standardized Coefficients||T||Sig.|
|Micro finance bank savingsmobilization||.887||.009||.986||102.567||.000|
|a. Dependent Variable: Performance of women entrepreneurs s|
Table 6 shows the results of the test of hypothesis two. The results revealed that Microfinance banks savings mobilization can significantly encourage performance of women entrepreneurs in Anambra State (P = .000 < .05). This implies that the savings mobilization of microfinance banks can help f women entrepreneurs saving for future investments.
Test of Hypothesis Three
H0: Strategic partnership of microfinance banks cannot significantly help performance of women entrepreneurs in Anambra State
H1: Strategic partnership of microfinance banks can significantly help performance of women entrepreneurs in Anambra State
|Table 7: Coefficientsa of Test of Hypothesis Three|
|Model||Unstandardized Coefficients||Standardized Coefficients||T||Sig.|
|a. Dependent Variable: Performance of women entrepreneurs|
Table 7 shows the results of test of hypothesis three. The results revealed that strategic partnership of microfinance banks can significantly help the performance of women entrepreneurs in Anambra State (P = .000 < .05). This implies that having strong synergy with microfinance bank, enable performance of women entrepreneurs and as same time, develop strong business strength in competing favourably with other business enterprises; the same time, develop confidence in business activities.
Summary of Findings
Based on the discussion of findings, the findings of this study summarized below;
- Microfinance bank credit schemes can significantly assist the performance of women entrepreneurs in Anambra State.
- Microfinance banks savings mobilization can significantly encourage the performance of women entrepreneurs in Anambra State.
- Strategic partnership of microfinance banks can significantly help the performance of women entrepreneurs in Anambra State.
Based on the findings of this study, it would be deduced that microfinance bank credit schemes, microfinance banks savings mobilization and Strategic partnership of microfinance banks can significantly help the performance of women entrepreneurs in Anambra State. The study concluded that microfinance banks can significantly help the performance of women entrepreneurs.
Based on our findings, the study recommends that
- Federal Government should put in place policies and programs that support the existence of Microfinance banks across the country. In addition, a mechanism to monitor the activities of these institutions should be put in place.
- We also recommend that more people should still research more in this area, to enable the Government pay more attention to this area since the poor in the society mostly operate at this level. That is where they get fund, penetrate through by alleviating poverty to the rural dwellers, by doing these their standard of living will be upgraded and job opportunity will be open up to our youths.
- Government should assist some women entrepreneurs in Anambra State who do not have Microfinance Bank in their town to establish one in order to help the citizen achieve their goals and make life meaningful for them.
Ajake, W., Essien, J.& Omori, A. (2013). The effect of microfinance bank financial credit schemes on the assistance of low-income earners in business engagement of MSMEs. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 15, 597-621.
Akanji, O. O. (2014). Micro-Finance as a Strategy for Poverty Reduction. CBN Economic and Financial Review, 39, 4.
Ali, D. A. H. & Ali, A. Y. S. (2013). Entrepreneurship development and poverty reduction: an Empirical survey from Somalia. American International Journal of Social Science, 2, 108-113.
Amao-Kehinde, E. (2016).The the consultancy support services of microfinance banks and the help of low-income earners in business engagement. Strategic Management Journal, 14: 15-31.
Anderson, L. & Miller, M. (2003). Women entrepreneurs in and from developing countries: Evidence from the literature. European Management Journal, (32), 451-460
Ashmawians, E. & El-fouadh, M. (2006). Ashmawians E. (2006). Formal and informal institutions’ lending policies and access to credit by Small-scale enterprises in Kenya: an empirical assessment. The University of Nairobi. The African Research Consortium: The Regal press Kenya, Ltd.
Ayopo, B. (2011). Entrepreneurship and innovation in Ghana: Enterprising Africa. Small Business Economics, (32), 331-350
Central Bank of Nigeria (2005). Microfinance Policy Regulatory and Supervisory Framework for Nigeria. Abuja: CBN.
Crook, T., Ketchen Jr., D., Combs, J., & Todd, S. (2015). Strategic resources and performance: A meta-analysis. Strategic Management Journal, 29,(3),1141-1154.
Davis, G. & Cobb, J. (2010). Resource dependence theory: Past and future. Bingley: Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
Grant, R. (2008). The resource-based theory of competitive advantage: Implications for strategy formulation. California Management Review, 33: 114-135.
Haneefa, B. (2022). The impact of microfinance bank’s encouragement savings mobilization on the encouragement of low-income earners in business engagement. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 27, 835-863.
Hillman, A., Withers, M. & Collins, B. (2015). Resource dependence theory: A review. Journal of Management, 35(6), 1404-1427.
Hitt, M., Ireland, R. & Hoskisson, R. (2014). Strategic management; competitiveness and globalization (4th ed.). Cincinnati, Ohio: South- Western College Publishing
Iheduru, N. G. (2022). Women Entrepreneurship and Development: The Gendering of Micro Finance in Nigeria. A Paper Presented at the 8th International Interdisciplinary Congress on Women (July 4-26)
Ishikawa, A. (2014). The formation of networking cooperation among small enterprises in central Europe. Collection of studies. The Sasakawa Peace Foundation, The Sasakawa Central Europe Fund, 140 p.
Islam, J.& Islam, T. (2022).CEO the relationship microfinance bank’s encouragement savings mobilization and the encouragement of low-income earners in business engagement of MSMEs. Financial Review, 42(1), 99-119.
Jegede, S. (2013). Entrepreneurs and micro-enterprises in rural India, Economic and Political Weekly, (29), 25-30.
Kopsovich, M. (2011). The relationship between strategic partnership of microfinance banks and the help of low-income earners in business engagement. Sociological Forum, 17: 307-342.
Kwame, A. (2010). the relationship between microfinance bank financial credit schemes on the assistance of low-income earners in business engagement of MSMEs. The Academy of Management Executive, 7(1), 95-104.
Lemo, N. (2007). Microfinance Banking in Nigeria: Problems and Prospects. International Journal of Finance and Accounting, 1(5), 106-111
Lindvert, M. (2014). Sustainable Development Work and Micro Finance: A Case Study of how ECLOF Ghana is Working Towards Financial Sustainability. Thesis submitted to the Department of Social Sciences, Mid Sweden University.
Mboho, S. K. & Ibok, E. E. (2014). Women Organisations and Poverty Alleviation in Rural Communities in Nigeria: A Study of Akwa Ibom State. International Journal of Labour and Organisational Psychology, 3(1 & 2): 198-208.
Mohammed, Z. & Rezai, G. (2011). The effectiveness of entrepreneurship extension education among the FOA members in Malaysia. Current Research Journal of Social Sciences. 3, 17-21.
Odebiyi, N. (2012). Determinants of Repayment in Microcredit: Evidence from Programmes in the United States. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 26(2), 360-376.
Okorodudu, J. (2010). The effect of strategic partnership of microfinance banks on the help of low-income earners in business engagement. Sociology, 6(1), 1-22.
Olowe, E. (2013). Impact of UNDP microfinance programme on poverty alleviation among farmers in selected local government areas of Kaduna State, Nigeria. International Journal of Sociology and Anthropology, 1(6)
Oni S. O. (2014). Emergence and Prospect of Microfinance Banks in Nigeria. Microfinance Workshop Organized by the Resort Consult Ltd, Lagos.
Salamatu (2013). Why do some countries produce so much output per worker than others? The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 114(1)
Udechukwu, U. (2013). The Socio-Economic Effects of Poverty on Nigerian Development. International Journal of Economic and Development Issues, 8(1 & 2): 173-184.
Yahaya, A. (2011). Poverty Alleviation in Southern Punjab (Pakistan): An Empirical Evidence from the Project Area of Asian Development Bank, International Research Journal of Finance and Economics, 23, 23-32