Title

Microfinance in Bolivia:Gateway for Change or Pit of the Status Quo?

Document Type

Thesis

Publication Year

2008

Abstract

As is true internationally, microfinance in Bolivia tends to be presented as an institution able to achieve important development goals. Various impact analyses of different microfinance organizations in Bolivia (and internationally) have beeb published. Yet, although some studies have brought forth indications as to the impact of microfinance on incomes, empowerment or women, poverty alleviation and so on, the extent to which microfinance has lived up or can live up to claims of success in terms of socio-economic development is still widely debated.

Influenced by both my work with the microfinance organization Pro Mujer (April and May 2007), and by an extensive review of published and unpublished literature, my argument in this thesis questions the following aspects of the Bolivian experience with microfinance: the impact of microfinance on job creation, its effects on the empowerment of women, and its actual and potential economic role for the majority of the Bolivian population.

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