The impact of microfinance institutions on savings culture in a rural farm - based region - a case of MFIs in Meru county, Kenya
Kimathi, Nelly Makena
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The research project seeks to examine the microfinance sector and advances made by microfinance institutions towards facilitating rural finance in terms of savings, with the eventual impact on Kenyan savings culture. Credit creation has been the hub of microfinance institutions and initially, these institutions were purely microcredit. With time, the need to incorporate savings and other savings avenues like micro-pension has come up as credit is not the only solution to poverty alleviation. Specific issues that will be addressed are the question of household savings and incentive to save among the rural inhabitants, available savings products by microfinance institutions, challenges in accessing these products as well as policy issues. These shall depict the wider picture of financial inclusion and microfinance outreach in relation to savings culture. In this regard, the study will be based in Kenya with keen interest on microfinance institutions in a farm-based region, Meru County. Both primary and secondary data will be used, the ASCA (Accumulated Savings and Credit Associations) model applied and the research will take the shape of a cross-sectional, evaluative study.