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Date of Award

Spring 2017

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



First Advisor

Rasha Ahmed


In the development discourse, microfinance plays an important role in poverty alleviation, creation of entrepreneurs and empowerment of women. Empirical and theoretical research have shown that the impact of microfinance is inconclusive. The purpose of this thesis is to examine the role of microcredit in terms of poverty reduction and women’s empowerment through a review of literature, case studies from Myanmar and Nepal and analysis of primary survey data of women borrowers in Nepal. I also look at the complementarian versus adversarial role of the government within the microfinance industry. By discussing the strengths and weaknesses of microfinance, my thesis identifies the conditions in which microfinance can most effectively be implemented to reduce poverty and empower women.


Senior thesis completed at Trinity College, Hartford Connecticut for the degree of Bachelor of Science in Economics. Full-text access is limited to the campus community.