Date of Award

Spring 6-10-2016

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of arts (BA)


Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

First Advisor

Cynthia Howson

Second Advisor

Divya McMillin


This paper studies the importance of microfinance funding channels by analyzing how for-profit and non-profit microfinance institutions’ performances differ in practice. Generally all MFIs seek financial sustainability in order to avoid reliance on external funding and increase efficiency. However, for-profit MFIs tend to rely more heavily on standard economic assumptions established by the neoclassical economics model, shifting the priority away from the social and economic development process among poor communities to the final product of loan repayment enjoyed by such institutions. By contrast, non-profit MFIs attracting donors contributions tend to focus more closely on shifts in social dynamics within communities they sponsor leading to higher development enjoyed by such communities in the long run.