Formal and Informal Institutions

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Formal and informal institutions’ lending policies and access to credit by small-scale enterprises in Kenya: An empirical assessment


Rosemary Atieno
University of Nairobi

AERC Research Paper 111 African Economic Research Consortium, Nairobi November 2001

© 2001, African Economic Research Consortium.

Published by: The African Economic Research Consortium P.O. Box 62882 Nairobi, Kenya

Printed by:

The Regal Press Kenya, Ltd. P.O. Box 46116 Nairobi, Kenya

ISBN 9966-944-52-4

List of abbreviations List of tables Acknowledgements Abstract 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Introduction Problem statement Objectives and hypothesis of the study Literature review Structure and performance of the financial sector in
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The generation of self-employment in non-farm activities requires investment in working capital. However, at low levels of income, the accumulation of such capital may be difficult. Under such circumstances, loans, by increasing family income, can help the poor to accumulate their own capital and invest in employment-generating activities (Hossain, 1988). Commercial banks and other formal institutions fail to cater for the credit needs of smallholders, however, mainly due to their lending terms and conditions. It is generally the rules and regulations of the formal financial institutions that have created the myth that the poor are not bankable, and since they can’t afford the required collateral, they are considered uncreditworthy (Adera, 1995). Hence despite efforts to overcome the widespread lack of financial services, especially among smallholders in developing countries, and the expansion of credit in the rural areas of these countries, the majority still have only limited access to bank services to support their private initiatives (Braverman and Guasch, 1986). In the recent past, there has been an increased tendency to fund credit programmes in the developing countries aimed at small-scale enterprises. In Kenya, despite emphasis on increasing the availability of credit to small and microenterprises (SMEs), access to credit by such enterprises remains one of the major constraints they face. A 1995 survey of small and
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