Disaggregating the Empowering Role of New Orthodoxy Micro Credit Schemes at the Household Level: The Experience of Pride Tanzania
Josephat Stephen Ltika (Lecturer and Principal Researcher at the Institute of Development Management Mzumbe Tanzania. )
Download Article | Published On 01/01/2002


This article presents and discusses the extent to which new orthodoxy approaches to small enterprise promotion empower households. The term "New Orthodoxy" refers to policies and practices that advocate and embrace the philosophy that credit provision for poverty alleviation should be guided by market forces alongside the creation of a conducive environment for institutional capacity building and enterprise culture. The word "entrepreneur" is used loosely to imply any person who owns and manages a micro enterprise or income generating activity. Empowerment is conceptualized as a process of creating opportunities and motivation for seeking and sustaining better life for households and PRIDE is an international non government organization that provides credit for income generating activities based on the Group Lending Model. This paper is part of an ongoing study using multiple methodological approaches including focus groups discussions and case studies. At this level, the paper presents and discusses initial findings based on a questionnaire distributed to 146PRIDE customers, interviews with the branch manager and 2 credit officers between July 1999 and May 2000. The objective of the survey was to find out the extent to which PRIDE scheme was enabling micro entrepreneurs to take more control of their livelihood at the household level. The indicators of empowerment were determined in terms of a comparison between those who had employment before the credit and after the credit, categories of enterprises owned, and income before and after credit, categories of expenditures, and problems encountered in t e process of loan application, management of enterprises and repayments The findings suggest that PRIDE programmes have empowered households through employment creation, better income, education_, health, acquisition of assets and accommodation, though there were also comparatively few cases of disempowerment. The limitation of credit was that the empowerment process seemed to be non- sustainable because the types of businesses and income earned were for mere survival. Therefore, although micro enterprise promotion initiatives are vital for the survival of poor people, the study indicates that they cannot be a foundation for a strong economy at least in the foreseen future. We need more substantive investments that could also promote small enterprises through practices like subcontracting. At present, PRIDE Tanzania has been providing services to only urban centers. There is a room for research aimed at finding out an appropriate institutional framework for extending credit t<;> the rural areas through collaboration with other financing agents in the rural areas in order to reduce multiplication of efforts. Part 1 of the paper provides an overview of macro policy trends globally and in Tanzania. Part 11is on information about PRIDE and the problem area. Part 111is methodology used. Part IV is the presentation and analysis of the findings. Part V is on emerging issues and conclusions. The last part discusses the policy implications and areas for further research.

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