Social Impacts of Microloanson Women and their Families.
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I will spend the summer of 2002 in Cochabamba, Bolivia exploring the social impacts of microloans on women and their families. Microloans 'small, low-interest loans given to poor people' are widely available throughout Bolivia. They are largely seen as successful solutions to relieving poverty, however amidst profound macro-economic problems, the possibility of small loans making a large difference is slim. I will investigate the successes and failures of microlending as they are experienced and expressed by Bolivian women. Success and failure of microlending programs are most often evaluated on the basis of their economic outcomes; it is my belief that programs which focus on the social impact of their work can provide more complete assistance to their clients. Therefore, I hope to not only conduct this study for my own use, but to share my findings with local microfinance institutions so that they may more fully incorporate the social effects of their programs into their understanding of their work.