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Tulane University

Publication Date

Fall 2013

Program Name

Senegal: National Identity and the Arts


This study analyzes the effectiveness of micro credit in a developing African country by evaluating the history of microfinance and then focusing on access to credit in modern day Dakar, Senegal. Microfinance, or small capital loans to business startups in budding nations, has been used as a tool in developmental economics for a several decades. Ideally it is an elegant solution to a problem that permeates developing countries around the world: the lack of available credit. This lack of credit stifles economic growth in every sector of an emerging economy. As part of this study I interviewed both credit firms and small businesses in an attempt to gather varying viewpoints and evaluated their responses to determine the extent to which they were aligned. I also wanted to examine if average business owners were able to access and utilize the credit tools available to them. By interviewing credit providers and possible end users, I gained valuable insights into the role of microfinance institutions in the Senegalese economy from the vantage of both the lender and the borrower. By conducting case-by-case studies I hoped to be able to assess the effectiveness of microfinance as a valuable economic tool for small business in Dakar. By examining the current available credit products and the experience of the small businesses I interviewed in Dakar I am able to propose some potential solutions to improve the access to credit for startups and small businesses in Dakar and possibly, other developing regions of the world.


Economics | Finance and Financial Management | Growth and Development


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