Women’s Empowerment and Microcredit in Brazil: A Case Study of the Banco do Povo de Itabira

by Fleischer Proaño, Laura Lynn

Abstract (Summary)
This thesis examines women’s empowerment through access to and control of credit in a case study of the Banco do Povo de Itabira in Brazil. Data were collected from structured interviews with 29 active female repeat borrowers of the Banco do Povo. Women’s participation in the Banco do Povo is empowering because women expand their choices by gaining access to credit, growing their businesses, experiencing increased self-confidence and respect from their families, and reinforcing their status as independent female microentrepreneurs. The pre-conditions of empowerment found here include flexible credit requirements, a gender sensitive institution, and women’s autonomous control of their businesses and finances. Despite women’s success stories, this research recommends that the Banco do Povo loosen loan regulations, provide additional services, and increase outreach to the microentrepreneurs of Itabira. This research also recommends that the Brazilian government support microfinance programs in order to facilitate their positive social and economic impacts.
Bibliographical Information:


School:Ohio University

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:microfinance latin america microcredit brazil women s empowerment economic and social development banco do povo de itabira


Date of Publication:01/01/2005

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