Microfinance and women empowerment: assessing the role of microfinance banks in Makurdi metropolis, Benue state-Nigeria
Asenge Emmanuel Lubem
Despite stunning contributions made by women to entrepreneurship development, obstacles such as unemployment, socio-political discrimination, poverty and low standard of living hence the need for women empowerment. This research is carried out to assess the role of microfinance banks on women empowerment in Benue State, Nigeria. The study examines specifically the role of microfinance loan services on women empowerment; effect of microfinance saving services on women empowerment and effect of microfinance training services on women empowerment in Makurdi metropolis, Benue State. The study adopts a survey research design and questionnaire was administered to the participants who were female entrepreneurs. The population of the study consists of 261 registered female business owners that are beneficiaries of microfinance services in the state and census sampling method was adopted. Validity and reliability of the instrument was carried out to ensure consistency of the measurement instrument. The study used multiple regression analysis for data presentation and test of hypotheses at 5 % significance level. Results of data analysis indicated that there is significant effect of microfinance loan services on women empowerment. Result also showed a positive effect of microfinance saving services on women empowerment. Finally, the study established that microfinance training has positive significant effect on women empowerment. The study concludes that microfinance banks services are important for increasing women empowerment. The study recommends amongst others that microfinance banks should timely disburse loans to beneficiaries and reduce interest rate charged on loans to avoid them running to alternative sources of credit.