Microfinance Focus Poll Results: House believes governments not doing enough

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Microfinance Focus, Oct0ber 14, 2010 (Colombo) : At the Asia Microfinance Forum 2010, Microfinance Focus conducted an Opinion Poll to gauge the views and trends of the microfinance industry. Out of the 450 delegates who attended the forum, 144 participated in the poll and expressed their views on five issues including microfinance contribution to financial inclusion, impact of commercialization on the sector, relevance of client protection and social performance, role of governments in creating enabling environments and the role of microfinance associations in the growth of the sector.

Gathered at the Forum which is entitled ‘Financial Inclusion-Achieving Asia’s Potential’, 76% of the respondents felt that the microfinance sector is delivering on the promise of achieving greater financial inclusion in Asia. Only 8% did not agree with the notion and 15% expressed their doubts about the sectors contribution in achieving financial inclusion.

Although the influence of commercial capital on microfinance is often not viewed in a positive light, 75% of the poll respondents felt that the influence is a positive trend for the Asian microfinance sector and only 10% did not go with the idea. 15% of the respondents remained unsure about the influence.

For initiatives like client protection and social performance, a large majority of the participants – 92% believed that such initiatives are essential to the growth of the sector. Just 5% said no to their essentialities and 3% were unsure.

Showing their strong discontent with the efforts of their governments in creating enabling environments for microfinance, 57% of the participants who have flocked from across the globe said that they don’t think that the governments are sufficiently engaged with the microfinance sector. However, standing at 20%, a significant number of participants did approve of governments support and the rest 20% remained unclear of their opinion.

With regards to the role of microfinance associations and networks, 85% of the respondent felt that they do play an important role in the growth of the microfinance sector in Asia and only 3% denied their contribution. 12% of the respondents however remained undecided.

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