BISWA: Fostering Inclusive Growth through Microfinance (Abridged)
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This case study was compiled from field research, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.
Malick felt that adopting an integrated approach by bringing about the convergence of microfinance, micro entrepreneurship, micro marketing, micro insurance, and other social development initiatives, could help reduce poverty and spur inclusive growth. BISWA, which initially operated as an NGO Microfinance Institution (MFI), also established a Non Banking Financial Company in 2006 to carry forward its microfinance program. As of mid-2010, BISWA had established a presence in 16 states in India and had directly touched the lives of more than four million people who were usually considered non-bankable. Malick planned to establish a presence in nearly all the states of India by the end of 2012 and create one million job opportunities. However, to do this, Malick and his team had to overcome various challenges — challenges such as how to ensure that the poorest of the poor would benefit from their microfinance program; what types of new financial services they should introduce and how to motivate the poor people to adopt these services; how to strike the right balance between expansion and consolidation of the microfinance program; how and from which sources to mobilize funds; and, how to strike the right balance between its social mission and business objectives which were often in conflict with each other.
The case has been prepared from primary sources. It has been prepared by conducting in-depth interviews with key personnel at BISWA and some of its stakeholders (clients/beneficiaries). This case has been written to facilitate classroom discussions for MBA/MS-level students as a part of their Entrepreneurship/Social Entrepreneurship curriculum. Additionally, this case study can be used (with a teaching note modified by the instructor for the purpose) in a core strategy curriculum.
Microfinance, Entrepreneurship, Social entrepreneurship, Venture financing, Ethical debate on profit vs. altruism, Managing the growth and continuity of an entrepreneurial venture, Inclusive growth, Inclusive business models, Business level strategy, Corporate Strategy
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