Combining social and financial performance: A paradox?

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Abstract:

This paper makes the case that when microfinance institutions exhibit strong financial performance, particularly if there is a well-planned social performance strategy in place, the results for social performance are also better. Studies have suggested this in the past but their conclusions were based on incomplete data. This analysis draws on 2006–2011 data taken from 344 evaluations of 295 MFIs in 51 countries that have a total outreach of more than 12 million borrowers. The conclusion is that the double bottom line is no 'mission impossible' but can be achieved when trade-offs and synergies are combined cleverly, following a well-planned social performance management strategy.

Keywords: FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE; MICROFINANCE; SOCIAL PERFORMANCE

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3362/1755-1986.2012.024

Publication date: September 1, 2012

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