Microfinance: From The Lens of Urban Slum Dwellers in Bangladesh
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The purpose of this research is to examine the effect of microfinance on the living standards of the slum dwellers from three major slum areas in the capital of Bangladesh, Dhaka. The data intended for this study was gathered by conducting surveys through structured questionnaires and interviews of a sample of 100 slum-dwellers - with the sample divided into two groups: borrowers and non-borrowers. The data was collected in the beginning of the research period, i.e. November 2020, and at the end of the research period, i.e. February 2021. Data visualizations were created to manage, present, and analyze the data for the purpose of this study. It was found that microfinance does have an impact on their living standards with borrowers of the loans from Microfinance Institutions experiencing big changes to their lives, such as starting a business, buying a boat, etc. They also experienced an average increase in their monthly earnings compared to non-borrowers. Moreover, this paper identified gaps in the system that leads to hardships in the lives of the slum-dwellers, such as lack of utilities, lack of education, mistreatment of women, etc. This paper has recommended policies and strategies for the government and development workers to work on.