Microfinance banks and small and medium sized enterprises access to finance: the Nigerian experience

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The paper explored the extent to which current microfinance lending impacts on indigenous SME access to finance and how the intermediation services of the microfinance banks (MFBs) contributed to or otherwise to the development of SMEs. A total of 800 such indigenous SMEs were identified, however, data were obtained from 300 of the identified indigenous SMEs from a questionnaire survey in four states (provinces) within the country that make up the Niger Delta region. The result shows positive contribution of microfinance lending to the development of such enterprises. However, it appears that a number of factors including cumbersome process, poorly packaged business plans and perceived high cost of credit still limit the access of indigenous SMEs to credit.

Keywords: microfinance banks, SMEs, entrepreneurship, financial services.
JEL Classification: G21, L26, M13

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