- Financial Inclusion: Empowering by Enhancing Access to Finance
1. The current study addresses the role of financing constraints as the predominant impediment to private enterprise development and the nature and terms of informal credit arrangements as an alternative source of finance in the context of developing and low income countries. It does so by focusing on the Handloom sector consisting mostly of MSMEs, in two regions, West Bengal (India) and Burundi offering two very different environments in terms of socio-economic and political backdrop. Apart from being a significant MSME, handloom enterprises constitutes a very significant cottage industry based on a traditional and indigenous skill providing low cost green livelihood opportunities for a lakhs of families, supplementing incomes in seasons of agrarian distress, checking migration and preserving traditional economic relationships and cultural diversity. Being primarily a rural industry and with over half of adult workers being female the handloom sector constitutes the economic life line of two vulnerable segments of society.