The Role of Islamic Microfinance in Poverty Alleviation: Evidence from Pakistan
Keywords:Awareness, Entrepreneurship, Islamic microfinance, Pakistan, Poverty alleviation
This study aims to develop and propose an Islamic microfinance model that can be used for poverty alleviation in Pakistan. Other than investigating poverty, other interrelated aspects were also considered in which entrepreneurship, conventional microfinance, and Islamic finance were included. Moreover, by moving beyond and further exploring, this research presents various uses of Islamic microfinance to reduce poverty. A set of primary data was collected through interviews to carry out this research. Initial findings of the study unveil that poverty exists concerning common perceptions such as lack of necessities, unemployment, poor health, and insufficient financial resources. However, child selling, unethical ways of earning such as begging, robbery, and incompetency of the skilled person were the findings representing poverty from totally different perspectives. Moreover, the studied results also reveal that few respondents were aware of the concept and use of conventional microfinance. Still, at the same time, all the respondents represented the forbiddance of interest. Findings also represent the unawareness about Islamic microfinance's concepts, practice, and importance. This research is helpful as it presents the idea and the use of Islamic microfinance for the impoverished people of Pakistan and how it can be a beneficial alternative for reducing poverty. Moreover, it also seeks the attention from the financial institutions in the Country that how the beliefs and expectations of poor people are important in reducing their poverty. The significance of this study broadens the scope of the neglected concept of Islamic finance generally and Islamic microfinance particularly.
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