MICROFINANCE: AN ALTERNATIVE TOOL FOR ALLEVIATING ROMANY POVERTY IN THE MARGINALIZED REGIONS (Mikrofinancie ako alternativny nastroj na riesenie problemu chudoby romskeho obyvatelstva v marginalizovanych regionoch)
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There is a gap in the microfinance literature on micro savings as a form of microfinance; and their impact on clients, micro enterprises, households, communities, and financial institutions. Microfinance arises as a new tool in developing as well as developed countries. It is widely known since the 1970's and often connected with the name of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Muhammad Yunus. The aim of the paper is to analyze effects of micro savings programs on well-being of poor households participating in micro savings program in Eastern Slovakia. According to the results active and successful clients perceive positive change in level of their household management and they perceive their ability to manage household better than unsuccessful clients. Furthermore, active and successful clients perceive positive subjective change in quality of living and they perceive higher level of overall quality of living than unsuccessful clients. Based on a sample of 112 households from three towns (Ostrovany, Stara Lubovna and Moldava nad Bodvou) subjective perception and objective change in well-being of households are assessed and it is argued that the programs have positive effects on poverty and contribute to poverty alleviation.
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