Date of Award


Document Type



Business Administration

First Advisor

Jacen Greene & Brenda Eichelberger


Microfinance -- Vietnam, Poor -- Government policy -- Vietnam, Vietnam -- Economic conditions -- 21st century




The microfinance industry has evolved from its earliest roots as a social movement to a multifaceted financial services industry for the poor. The aim of this research is to add to the existing literature by exploring the poverty reduction approach and financial systems approach to microfinance and its implications on poor rural households in Vietnam. It does this through analyzing three main areas: (i) a comprehensive assessment of microfinance in Vietnam; (ii) analyzing the advantages and disadvantages of the poverty reduction and financial system approaches; and (iii) evaluating the impact of access to credit on household poverty reduction in rural Vietnam.

It is demonstrated that a wider range of supporting services such as improvements in physical infrastructure, healthcare, education and skill training is necessary to help the poorest out of poverty. The future of microfinance in Vietnam is shifting from subsidized microcredit through large organizations and state development banks to a market-based provision of credit through independent NGOs. This research finds that the market systems approach may increase financial burdens for poor rural households in Vietnam. Pushing back against the commercialization of microfinance is “responsible finance.” The global financial crisis in 2008 emphasized the importance of accountability, security, and transparency in financial services. Innovative technologies may help reduce the risk of increasing financial burdens on clients while scaling social impact.


An undergraduate honors thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Bachelor of Arts in University Honors and Accounting and Finance .

Persistent Identifier