Credit and Social Capital: The Community Development Potential of U.S. Microenterprise Programs

  • L. J. Servon (1998). Housing Policy Debate, 115-149
  • Abstract: This article looks at the community-building activities of microenterprise programs. These programs build community primarily by creating networks that build social capital. Microenterprise programs build two types of networks - networks within programs that typically involve borrowers and networks between programs and other institutions. The article examines (1) the ways in which microenterprise programs motivate the creation of both types of networks; (2) the extent to which these networks are embedded within program structures; and (3) the process by which network formation leads to the accumulation of social capital. The networks of relationships that Women's Initiative and Working Capital have catalyzed, both within and between programs, build social capital in important ways. The trust building that intraprogram relationships accomplish and the alteration of norms that interprogram relationships accomplish motivate the creation of networks that build social capital. These changes are not sufficient to turn poor communities around, but they are important first steps.
  • Theme: Community, Networks/Collaboration, Social Capital
  • Keywords: Community, Credit, Development/revitalization
  • Reference type: Journal Article
  • Geographic location: United States, North America, Global North
  • Quality:
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