In this paper we address the impact, viability, and efficacy of microfinance on pulperías (in-home convenience stores), a sector that comprises up to one-third of the microfinance loan market in Central America, in a single research locale. Numerous and extensive in-person surveying (N=279) provides a rich dataset. The results suggest that puplerías that receive no microfinance support (or outside support of any kind) perform better with regards to income and are not statistically different from their MFI-supported counterparts with regards to household wellbeing. Perhaps the greatest achievement of microfinance for the pulperías in our study is the movement away from itinerant and unstable unskilled wage earnings to a more stable and higher end income stream connected with pulpería ownership.
- Latin america