Role of Financial Innovation in Enhancing MSMES Access to Credit: An Empirical Investigation on Tanzania

Wilfred E. Mbowe, Fredrick R. Shirima, Deogratius Kimolo


This study assesses the extent to which financial innovations contribute to improving micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) access to credit in Tanzania. Information was collected through interviews using a structured questionnaire administered on a sample of 318 respondents. Probit estimates were used for robustness check of the factors that influence MSMEs borrowing behavior.

The findings indicate that factors, which influence MSMEs to borrow money through innovative channels, comprise the need for meeting business start-up, operational and expansion costs. Other factors are in respect of ease of access; convenience; short loan process; and a relatively high degree of control of the loan process by the borrower. In contrast to progress made in improving access to financial services by MSMEs, loan access by individuals or businesses through innovative platforms is still low. Only 28.8 percent acknowledged having received loans through innovative platforms, and coefficient on innovation variable was found to be statistically insignificant. Explaining this anomaly include unfavorable terms of loans; high lending rates, inadequate knowledge; small-size loans; and short repayment period. Meanwhile, loan process time, loan size, loan access (distance) have a higher probability of increasing loan access by MSMEs.

Therefore, there is a need to intensify measures towards enhancing MSMEs access to credit, taking advantage of available innovative platform channels. Increasing efforts towards reducing credit risk will help to lower the lending rates, while moral suasion measures by financial regulators together with borrowers’ traceable business-record can as well entice loan providers to offer loans of larger size and longer maturity. Meanwhile, capacity building is imperative in enabling MSMEs to acquire requisite business management skills and inculcate record-keeping culture. Equally crucial is enhancing measures towards maintaining the country’s macro-economic stability with a view to boosting demand for credit and improving MSMEs’ loan repayment capabilities.

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Applied Economics and Finance    ISSN 2332-7294 (Print)   ISSN 2332-7308 (Online)

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