Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


International Affairs

First Advisor

Pushkala Prasad


Microfinance seeks to address the systemic global wealth inequalities that result from financial exclusion. Over the most recent decades, the constitution of the microfinance industry has shifted from primarily non-profit institutions to commercially funded, for-profit institutions. Although poverty alleviation impact assessments have been both inconclusive and conflicting, microfinance has continued to proliferate at a rapid rate, receiving enthusiastic accolades from the global development community. This anomaly is explored through an examination of the neoliberal paradigms that microfinance serves to reinforce. Though microfinance has maintained a progressive reputation, in practice it has proven to be a poverty alleviation tactic that fortifies the neoliberal status quo and the existing global economic order.