Inclusive Business, Microfinance, and Social Entrepreneurship: The Case of the Farmers Integrated Development Assistance (FIDA) Program in Western Visayas


by: Frediezel G. De Leon, Fredelino A. Galleto, Jr., Christine Mae D. Hernando


Microfinance rooted in the concept and practice of inclusive business (IB) has gained global recognition as one of the financial interceders fostering poverty alleviation and development. This paper presents the findings of a study that examined the delivery of IB programs of microfinance institutions (MFIs), which feature the inclusion of low-income communities in the market value chain. Focusing on the Farmer Integrated Development Assistance (FIDA), a microfinance program offering credit assistance to poor and marginalized farmers, the study assessed the conventions of IB as applied by the MFIs in assisting farmers’ associations; microfinance operations; and social entrepreneurship. A qualitative research design was used, and primary data was generated through key informant interviews with the farmer-beneficiaries of the FIDA. Study findings reveal the features of FIDA’s IB program, the extension of various microfinance interventions to farmer-beneficiaries, and challenges and success factors in microfinance delivery. The FIDA program’s success was mainly attributed to the MFIs’ ardent commitment to their mission of providing opportunities for inclusive business growth for the low-income farming communities. Results also show how social entrepreneurship was concretized in terms of improvements in farming skills and market linkages as well as increases in the level of productivity and income of farmer-beneficiaries. The study recommends a governance posture, i.e., collaborations between government and other societal organizations in the delivery of IB programs to target beneficiaries.

Keywords:Social entrepreneurship, Social Integration, Inclusive Business, Microfinance