Effect of Access to Credit and Financial Services on Poverty Reduction in Central Region of Ghana
Ampah, Samuel Nathaniel
Jagongo, A. O.
Omagwa, Job O.
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The study sought to determine the effect of access to credit and financial services on poverty reduction in Central Region of Ghana from the perspectives of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME’s). Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises contribute significantly to the economic growth and poverty reduction strategies of most countries. The importance of the MSME’s have long been recognized in many countries across the globe. However, lack of access to credit and financial services has been identified by several studies as the main obstacle to MSME’s growth and the reduction of poverty in Ghana. The Specific objective of this study was to establish the effect of access to credit and financial services on poverty reduction. One hypothesis was formulated to cover the specific objective and operationalized into four sub-hypotheses to cover the various indicators of poverty (growth in income, increase in consumption expenditure, acquisition of business assets and ability to educate children). Using cluster sampling techniques, this cross sectional study sampled 370 entrepreneurs of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises. Questionnaire was used as the data collection instrument in an exercise that took place in November and December 2016. SPSS was used to perform cross tabulations and multiple regression analysis. The study found that access to credit and financial services had a fairly weak positive effect on growth in income, increase in consumption expenditure and acquisition of business assets. The study however found access to credit and financial services to have a significant effect on ability to educate children as poverty indicators. Consequently, the study rejected the null hypotheses in question. In view of the findings, the study makes conclusions and recommendations for further studies besides highlighting limitations.