Honors Theses and Capstones

Date of Award

Spring 2018

Project Type

Senior Honors Thesis

College or School




Program or Major

Economics and Mathematics

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

First Advisor

Michael Swack


The study measures an impact of microfinance on women’s empowerment with a case study on TYM Funds, a Vietnamese microfinance program initiated by Vietnam’s Women Union. The purpose of the study is to examine whether microfinance participants are more empowered than non-members, and whether membership duration enhances the degree of empowerment among the clients. The author constructs the empowerment indices based on three subdimensions: Economic Security, Household Major Decision, and Community Involvement. The empirical data is built on TYM Funds’ impact assessment survey, which was conducted on 544 women including in-training clients, new clients and mature clients. A logistic regression model is used to analyze the data. It is found that microfinance members are overall significantly more empowered than non-members in every dimension, but there is little evidence to corroborate the monotonous relationship between membership duration and the degree of empowerment among the mature clients. Also, it is found that higher score in the empowerment indices is partially influenced by the number of household members who earn regular income, and married women appear to be less likely to be empowered than non-married borrowers in every dimension.