After lending small sums of money to poor people in Bangladesh in the 1970s, economics professor Muhammad Yunus was onto a new way to finance the poor and fight poverty: through microfinance. Since then, many approaches have been taken to lend to those in poverty, help them save money, and help them start businesses. Microfinance organizations provide loans, business advisory services, marketing help, insurance, and more. Business development services especially complement loan assistance because they provide nonfinancial help essential to running a business, such as accounting skills, product development, supply chain management, and more. In 2017, I traveled to San Pablo City, Laguna, Philippines to research at the Center for Agriculture and Rural Development (CARD), a global leader in microfinance. With funding from a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF), I studied at one of CARD’s institutions, the Business Development Service Foundation, Inc. (BDSFI), to research financially sustainable business models for providing high-quality business development services to microentrepreneurs. After reviewing literature in the field and interviewing clients, I found that a market facilitation model that incorporates fees or a percentage of sales would be the most feasible model. This validated BDSFI’s existing practices and affirmed that they could charge clients for business development services. I also presented the organization with several other models as options.

Publication Date

Spring 4-1-2018


UNH Undergraduate Research Journal

Journal Title

Inquiry Journal


Michael Swack, Evelyn Teodora M. Narvaez


Durham, NH: Hamel Center for Undergraduate Research, University of New Hampshire

Document Type