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Reading: The Exclusion of Afro-Guyanese Hucksters in Micro-Banking

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The Exclusion of Afro-Guyanese Hucksters in Micro-Banking

Author:

Caroline Shenaz Hossein

York University, CA
About Caroline
Caroline Shenaz Hossein <chossein@yorku.ca> is Assistant Professor of Business and Society at York University in Toronto. Her work has appeared in the International Journal of Emerging Markets and Critical Half Journal, and her most recent articles ‘Haiti’s Caisses Populaires: Home-grown Solutions to bring Economic Democracy’, International Journal of Social Economy, Vol. 1:41, January 2014, pp. 42-59; and ‘The Black Social Economy: Perseverance of Banker Ladies in the Slums’, Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, December 2013, pp. 423-44, discuss issues of exclusion. In addition, she has 15 years of experience in financial programmes to the poor in a number of countries.
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Abstract

At the 1997 Microcredit Summit in Washington DC, the primary goal of microfinance agreed to was that it was a tool to upset conventional banking and to make financial services inclusive; yet this is not the case for microfinance in Guyana. Educated Indo-Guyanese lenders admitted to their own personal biases against Afro-Guyanese as clients without remorse in this case study of 93 people. I argue in this paper that micro-banking managers and staff hold onto historically-rooted prejudices which interfere with the allocation of loans. Race is seemingly the issue that divides the populace; however, I found issues of racial, class and gender bias intertwined in the lending process that deny poor Afro-Guyanese women loans. Personal bias can affect the management of economic development pro-grammes for the poor and it should not be assumed that microfinance helps everyone.

Resumen: La exclusión de los ‘hucksters’ afroguyaneses en la microbanca

En la Cumbre de Microcrédito celebrada en Washington DC en 1997, se acordó que el objetivo principal de las microfinanzas era servir como herramienta para desbaratar la banca convencional y hacer inclusivos los servicios financieros; sin embargo, éste no es el caso de las microfinanzas en Guyana. Prestamistas indoguyaneses con una buena formación se deja-ron llevar sin reparos por sus propios prejuicios personales contra los afroguyaneses como clientes en este estudio de caso de 93 personas. En este documento sostengo que los directores y el personal de la microbanca se aferran a prejuicios enraizados históricamente que interfieren en la concesión de préstamos. Aparentemente la raza es la cuestión que divide al pueblo; sin embargo, identifiqué prejuicios raciales, de clase y de género entrelazados en el proceso crediticio por los que se deniegan préstamos a mujeres afroguyanesas pobres. Los prejuicios personales pueden afectar a la gestión de los programas de desarrollo económico para los pobres y no se debe asumir que las microfinanzas ayudan a todo el mundo.

DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/erlacs.9468
How to Cite: Hossein, C. S. (2014). The Exclusion of Afro-Guyanese Hucksters in Micro-Banking. ERLACS, (96), 75–98. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/erlacs.9468
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Published on 27 Mar 2014.
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