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Microfinance in Iran: a Case Study of the Rural Microfinance Support Project

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Microfinance programs in Iran began to be implemented at the end of the 1990s thanks to both the local government and international organizations’ efforts to eradicate poverty. Today microfinance is a growing sector in the country and has been officially recognized by the Iranian government, which included its development as one of the main points of the last Five Year Development Plan. A number of efficient microfinance programs are active in Iran among which the Rural Microfinance Support Project, promoted by the Iranian Agricultural Bank and IFAD, stands out. The following study is an attempt to identify the impact of this program on women empowerment and poverty reduction through a research conducted on a sample of one hundred women clients of the program in the province of Šabestar, East Azerbaijan.

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