Date of Award

Spring 3-19-2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

Executive Doctorate in Business (EDB)



First Advisor

Dr. Conrad S. Ciccotello

Second Advisor

Dr. Karen D. Loch

Third Advisor

Dr. Felix Rioja


Because microfinance is an essential financial inclusion tool in helping to reduce poverty, it is vital that we understand the factors that help microfinance institutions (MFIs) achieve both their financial and social performance goals. Using an international sample of 2,955 MFIs across 123 countries from 1999 to 2016, my research contributes to this understanding by providing empirical insights into the dynamic relationship between these dual performance goals and the MFI funding source mix. It further offers an empirical test of the popular Microfinance Life Cycle Theory (MLCT) for explaining MFI development, growth, and performance.

My findings show that donation funding is negatively associated with MFI profitability across legal charters and age groups, but, for mature bank MFIs only, it has a positive impact on increasing the breadth and depth of client outreach. I also find that equity and deposits funding are positively related to financial improvement for all MFIs, but they have mixed impacts on the social goals of various MFI legal charters.

The insights from my research are an essential contribution to the conversation on MFI performance in the extant literature. My study also offers useful and detailed performance-funding metrics based on MFI legal structure and age to inform and enhance decision-making among managers, funders, and policymakers.