Prema Basargekar*
*K. J. Somaiya Institute of Management Studies & Research, Vidyanagar, Vidyavihar,
Mumbai – 400 077, Maharashtra, India

Stimulating entrepreneurship among women especially from lower socio-economic strata is seen as an effective tool to alleviate poverty, reduce gender bias and empower them by many micro finance institutions. This paper tries to find the relationship between micro-entrepreneurship and economic empowerment of women by looking into actual utilization of loan taken by SHG members through microfinance programme. The study is based on primary data analysis of 217 SHG members of the microfinance programme launched by Forbes Marshall Company in India. Based on Kabeer’s analogy of empowerment i.e resources, agency and outcomes, certain parameters of economic empowerment were selected to judge the level of economic empowerment of SHG members. The study involves the comparative analysis of empowerment of SHG members, who were classified into micro entrepreneurs and non entrepreneurs to check the hypothesis whether productive loans are more empowering than non productive loans.

Keywords: Economic Empowerment, Microfinance, Loan Utilization.