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The role of regulations and internationalisation of microfinance institutions: implications for financial inclusion

  • School: Nottingham Business School
  • Starting: 2022 / 2023
  • Funding: UK student / EU student (non-UK) / International student (non-EU) / Self-funded


This doctoral research focuses on insights into regulations and internationalisation of microfinance institutions (MFIs). There has been a notable global trend toward internationalisation in the microfinance sector/industry, a trend that can possibly be attributed to globalisation, commercialisation and emerging regulations. Yet, important questions remain largely unanswered regarding how regulatory institutions and international microfinance institutions interact to help address the grand challenge of access to financial services and inclusion in developing countries. In developing countries there is a paucity of scholarly work into this important aspect of partnership between international MFI and the role played by regulations. Yet, given the microfinance sector's unique role in financial inclusion and the effort towards achieving the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goal regarding access to financial services, exploring this topic would yield valuable insights from actors involved including from regulatory and MFIs perspectives. Recent developments due to the Covid pandemic suggest that access inequalities and global poverty are likely to increase, and eight out of ten new poor will be in the middle-income countries. The research, therefore, should seek to explore among other things, the role played by types of institutions and international MFIs in providing access to financial services and the implications for the people at the bottom of the pyramid. It would be interesting to take a cross-country approach for the purpose of sharing best practices. Using a combination of theories and methods, we invite research proposals that explore research questions regarding how regulations and international MFIs interact in addressing financial exclusion in developing countries.

Application Enquiries:

Entry qualifications

An applicant should normally hold a Master’s degree at distinction or merit level of a UK university or an equivalent qualification. International students will also need to meet the English language requirements - IELTS 6.5 (with minimum sub-scores of 6.0). Applicants who have taken a higher degree at a UK university are normally exempt from the English language requirements.

How to apply

Please visit our how to apply page for a step-by-step guide and make an application.

Application deadline: 15th August for 1st Oct 2022 start date, or 15th Nov for 1st Jan 2023 start date.

Fees and funding

This opportunity is for self-funded PhD students. Applicants are encouraged to apply for external funding and we will support this process if and when required. Find out about fees and funding for PhD projects.

Guidance and support

Find out about guidance and support for PhD students.

Still need help?

Dr. Juliana Siwale