Nurhasanah Morsid and Rose Abdullah (Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali Brunei Darusssalam)
This research aims to analyze the effectiveness of islamic microfinance in helping the poor in Brunei Darussalam. Based on a qualitative method, this study selected one islamic Microfinance institution, which is the department of community development (JAPEM) as its case study. Two types of respondents were interviewed; one JAPEM officer and 15 microfinance participants of JAPEM’s Perkasa Programme. And in-depth interview was conducted to find out whether or not the programme could help lessen the poverty among the participants. The level of effective in terms of increasing the clients’ income, repayment rate and growth of the client’s business. The factors that comtribute to the client’s business performance beside the internal factors such as commitment include the size of the loan amount provided and support from the instituiton. JAPEM lacks in its outreach and sustainability aspects as they only get target the economically active poor in one out of four districts, i.e. Brunei–Muara and only managed to get one full - repaid loan out of 15 clients. This research recommends hands-on-training to the client as well as training for the staff in order to improve the effectiveness of the programme. Group lending is also suggested as a new approach in order to boost the motivation of the client.