Course Title: Microenterprise and Development

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Microenterprise and Development

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


330H Social Science & Planning

Distance / Correspondence or Face-to-Face

Sem 2 2006


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies

Distance / Correspondence or Face-to-Face

Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2008


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies

Face-to-Face or Internet

Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 2 2011,
Sem 1 2013,
Sem 1 2014

Course Coordinator: Rena ichii

Course Coordinator Phone: +(61 3) 9925 0416

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 37.5.43

Course Coordinator Availability: By Appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

In recent decades microfinance – the provision of small-scale financial services to lower-income households in developing countries – has become a major development strategy, attracting substantial donor support. More recently, social and micro enterprise strategies have also gained significant traction.

  This course introduces the principles and practices of these approaches and examines key contemporary issues and debates. Topics covered include models and methodologies, targeting and outreach, impacts on poverty and the ‘empowerment’ of women, and the social and micro enterprise sectors in developing countries. Also examined is the controversial possibility of a trade-off between ensuring that these programs are financially sustainable while maintaining a focus on the poorest clients.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course will guide you in the development of: 

1. an understanding of key issues and debates in microfinance, social and microenterprise;    2. an understanding of the utility and limitations of these approaches in addressing poverty;    3. an understanding of the impacts of these approaches on well-being, especially for women;    4. Use reflective techniques to improve future practice in microfinance, social and micro enterprise    5. Communicate or pitch a project proposal to key stakeholders to gain support for adoption and implementation.

This course contributes to development of the following Program Learning Outcomes:   • critically reflect on socio-cultural diversity and values, world systems and the benefits of local and global development practices for communities engaged in development processes • critically reflect on the causes and impacts of poverty in global contexts and to evaluate the theories and practice of development institutions • determine and apply the specialist knowledge and technical skills required to creatively solve problems, demonstrating expert judgment and ethical responsibility in your professional practice in international development • critically analyse, synthesize and reflect on personal awareness and lived experience, theories and practices of development, both local and international, to extend and challenge knowledge and practice in the discipline • professionally communicate propositions, processes and outcomes relating to international development to address specialist and non-specialist audiences • provide leadership within your discipline as well as collaborate with others


Overview of Learning Activities

Primary learning activities include workshops; industry speakers; small group activities and discussion; integrated online learning activities; required and extended readings; analysis of cases; and assessment tasks.

Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems. A list of recommended learning resources will be provided, including books, journal articles and web resources. An introductory overview of key literature, concepts and processes/methods relevant to international development projects and working with industry will be available. You will also be expected to seek further resources relevant to the focus of your own learning.   The University Library has extensive resources for development studies students. The Library has produced a number of subject guides that includes quality online and print resources for your studies.   The Library provides guides on academic referencing and subject specialist help via your Liaison Librarians.


Overview of Assessment

Assessment will cover both theoretical and practical aspects of your learning. You will be able to develop your work in relation to your own specific areas of interest in your professional practice.   You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes and on your demonstration of the achievement of the program learning outcomes based on the following tasks:

Task 1: Critical reflection on one of the course learning activities (800 words) (30%) - CLO 1,2,3,4

Task 2: Communication and engagement task (20%)
  • Oral presentation for face-to-face students (20%) - CLO 1,2,3,4,5
  • Online activities for online students  (20 % ) - CLO 1,2,3,4,5
Task 3: Case study report on a either microfinance or micro-enterprise project in a developing country (2500 words) (50 %) - CLO 1,2,3,5   Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks.   If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or the Disability Liaison Unit if you would like to find out more.   A student charter summarises your responsibilities as an RMIT student as well as those of your teachers.   Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions which are available for review online: