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Permata Wulandari

Abstract

This study attempts to define and categorize the borrowers at the Bottom of Economic Pyramid (BOP) in the context of Indonesia by focusing on the case of an Islamic microfinance institution, namely the Baitul Maal wa Tamwil (BMT). The focus on the BOP borrowers as samples in this study will enrich the literature in microfinance especially Islamic microfinance since majority of the microfinance borrowers at the BOP in Indonesia are Muslims. The appreciative intelligence framework is used to study the BOP peculiarities in the BMT. While the qualitative content analysis is used as the method to highlight the categorization of the data. The findings show that the BOP borrowers at BMT have five unique characteristics which differentiate them from other microfinance borrowers which are low financing requirement, multiple sources of income, incompatibility to banks (feel shy to go to the bank, shabby look, and low financial literacy), prefer daily financing repayment, and attracted by  quick and easy procedures. The identification of these peculiarities of the BMT borrowers would enable the microfinance providers to refine their products and services to better serve their unique clients.

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