Women entrepreneurs represent a largely untapped market for financial institutions in developing countries. Their enterprises generate billions of dollars of income each year. Removing formal and informal barriers can help many highly capable women and good businesses access commercial loans to facilitate their growth.
Helping Financial Institutions Serve Women
For nearly a decade, IFC has been researching how the financial sector can address this problem. We have asked women around the world why they are not applying for bank loans, or why they have been turned down. We have looked closely at traditional banking requirements and asked ourselves why things could not be done differently. Finally, we have worked with financial intermediaries—our clients—to successfully develop, test, and replicate profitable, commercial banking solutions that cater to women’s needs.
Our goal: a win-win solution for banks, for women, and for private sector development.
Analyses, Credit Lines, Capacity Building
Today, IFC offers targeted credit lines to financial institutions for on-lending to women entrepreneurs through our Banking on Women program. We provide market analyses to help banks understand the scope and nature of the women’s SME market in their countries. We also offer capacity building services, product development, and repositioning advice to help them get started.
To further promote women’s banking and help spread best practices, IFC is a lead sponsor of the Global Banking Alliance for Women. Founded in 2000, GBA is a membership organization of institutions committed to the growth of women in business and women’s wealth creation worldwide.