The microfinance industry provides financial services to small entrepreneurs, small business owners and other people who lack access to the traditional banking system and to its related services. Even today, a huge proportion of the adults around the world do not have such access. Barriers to women are particularly large. While 47 % of men around the world claimed having access to formal financial services, for women the figure is only 37%. Facts from the World Bank Report shows that women more often than men use other’s account to perform transactions. This lack of account ownership eventually discourages women to participate in self-employment opportunities. Having no access to the traditional banking services, women have to rely on informal ways to accumulate savings, expand business, smoothen consumption in case of income fluctuations or insure against emergencies.
Micro credit is considered the strongest element to support the development strategy to alleviate poverty worldwide. Providing small loans to empower women is central to this strategy as they are often excluded from the traditional financial markets and economic opportunities. Women having much greater access to microfinance contributes to the eradication of poverty, to the financial security of their household and women entrepreneurship. Today, women are involved in micro, small and medium scale enterprises (MSMEs) and hence engaging in several forms of trade in almost different parts of the country. This therefore increases the well-being of the women and their families, and women’s social and political empowerment, which will contribute to the achievement of gender equality.
As per the information obtained from the Mix Market Microfinance Institution, the African continent has developed one of the fastest growing MFIS. According to research done, it has been claimed that microfinance institutions allow individuals and small enterprises to contribute to and benefit from economic development in a variety of ways. For instance, the Women’s Microfinance Initiative (WMI) has created a village- lending model which provides reliable financial services to women in East Africa. This WMI loan program provides women the opportunity to build a business which will therefore help them generate income. This will eventually improve their household living standards and this initiative achieved impressive results such as:
- Increase of 100-400% in incomes in the first 6 months
- Savings increased by 500%
- Women prioritised spending their income on food, education and health care
- 88 % of women in malarial areas buy more mosquito nets and
- 75 % of women reported improving their reading, writing and arithmetic skills
This initiative has proved to be a success story for Africa as microfinance has reached the targeted community and also improved the overall economy.
The microfinance community is currently undergoing a profound evolution. This revolution has transformed access to financial services for low income populations globally. Hence, becoming one of the most talked- about innovations in global development in the recent decades.
Partnering with NanoBNK
NanoBNK partners with MFIs on the journey to Financial Inclusion by providing Micro Finance Solutions. Our business model is unique whereby we take care of the Technology, On-boarding and Engagement of the financially excluded and the local partner assists with regulatory issues, capital provision and marketing.