Backgrounder: Women in microfinance

By Brianna Randall

  • 85% of the world’s poorest microfinance clients are female.
  • Because women spend more of their income on the household, new income generated from micro-lending improves their families’ quality of life.
  • In the past, women with small businesses did not have access to credit as commercial banks focused more on men and large-scale businesses.
  • The biggest problem for small businesswomen is illiteracy and the lack of education in math and accounting.
  • Because studies point to poor women as a main hindrance to economic development, improving the lives of even a few is beneficial to a country.

Sources:“Small Change, Big Changes: Women in Microfinance,” by the International Labour Office, “Microfinance and Women: The Micro-Mystique,” by Heather Clydesdale Kajal Shah

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