In every country we work, when women business owners gain access to finance, their lives improve. Their businesses grow, they gain confidence in their decision making, their skillsets, and their ability to negotiate fair business deals. As a result, they can provide for their families, save more money, invest more in their businesses, and create employment opportunities for other people in their communities. With the right support, women can thrive in business and whole communities prosper.
But women around the world face many barriers to accessing capital for their businesses. Sometimes it’s lower financial literacy, not being able to access technology or own accounts. Other times, it’s gender biases from lenders and banks, unreasonable collateral requirements, or social and gender norms that stand in their way. When women business owners can’t access financial supports, they can’t fuel their businesses for growth or gain access to the formal economy. Most importantly, they can’t lift themselves or their families out of poverty without it.
Entrepreneurs like Rose.
Rose started her business, Smart Logistics, in 2009. After years of working as a group supply chain and logistics manager at a brewery, she decided to take a chance and follow her dream of starting a logistics company that could provide a reliable supply chain for smallholder farmers.
She didn’t start with much— just a plan, her car, and a small amount of savings. Like many small businesses, she ran into cash problems. Rose initially needed to convince the farmers to provide her with their crops on credit – a big risk for farmers who depend on their harvests for survival.
An important opportunity came when she partnered with MEDA’s M-SAWA project where she was able to access a matching grant for her company. With the right financial supports in place, Rose’s business took off.
“With MEDA, we’ve actually been able to get more than 3,000 farmers to supply us. The farmers are very happy because they know where they are taking their products. MEDA’s support helps financiers to believe in the company,” Rose said.
You can make a difference for women around the globe with a gift today. Your gift links women small-scale farmers and women-led business owners with access to the financial services they need to thrive in business, such as savings groups, microfinance services, and Small and Medium Enterprise banking. Your support helps us work with local banks and other microfinance institutions to provide women with tailored services for their business needs, including loans and investment capital.