SME Finance Policies for MSMEs Owned by Women and Women Entrepreneurs
The Alliance for Financial Inclusion – AFI recently released a survey report on “SME Finance Policies for MSMEs Owned by Women and Women Entrepreneurs” whose original and primary aim was to check if member institutions that finance SMEs have put policies facilitating access to finance for MSMEs owned by women and women entrepreneurs at the top of their agenda.
The analysis shows that only a few countries included access to finance for women within their national strategies. Among the most important challenges, the survey reports a lack of definition of what “MSMEs owned by women” and “women entrepreneurs” are. Data collected was also scarce with regard to access and usage of financial services. Survey respondents did not manage to provide answers when asked what financial products were used by MSMEs owned by women and women entrepreneurs in their country. The publication also points out that most member countries reported that women’s employment is mostly concentrated in the informal sector.
In conclusion, given the scarcity or non-existence of data available and the numerous challenges faced by women entrepreneurs identified, the report stresses this represents evidence that further research is needed in order to enable countries to make access to finance for women entrepreneurs a top priority in their agenda. Nevertheless when assessing best practices in the field of SME finance policies, the report suggests to monitor the work done by four countries, namely Bangladesh, Costa Rica, Indonesia and Tajikistan.
The Alliance for Financial Inclusion – AFI