Case Study

Women and Men in Rural Microfinance: The Case of Uganda

How can microfinance institutions extend sustainable services to women?

Paper states that expansion of sustainable financial services to women is best achieved in not through women-only programs, but by a broad range of financial institutions with unbiased services to both women and men, the poor and the near-poor.

Using Uganda as a case study, the paper examines the impact of NGO-support to microfinance institutions (MFIs) in the expansion of financial services to women and men, delving into the comparative advantages that might be maximized through NGOs and banks linkages. The paper explores:

  • Rise of rural microfinance in Uganda;
  • Client and institutional perspectives in Centenary Rural Development Bank's agricultural finance for men and women;
  • How differential customer information on women and men might lead to differential strategies;
  • Opportunities for donor support;
  • Issues in best practices, opportunities available for diversified rural business and the financing of existing activities, and main bottlenecks in the expansion of MFIs.

It concludes that Centenary Rural Development Bank and some MFIs, voluntary savings and individual lending to enterprising men and women have fostered sustainable farm and non-farm business growth beyond the poverty line, creating at the same time employment opportunities for the very poor.

About this Publication

By Seibel, H.D. , Almeyda, G.