Paper

New Zealand Women & Microfinance

Reviewing women's access to microfinance in New Zealand
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This review, commissioned by the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, examines whether microfinance is reaching women in New Zealand.

Although New Zealand has a policy framework for the delivery of microfinance to women, there is very little actual provision, in terms of program and institutional infrastructure. Study findings indicate that there is a gap in knowledge about the inferred needs of women. While there are a number of agencies that provide microfinance to women, their necessity, efficiency and effectiveness have not been evaluated.

The review recommends that further work should start with a forum that harnesses the commitment and knowledge of those who are already working in the field. This group could provide advice on the development of a project that should attempt to:

  • Gain the views of women who want to go into business and those that are already self-employed;
  • Gain the views of stakeholders in the field;
  • Link with current research and delivery initiatives being undertaken by government agencies;
  • Identify financial needs of different groups of women who are potential users of microfinance.