Paper

Institutional Environment and Access to Microfinance by Self-employed Women in the Rural Areas of Edo State

Improving access to financial services for women
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This brief provides an overview of the institutional environment of microfinance in Nigeria. Poor women in rural Nigeria have limited access to financial services and increasingly, private sector-led MFIs are stepping in to filling this gap. The study uses focus group discussions, interviews and case studies of self-employed women in Edo State, Nigeria to reveal that rural women:

  • Favor traditional informal MFIs that still exist side by side with formal MFIs;
  • Find it difficult to borrow from banks because they do not have bank accounts and collateral, and do not know the procedures for accessing bank loans;
  • Are increasingly accessing formal MFIs;
  • Report positive impact of microcredit on businesses and family life.

The study makes recommendations to increase rural womens access to financial services in Nigeria. They include:

  • Savings-based or asset-based collateral should be explored to help rural women access bank loans;
  • Banks should educate rural women on procedures for opening accounts;
  • More microfinance banks must be established in Local Government Areas in order to reach rural dwellers;
  • Commercial banks with microfinance departments must develop products that target rural self-employed women.

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About this Publication

By Okojie, C., Monye-Emina, A., Eghafona, K., Osaghae, G. , Ehiakhamen, J.
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