Individual Lending for Low-Income Women Entrepreneurs: An Inclusive Approach

A how-to framework for developing products for women in emerging markets

Even though more and more financial institutions are serving the low-income market since the introduction of microcredit in 1970, a significant credit gap remains for one particular group in this segment: entrepreneurs. The inability to access much-needed capital is a barrier for microentrepreneurs seeking to grow their business and further contribute to the economic well-being of their household and community. Women entrepreneurs in particular are less likely to be served than men: 46 to 56 percent of all women-owned MSMEs in developing economies are unserved or underserved by formal financial services.

This guide focuses on microentrepreneurs and documents Women’s World Banking’s framework for developing individual lending products for women, outlining specific aspects of the methodology that are necessary to reach the low-income women’s market.

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