Financial Access of Women-Owned Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises in Viet Nam

This study found that only five out of 27 banks surveyed cater to the specific needs of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) owned by women. The paper proposes ways of incentivizing financial institutions to invest in this market segment. These include requiring gender-disaggregated data reporting, boosting knowledge on gender lens investing, improving guarantee schemes, and promoting lending to women-owned SMEs as an active hedge against portfolio deterioration.

More specifically, the paper recommends that financial institutions introduce regular tracking of gender-disaggregated data at portfolio level, design and implement gender lens strategies, and develop products and services better tailored to the needs and preferences of women-owned businesses.

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By Diana Bialus, Le Thanh Tam, Nguyen Thi Thu Hien & Chu Hong Minh