Does providing women access to finance play an effective enough role in empowering women politically or is there another way forward?
In 2018, FIF launched a diversity and inclusion (DI) strategy outlining 5 key pillars of focus for the company. These pillars emphasize an inclusive workplace, equal representation, equal opportunity, equal pay and increased outreach to women through specially-designed products and services.
FINCA Impact Finance (FIF) subsidiaries are demonstrating that serving women can be a sound business strategy based on high-quality loans, lower costs and opportunities for sustainable growth. Recent innovations in products and service-delivery are building on FIF’s legacy of women-centered finance. Women have proven that they are responsible borrowers, diligent businesspeople and loyal customers.
On the latest episode of the financial podcast “Women Rocking Wall Street”, FINCA Impact Finance President & CEO Andree Simon had the chance to discuss the firm’s new women-centered ventures
FINCA Afghanistan’s women-only bank branch is featured as a business case in a brief developed by the Arab Women’s Enterprise Fund (AWEF) for their AWEF Learning Series in partnership with The SEEP Network.
FINCA Kosovo developed the Loan for Women Entrepreneurs in Business and Agribusiness specifically to help women grow and scale businesses. Since launching more than a year ago, the business loans for women have made positive social and commercial impacts, making the case for why financial institutions should emphasize outreach to women clients.
In a recent interview with FinTekNews, FINCA Impact Finance President & CEO Andrée Simon discusses the unique challenges and opportunities facing women in the finance and fintech industries.
Despite increased financial access overall, the gender gap hasn’t changed much since 2014. And while fintech has potential to empower women, fintech and financial inclusion for women don’t necessarily go hand-in-hand. In a recent op-ed, Caren Robb discusses ways that financial institutions can promote gender-equitable financial inclusion and close the gender gap.
“Afghanistan is home to more than 17 million women”, pointed out Zar Wardak, FIF’s regional director for the Middle East & South Asia and chair of its Diversity & Inclusion Management Team. “Shutting women out of the financial system is both an injustice and a huge missed opportunity. The women-only branch is helping unlock that potential by providing responsible finance.”
Discussion of how fintech and financial inclusion can close the gender gap took center stage at FINCA Impact Finance’s 2019 International Women’s Day event, Can the Future Still Be Female? A Discussion on Fintech and Gender Balance. Panelists included Rosita Najmi of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Dr. Sonja Kelly of the US State Department, Bhavana Srivastava of MicroSave Consulting and Elissa McCarter Laborde of the Vitas Group.
FINCA provides business loans for women entrepreneurs along with other gender-sensitive finance services to help close the gender gap in financial access. In 2018, the company opened a women-only bank branch in Afghanistan and launched a new loan for women entrepreneurs in Kosovo.