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Beyond Access: Gender Transformative Financial Inclusion in Agriculture and Entrepreneurship

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by Jemimah Njuki, Martha Melesse, Amono Ng’weno, Anne Rappoldt, Comfort Phelane, Jesse d’Anjou, Michelle Hassan, Richard Keltey, Saskia Vossenberg

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Beyond Access: Gender Transformative Financial Inclusion in Agriculture and Entrepreneurship

  1. 1. Beyond Access: Gender Transformative Financial Inclusion in Agriculture and Entrepreneurship Jemimah Njuki1, Martha Melesse1, Amono Ng’weno2, Anne Rappoldt3, Comfort Phelane4, Jesse d’Anjou3, Michelle Hassan2, Richard Keltey4, Saskia Vossenberg3 1International Development Research Centre 2Bankable Frontier Associates 3Royal Tropical Institute of the Netherlands 4Genesis Analytics
  2. 2. What is financial inclusion? • Everyone has access to and use of affordable financial products and services that meet their needs—savings, credit, insurance, transactions, or any combination of these services • Women’s financial inclusion important for agriculture and enterprises, but limited by constraints of time, legal rights, human capacity, security concerns, lack of money • This chapter: focuses on financial inclusion for women as entrepreneurs in agriculture and small and medium enterprises in Africa
  3. 3. Although ownership of a formal account is increasing, a gender gap remains 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 Women Men All Trends in ownership of a formal account by men and women in Africa, south of the Sahara 2011 2014 2018 Source: World Bank Findex data
  4. 4. There is a lot of variation across countries, but gender gaps exist in financial accounts (both bank and mobile money) 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 Zimbabwe Uganda Mozambique Mali Liberia Kenya Ghana Gabon Cote d'Ivoire DR Congo Chad Cameroon Gender gap in financial accounts, selected countries Bank Mobile money
  5. 5. Only 6-19% of women smallholder farmers have bank accounts, and only 14-34% of women entrepreneurs 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 Kenya Rwanda Zambia Entrepreneurs Women Men 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 Cote d'Ivoire Kenya Rwanda Tanzania Uganda Zambia Farmers Women Men
  6. 6. Gender-related constraints in financing Demand side • Unequal bargaining power in household & market • Concentration in informal & micro activities • Limited time & mobility (care work) • No collateral assets • No formal ID • No cell phone • Limited financial and legal literacy • No trust in banks • Limited access to business education • No role models • Powerless networks Supply side • Inappropriate product and service offerings • Gender-blind marketing • Inappropriate distribution channels • Restrictive account opening requirements • Inaccessible locations • Limited or disrespectful client engagement • Limited trust & belief in women’s business success
  7. 7. Financial sector innovations focused on women • Microfinance institutions • Village savings and loan associations • Fintech solutions • Innovations that transform the market (lift all boats) • Innovations that specifically target women • Digitizing institutions and services that serve women
  8. 8. Fintech solutions Innovations that benefit the market in general • Mobile money products (M-Pesa); women less likely to spend money they save in M-Pesa rather than keeping it at home; increased financial independence • Insurance delivered through mobile services • Agency banking—roaming staff increase women’s access, link client directly to financial institution to reduce risk, distance, indirect cost of financial participation Gender-targeted fintech solutions • Very few fintech solutions targeted to women • Most innovations are in health and education and social transfer schemes
  9. 9. Fintech solutions Fintech solutions for institutions serving women • Cloud-based banking systems for MFIs that are too small to develop and maintain their own IT and MIS systems • Digitization of savings groups • Electronic record keeping • Providing credit scores for smallholder women But all these innovations have been introduced in a business and social context that still has significant gender bias
  10. 10. What is gender-transformative financial inclusion? • A way of doing financial inclusion directed towards creating gender-equal financial systems that enable all entrepreneurs, regardless of gender, to overcome supply- and demand-side constraints and improve their livelihoods on equal terms • Gender-transformative financial inclusion does not accept what men and women can, have, and do, but challenge the inequalities embedded in society • More political than mainstream approaches: go beyond “business as usual” and challenge systemic inequalities
  11. 11. Components of gender-transformative financial inclusion Characteristics • Gender analysis of entrepreneurial ecosystem • Capacity building on supply and demand sides • Diverse strategies and interventions, targeted to multiple levels • Innovative partnerships and multi-stakeholder commitments to meaningful change • Action learning integrated into strategies and interventions Outcomes • Women’s empowerment • Strengthened relationships and negotiation dynamics • Enabling formal institutions (policies and regulations) • Enabling informal institutions (socio-cultural norms)
  12. 12. • Gender-transformative financial inclusion is about making financial systems “womenable” rather than making women “bankable” • Change the system, not the woman! • Changing rules & practices, regulatory systems & social norms • Changing women’s skills, knowledge, resources to empower • Changing relationships in household, market, community

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