Money Matters: Reaching Women Microentrepreneurs with Financial Services

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Jan 1997
For women microentrepreneurs, access to financial services matters. It is critical to their ability to make productive investments in their businesses. As part of IDB's efforts to strengthen women's roles in economic development, the Women in Development Unit undertook a study to analyze the kinds of financial services available to women microentrepreneurs. It examined the financial services offered by a range of institutions, including commercial banks, credit unions, and nongovernmental organizations, for six countries in Latin American and the Caribbean (Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, and Jamaica). Money Matters synthesized the results of this study, comparing financial services available among institutions within and across countries. It shows that, in addition to nongovernmental organizations, credit unions and some commercial banks, can and do provide appropriate savings, credit, and other financial services to microentrepreneurs in general, and to low-income women microentrepreneurs in particular. This book contributes to an improved understanding of the new field of microfinance.