Access to finance is one of the major barriers for female entrepreneurs in emerging markets. 1 billion women remain outside the formal financial system and 80 per cent of women-led micro, small and medium enterprises are either unserved or underserved. This is equivalent to a USD 1.7 trillion financing gap.
On 3 June, 2019, over 50 professionals and gender finance thought leaders gathered in The Hague for a kick-off event for the Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2019 (GES). The event focused on the way forward for access to finance for female entrepreneurs in emerging markets. Through round-table discussions, the group made seven recommendations to achieve progress for women entrepreneurs’ access to finance. The organizers plan to work on these recommendations in partnership with others in this ecosystem.
This GES-side event was organized by CARE Nederland, Dutch Development Bank FMO, the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Women’s World Banking, and the Embassy of Sweden in The Netherlands. It looked at the four key challenges that prevent female entrepreneurs from accessing, using and controlling affordable and appropriate financing in a way that it matches their ambitions and needs. Eleven female entrepreneurs from emerging markets shared first-hand experiences on the challenges they face in setting-up, running and scaling up their businesses. They also shared why they are supporting other women in their markets with growing their businesses through advocacy, incubation, acceleration, market research, empowerment and training.
Seven calls to actions were formulated to build a gender inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem and partners plan to work on this agenda in partnership with a broad range of organisations varying from NGOs, financial institutions and women in business organisations and networks.
The traditional banking system has long bypassed female entrepreneurs. Especially those operating very small enterprises in informality and the missing middle are geographically, socially, and economically distant from financial institutions. Female entrepreneurs have ample potential to grow their businesses but face additional barriers at home, in their communities and the markets they operate in that are holding them back. The round-table discussions at the event focused on the main challenges women entrepreneurs face and how to overcome these.
The event resulted in seven recommendations to push the agenda for achieving access to finance for female entrepreneurs in emerging markets. To read more click here