Empower women through financial access & service

by World Vision
Empower women through financial access & service
Empower women through financial access & service
Empower women through financial access & service
Empower women through financial access & service
Empower women through financial access & service
Empower women through financial access & service
Empower women through financial access & service
Empower women through financial access & service
Apr 29, 2020

Women's Economic Empowerment 2019 Report

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Women in developing countries, especially those living in rural areas, often encounter gender-specific obstacles to economic mobility— such as lack of access to financial services and imbalances in family caregiving—that prevent them and their communities from flourishing.

The Women’s Empowerment Fund (WEF) aims to build the resilience of women and their families, improve gender equality, and support the development of livelihoods by providing vulnerable women increased access to high-quality financial services and education.

The first phase of this two-phase project focused on growing loan capital for women entrepreneurs to invest in small businesses and farms. Phase 2 launched in FY19 with the goal of strengthening services to women by linking them to savings groups, offering insurance products specifically for women, and expanding women’s financial training.

Recent research measuring the holistic impact of microloans through VisionFund Armenia found that a single loan frequently creates a raft of additional benefits for women and their children in the form of better nutrition, health, housing, access to education—even family cohesion and spiritual well-being. In a March survey conducted by VisionFund Myanmar, 99% of respondents likewise reported that receiving a loan provided at least one benefit to their children, while 73% reported three or more benefits.

In FY19, the WEF provided loan capital and expanded service areas in Armenia, Honduras, Malawi, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Uganda.

Thank you for your commitment to empowering women.

Accomplishments during this reporting period at some of the MFIs in the fund included:

• In Armenia, an analysis of the WEF portfolio revealed that clients’ involvement in supply chain networks created indirect benefits for 651 women and 398 children, in addition to the 156 women and 468 children directly impacted by WEF loans.

• In Honduras, a loan offer was designed specifically for women, with a special focus on single mothers living in rural communities. Loans range from $25 to $650, and clients receive financial education as part of the funding package. In FY19, $122,079 in loans was disbursed to 108 women, all of whom have dependent children.

• In Malawi, new Savings Group Linkage Loans provided 19 savings groups and 331 clients—75% women—capital for improving their livelihoods.

• At the end of FY19, 86% of VisionFund Myanmar’s 190,000 clients were women. WEF loans also helped create 8,891 jobs in Myanmar between April and September 2019.

• In Sri Lanka, a leadership program was created for 33 current WEF clients and other enterprising women.


IMPACT STORY – Producer groups raise poultry and hope

Chickens are now a familiar sight in Mbuyuni village in Tanzania. But it wasn’t always that way. The introduction of poultry farming has transformed the community, providing income and food.

Mbuyuni village is largely composed of the Maasai people, who traditionally do not eat chickens or eggs. It was difficult to convince them chickens could be a source of income.

That was before savings groups were started in the village. They were supported by RECODA—a World Vision partner that helps savings and producer groups to engage in poultry, banana, and sweet potato value chains—to start raising Sasso chickens. The breed grows quickly and has good egg-laying capabilities.

The savings groups took on the additional role of poultry producer groups, starting with 300 day-old chicks in August 2017. They raised them for one month and then sold them.

Between then and 2019, the groups raised and sold 12 batches of 300 chicks to Mbuyuni community members. Members buy a chick for 54 cents and sell it for $2.24, for gross revenue of $510 per batch.

The groups invest part of their revenue in their savings groups for borrowing purposes and to earn interest.

Aside from working as a group, members individually raise chickens at home for income and food purposes.

“Almost every household owns at least 10 to 20 Sasso chickens,” said Angela, secretary of the Shengai poultry producer group, composed entirely of women. She is on her fifth batch of either one-day- or one-month-old chicks that are purchased from a private poultry company.

Group members support others in the community on improved poultry breeding with minimal support needed from extension officers or project facilitators.

“Chicken is our ‘bank’ these days, from where we draw money for our household needs as well as food,” said Shengai member Anna. “Our children are well nourished and healthy due to the chicken business.”

Farmer Mary feeds her chickens in her new coop
Farmer Mary feeds her chickens in her new coop

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Organization Information

World Vision

Location: Federal Way, WA - USA
Project Leader:
Bernadette Martin
Federal Way, WA United States

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