Chhavi Ghuliani , Manager of Partnership Development and Research at BSR blogged about participating at “Building Women-Focused Finance: The Global Local Experience,” held in Amman, Jordan in November of 2013. Excerpt from his post below:
Although the garment industry offers many people in the developing world a regular wage and steady employment, the lack of access to financial products and services for low-income workers remains a significant challenge to sustainable development. When speaking recently at the Women’s World Banking conference in Amman, Jordan, I was reminded of this gap, and of the opportunity for financial institutions to reach an untapped market by creating products and services that are relevant to this population.
The community-based financial institutions that attended the Women’s World Banking conference are well-suited to fill this gap because they understand how to design products for low-income women. However, in many cases, regulation prevents these institutions from taking deposits and, therefore, mainstream banks must also be part of the solution. Only when that happens will we reach the scale necessary to help low-income workers build assets and save for the future and help our society build an inclusive economy that empowers people to improve their lives and achieve their aspirations.