” ICRW: How does Women’s World Banking approach microfinance and why focus on women?
MARY ELLEN ISKENDERIAN: Microfinance is about much more than credit, and has the capacity to help more than entrepreneurs. WWB’s research confirms that the key economic priorities for poor women, to a far greater extent than for men, continue to be health care, the education of their children, and housing. All microfinance clients, but particularly women, seek a safe place to save the assets they have created and the means to protect them from catastrophic loss. WWB helps microfinance institutions (MFIs) move away from a strictly credit‐led approach toward providing a broader array of financial products and services, including savings and insurance, that help the poor build financial safety nets. The key to success for the MFIs of the future will be offering financial products and services that are designed to meet clients’ needs, motivations and desires…”
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