Women-Led SMEs and the Finance Challenge – Journal of Sustainable Finance and Banking

February 1, 2015

Mary Ellen Iskenderian, President and CEO of Women’s World Banking co-wrote a piece for the February 2015 issue of the Journal of Sustainable Finance and Banking with Matthew Gamser of the SME Finance Forum and Michael Koenitzer of the World Economic Forum. The piece explores the market opportunity of financing women-led SMEs and features findings from the recent report we published on how to best serve the women-led SME market.

Women represent a powerful source of economic growth and opportunity. They produce more than half of the world’s food and control about $20 trillion in consumer spending. However,
financial exclusion holds back many women from participating in the economy and from improving their lives and those of their families.

Women in emerging markets face a range of barriers and constraints to benefiting fully from financial services. The Global Findex, a comprehensive database measuring how people save, borrow, and manage risk in 148 countries, found that women are less likely than men to have a formal bank account; in fact, a gender gap of between 6 and 9 percentage points persists across income groups in developing economies.

You can download the full article here.