Women as Beneficiaries of Microcredit
By introducing and accepting Micro credit as an essential component of its financial system, African countries have created a powerful momentum that encourages an investment in people that pays back many times its initial outlay. Microcredit has become a strong stimulant that encourages economic development. Through this, Loan recipients have continuously been able to support themselves with their increased income, as well as employing others and generating business for their supply chain. Many African countries suffer from a state of increased poverty among the people, this has caused so many with dreams, to turn to other sources of generating income for themselves and their households.
A study into the benefits of Microcredit introduces women as key beneficiaries of this development as this empowers them and reduces their vulnerability in the society. This also puts them at an advantageous position as compared to non beneficiaries. The benefits of micro credit has consequently introduced an increase in household decision making, bargaining power and also a sense of self-confidence. With the increase in their use of financial services — through access to microcredit — women also benefit from increased financial inclusion.
Focusing on the advantages of having women as the recipients of these benefits would show the immense impact of Micro credit in the Nigerian economy. The basic Nigerian family would stand to gain more financially if the women are allowed access to financial inclusion. Research shows that households tend to benefit from women using micro credit with cases of child labour and food shortage decrease.
Women tend to be more inclined to become entrepreneurs than men, thus there is a need for them to have access to micro credit. According to PEP researchers, “women can only benefit from increased empowerment through entrepreneurship”. In some African societies, women are prevented from owning properties and having assets which could greatly contribute to their daily sustainability and support of their families. With this gender discrimination, most women do not inherit family properties and therefore never have any substantial income to start up a business. With the introduction of Microcredit, the need to provide a collateral in form of property and assets has been removed, therefore giving women access to loan services that provide them with capital for their businesses. By removing these limitations, women now have access to microcredit, thus providing financial inclusion for them.
At VHF, we have an initiative to cater for these women by providing financial support and literacy as well as creating a community to enable these women to look after one another. We created this initiative not only to boost the economy of rural areas but also to encourage the support of women in the society. We intend to provide them easy access to finances through loans at affordable rates and also educate them in terms of financial development and investment plans. Our Products were created to meet the needs of micro business owners and even salary income earners. With a focus on women, we intend to offer services that provide them with financial stability, sustainability and empowerment in the society.