Women’s World Banking is the only microfinance network with an explicit focus on women. Our network of 39 financial organizations from 27 countries—also known as microfinance institutions—located around the world provide small loans, sometimes as modest as $100, to people to start their businesses. Women’s World Banking is focused on ensuring women have access to these microloans. Customers use these loans in different ways: some purchase a cycle to transport vegetables to a market, or use the money to buy raw materials; others buy fertilizer for their crops, or a sewing machine to start a tailoring business. However, they all have one goal: to make a decent living and support their families’ basic needs. Many are able to send their kids to school for the first time, eat three square meals a day or make seemingly small home improvements that can actually have a significant effect on the household such as move from a mud floor home to a cement floor.
Microfinance is about more than credit and has the capacity to help more than entrepreneurs. WWB helps microfinance institutions move away from a strictly credit-led approach toward providing a broader array of financial products and services, including savings andinsurance to help the poor build comprehensive financial safety nets.
WWB, headquartered in New York, serves as an umbrella organization to the 39 local microfinance organizations. We advocate for the benefits of microfinance and for the need to serve women, conduct research and share best practices. But most importantly, we develop vital financial products to enable microfinance organizations to better serve their clients and achieve their mission to bring people out of poverty. http://www.swwb.org/