Women in Small Enterprise Semi-Annual Report: July – December 2015
Countless women around the world are building successful small businesses. But the odds against women entrepreneurs in many developing countries can be staggering. Often, they face limited access to credit and property, household obligations that consume their waking hours, and cultural standards that discriminate against them. Oxfam’s Women in Small Enterprise (WISE) celebrates those women who have defied the odds and creates partnerships that ease their path to further growth
WISE is designed for women emerging from microfinance-lending programs with businesses that show potential for further growth. These women often are not able to access growth capital as they fall into the “missing middle” financing gap : the gap for loans larger than those offered by microfinance institutions and smaller than what would be considered by mainstream banking institutions. Core components of the initiative include the WISE Fund, which supports loans to women entrepreneurs in partnership with local financial institutions, training programs for women designed to increase their economic leadership, and efforts to strengthen the image of women entrepreneurs as role models and leaders in their communities. We are delighted to share developments from 2015 with you in this report.