AYANI Final Report – Increasing Women’s Access To Finance

With the goal of strengthening its impact in enhancing and achieving gender equality and the
empowerment of women, UN Women commissioned this study with the following objectives:
• To identify and examine the factors that contribute to women’s financial exclusion
in Zimbabwe—including the challenges that women face in accessing credit and the
constraints that Financial Service Providers (FSPs) face in extending credit to women; and
• To identify and analyze potential strategies for enhancing women’s economic
inclusion—including targeted financing options that may be adopted by the government,
donors and FSPs, as well as credit terms and approaches and the delivery of
complementary services and mechanisms that may enhance financial access.
The study was carried out over the course of about four weeks in September-October 2015, using
a combination of secondary/desk research and primary data collection applying qualitative and
quantitative methods, including in-depth interviews with macro- and meso-level stakeholders, as
well as interviews and focus group discussions with FSP staff, women borrowers and unbanked
female micro entrepreneurs. In all, 225 individuals representing a broad spectrum of local
stakeholders were consulted for this study, along with dozens of published reports and white


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