Reaching the Financially Excluded
Quality of Life
Financial exclusion often goes hand-in-hand with poor living standards. FINCA's borrowers in Africa struggle the most to have a decent quality of life. Over half live in homes without access to clean water, and a third are without electricity.
These problems are not isolated to Africa, however. Our surveys show that access to water, in particular, is a problem that affects clients in every region. Also, nearly a third of FINCA clients live in a household whose main earner has only a primary education or less. This problem is especially severe in Africa and MESA.
Income & Employment
Income & Employment
We measure FINCA's impact on income and employment through a detailed Enterprise Survey, which captures the cash flow, wages and employment in our clients' businesses. Our surveyors take a detailed count of people working in each enterprise, and clients themselves are asked to estimate how many of them are working due to the loan from FINCA. These results are strongly influenced by the sector of activity -- agriculture, trade, services, livestock and manufacturing -- as shown under "Special Topics," below.
All over the world, we find that the majority of FINCA's female borrowers are the main source of income for their family. Female breadwinners bear a heavy burden, because they normally have to fulfill traditional family responsibilities in addition to running their business. 14% of our borrowers are single mothers. Reaching these women is a priority for FINCA's mission, because they have an enormous impact on the well-being of the whole family, while their climb out of poverty is the steepest.
Women's rate of enterprise ownership is lower than their overall representation within FINCA's client base, particularly in MESA/Pakistan. In part, this is the result of social norms that discourage women's business activities. With some exceptions, especially in Africa,, women's contribution to job-creation is generally undercut by their concentration in economic sectors such as trade, where enterprises tend to employ fewer workers. Nonetheless, the enhanced status that comes with running a business and hiring workers is an important factor in women's social empowerment,
Attaining Business and Personal Goals
Across the world, our borrowers come to FINCA with specific goals in mind. The majority aim to expand an existing business or to start a new one. After business, home improvements are the next big objective, especially in Africa and Eurasia. FINCA is actively expanding the range of its services to meet these kinds of needs, especially through the financing of household assets such as solar panels and improved cook-stoves. As these services grow and multiply across the network, we can expect more clients to come to FINCA with these needs in mind.