Ugandan women own about 39 percent o\ue000 businesses
with registered premises, yet they receive only nine
percent o\ue000 commercial credit. These numbers reveal a
\ue000amiliar story about women\u2019s lack o\ue000 access to fnance.
They also point to a compelling opportunity \ue000or
Ugandan banks: to expand their SME lending port\ue000olios
while becoming innovative leaders in critical private sec-
The commercial bank d\ue000cu Group is doing just that. Its
new Women in Business Program extends lending to
women entrepreneurs, supported by a $6 million credit
line \ue000rom IFC, o\ue000 which at least $2 million is dedicated
to the women\u2019s program. IFC is also supporting the pro-
gram with advisory services by experts in the women\u2019s
market, including training \ue000or women entrepreneurs.
In Uganda, as elsewhere in the region, a major barrier
\ue000acing businesswomen is their limited ownership o\ue000 land,
which is traditionally required as loan collateral. This can
dissuade even the savviest women \ue000rom applying \ue000or
loans, leading to a chronic lack o\ue000 experience in dealing
with banks. Compounding the problem, women have lit-
tle access to fnancial management training to help them
success\ue000ully plan and manage growth.
o\ue000 traditional loans. IFC-provided training covers banking
requirements and processes, as well as fnancial literacy,
business networking, and mentoring \ue000or business-
women. d\ue000cu employees have also received training on
customer care and gender awareness.
\u201cPartnering with IFC has enabled us to break new
ground in the women\u2019s market. Combining best prac-
tices in access to fnance with pro\ue000essional training, we
expect to increase women entrepreneurs\u2019 contribution to
Uganda\u2019s economy. That means good business \ue000or every-
one,\u201d says Moses Kibirige, the executive director o\ue000 d\ue000cu.
The entire IFC credit line dedicated to women was
disbursed by d\ue000cu within three months o\ue000 the program
launch in February 2007.
Land registration received by
district land management
Women entrepreneur\ue003 le\ue000rn \ue000bout fn\ue000nci\ue000l pl\ue000nning \ue000\ue003 p\ue000rt o\ue002 \ue001\ue002cu\u2019\ue003 Women in Bu\ue003ine\ue003\ue003 progr\ue000m. Tr\ue000ining provi\ue001e\ue001 b\ue004 IFC.
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