The fnancial services sector in Tanzania is becoming
more competitive. Banks are seeking new customers
and opportunities to di\ue000\ue000erentiate themselves. Mean-
while, research shows that women entrepreneurs who
seek fnancing to develop their small and midsize frms
are vastly underserved (see fgure below).
Exim Bank is responding. It is the frst fnancial institution
in Tanzania to dedicate lines o\ue000 credit to women entre-
preneurs running midsize enterprises through its new
Women Entrepreneurs Finance Program. IFC is providing
a $5 million credit line to fnance the program, along
with business advisory services \ue000unded in part by the
Canadian International Development Agency.
In Tanzania, \ue000ew women possess land titles that can be
used as collateral \ue000or loans. As a result, their applica-
tions are o\ue000ten not taken seriously by bank o\ue000fcers.
While microfnance is increasingly accessible to women,
the maximum loan size and tenor \ue000rom microfnance
is o\ue000ten too low \ue000or SME owners. At the same time,
women entrepreneurs running midsize frms \ue000requently
lack \u201cproper\u201d credit history, as well as the training and
fnancial resources they need to gear up their businesses
\u201cFemale-owned SMEs contribute jobs to our communi-
ties, and women have shown themselves to be good pay-
ers in many countries. Yet, the banking sector has done
little to help them in Tanzania. Our Women Entrepreneurs
Finance Program is more than just good business\u2014it\u2019s a
chance to show our innovative approach to the market,\u201d
says Exim\u2019s general manager, R. R. Chandramouli.
Exim has been working with IFC experts to take into
account the challenges that businesswomen \ue000ace when
applying \ue000or loans. Solutions include increasing Exim\u2019s
o\ue000\ue000ering o\ue000 structured fnancing to women entrepreneurs,
allowing them to use contracts with reputable companies
as collateral. One o\ue000 the impediments to women\u2019s busi-
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?