The African continent has a population of more than 1.4 billion, making up over 16.7% of the world’s total population. Despite these figures, around 57% of Africans do not hold any form of bank account. More importantly, the percentage of unbanked women remains abnormally higher than that of men.
Throughout the world, women’s access to finance remains disproportionately low. In sub-Saharan Africa, only 37% of women have a bank account.
How can financial inclusion help women in Africa?
The large financial gap between men and women is a massive problem. The financial exclusion of women prevents them from participating in society when it comes to both social and economic activity.
When it comes to the financial inclusion of women, this means having access to financial products and services that enable them to not only transact, but also save and invest money.
There are various barriers faced by women that limit their access to financial services, including:
- Lack of a formal Identity Document (ID)
- Insufficient collateral
- Mobility constraints
- Little financial literacy
Here’s how financial inclusion can help women in Africa:
Financial Inclusion and woman entrepreneurs
Women who run businesses need access to financial products that help them manage their businesses sustainably. Many female entrepreneurs struggle to access financial services compared to men. Constraints like high interest rates and collateral requirements often exclude or discourage women entrepreneurs from the formal credit system. Generally, women entrepreneurs have less access to loans than men, but when they do, women tend to face more stringent loan application processes and terms than men.
Financial inclusion and women who run households
Financial inclusion not only enhances women-led business growth, it also reduces the vulnerability of women-run households. Financial inclusion can help women to uplift their household, improve financial resilience and help with household nutrition.
Financial tools like savings accounts can help empower women who run households to make financial decisions and gain greater control over finances. Providing women who run households with the right financial tools to save, borrow, make and receive payments plays an important role in supporting the financial inclusion and empowerment of women.
Introducing: Be Mobile Africa
Enabling the financial inclusion of women in Africa unlocks new value opportunities. Giving unbanked women the power to save, invest, and securely gain access to loans, can elevate them out of poverty.
At Be Mobile Africa, our mission is to bring 100 million people out of poverty through financial inclusion. We are working towards banking the unbanked population of Africa and the rest of the world by providing safe, reliable, secure and cost-effective access to financial services.
Through our all-in-one money app, you can bank across borders, invest and gain access to unsecured loans.
Click here to learn more and download the Be Mobile app.