Women's Entrepreneurship Day: FINCA Empowers Women
November 19 is Women’s Entrepreneurship Day. It is an occasion to honor women entrepreneurs and acknowledge their contributions toward economic and social development. Established by the Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Organization, the day is celebrated in over 144 countries worldwide.
At FINCA, women are core to our mission to alleviate poverty. Empowering women with access to capital and other life-enhancing services benefits not only women but their families and communities too. FINCA’s women clients are some of the most entrepreneurial people in their communities.
In celebration of Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, we feature a few of these hardworking women entrepreneurs and the FINCA products helping them prosper.
Overcoming Adversity to Prosper
Ms. Bushra Rasheed found life very challenging after her husband and his new wife took everything that she owned, leaving her to raise four children on her own. Being suddenly responsible to provide for her children prompted Ms. Rasheed to get a loan from FINCA Pakistan to start a beauty parlor. She drew on a talent for hair and makeup for which she had been known since she was a young girl.
Four years later, Ms. Rasheed not only has her shop, but she has expanded it and opened a clothing boutique as well. In the process, she has created jobs for other women who work in her shops. FINCA remains committed to empowering women like Ms. Rasheed, and recently signed an agreement with Karandaaz to advance women’s financial inclusion.
A Financial Product Just for Her
Just like Ms. Rasheed, Nene Pongo in the Democratic Republic of the Congo knew she had a knack for business. She started by selling beans in Kinshasa, the country’s sprawling capital city. Gradually, and with FINCA’s support, Nene grew her business and even expanded into the transportation and warehousing sectors.
Through a product called Juste Pour Elle (Just for Her), FINCA offers Congolese women entrepreneurs like Nene the opportunity to grow their businesses and build wealth. With a lower interest rate than the normal loan rate and a grace period before repayments, Juste Pour Elle makes it easier for Congolese women to access the capital they need.
Reaping the Rewards of a Bold Decision
Meanwhile, in Kosovo Shadije Asllani decided to start an agribusiness built around asparagus at a time when few farmers in the country were growing the crop. Shadije saw the opportunity to fill a gap in the market and she took it.
She had heard of FINCA Kosovo’s loans designed for business-minded women just like her. Shadije applied and received a loan. She used it to buy cultivation equipment and install an irrigation system on her one-hectare farmland. Today, Shadije’s business is thriving. Her harvests supply markets, restaurants and grocery stores in her region and beyond. She is also able to hire temporary workers during times of particularly high demand.
The Significance of Women’s Entrepreneurship Day
Ms. Rasheed, Nene and Shadije are just a few of the many entrepreneurial women that FINCA supports. Women’s Entrepreneurship Day is an opportunity to recognize and salute all the hardworking women entrepreneurs across the world. FINCA will continue to give such women the opportunities they need to prosper.