Women’s entrepreneurship is something that we at FINCA have a very strong focus on. As an advocate of women’s empowerment and financial inclusion, we know that women are disproportionately affected by poverty. Around the world, women make up the majority of the 1.7 billion individuals who are unbanked—without an account at a financial institution. That is why we go the extra mile to make our products and services accessible and relevant to women. When women are empowered to work and create their own businesses—through access to finance, education, jobs, etc.—families, and even whole communities, improve their quality of life.
The impact women’s entrepreneurship can have on a whole community can be illustrated by the story of Xheva Haziri of Kosovo. Due to gender norms and stereotypes in the country, it’s hard for women in Kosovo to get started in business, but Xheva has beat the odds and her entrepreneurial endeavors have had a huge impact on her own family and her community.
As a farmer in Kosovo, Xheva Haziri decided to open her own fruit and vegetable processing and packing business. Shortly after starting her business, she took out her first FINCA loan to pay for various business needs and farming inputs. Within a year, Xheva had paid off her first loan and taken out a second to expand her product offering. Over five years later, Xheva has received a total of five loans from FINCA to improve and expand her business.
Getting a loan [from FINCA] is a quick process, efficient and the staff are very helpful, I recommend to all women who do not have financial support for their business, to take a loan from FINCA […]
With her continuously-expanding business, Xheva has also employed one of her sons in her business, providing him with his own source of income. And during summer months, Xheva also employs seasonal workers to help with the planting, harvesting, and processing of her produce. Because of her business, other people in her community can also depend on a steady source of income.
Currently, Xheva is experiencing great success with her business in Kosovo, supplying numerous markets and grocery stores. However, her ambitions do not stop there. She plans to continue expanding and is preparing to export her products abroad. And as her business expands, Xheva will generate even more jobs in her community.
Xheva’s story illustrates that the ambitions of one woman can positively impact an entire community. However, this multiplier effect only occurs when women have access to capital to pursue their entrepreneurial ideas. That is why FINCA is committed to women’s empowerment and why we use women’s access to our financial services as part of how we measure our success.
With their loans, FINCA’s female borrowers have hired almost 600,000 other people. That is 600,000 jobs created as a direct result of women’s entrepreneurship. Based on these numbers alone, it is clear women’s entrepreneurship is a valuable investment for the future of developing communities, and one that is interwoven into our core commitments. We are proud to be helping these strong entrepreneurs realize their dreams of a better future for themselves, their families, and their communities.