Gender Equality is at the Heart of FINCA’s Mission

Gender equality is at the heart of FINCA’s mission to eradicate poverty. For over forty years, FINCA has created opportunities for women. We have crafted tailored products for them and collaborated with like-minded organizations prioritizing women’s empowerment.

John Hatch, FINCA’s co-founder, recognized early that women are pivotal to progress. John noted: “It has been proven time after time that increasing the incomes of poor mothers results in an almost immediate improvement in their children’s diet and an increased likelihood that they can send their children to school. And when a child is educated, she has better opportunities to live outside of poverty.”

Studies on Gender Equality

Recent USAID and The World Bank studies echo FINCA’s belief that investing in women is a wise strategy. Women’s income hikes significantly enhance family financial health. And businesses led by women are more innovative and entrepreneurial. In addition, women-run businesses yield a 3-5% higher financial return than similar businesses led by men. Yet women only earn a third of global income.

Quotes from three Women We Serve

FINCA touches the lives of millions of women every year through its microfinance operations and the two dozen social enterprises with which it works. Our programs empower these women to have agency over their own lives. Able to make their own decisions, these women can more fully participate in society. Often, the changes are incremental; sometimes, the changes are momentous; always, the changes are needed.

“A FINCA loan helped us buy cement and a tool to make bricks. Now our home is safe from floods, and we are selling bricks to our neighbors. Sometimes I sit in front of my house with my husband and say, who are we to have achieved all of this?” – Resty Musoke

“My parents and grandparents are farmers with no education. They have devoted their lives to making sure their children go to school. Last year we lost our entire cherry crop due to drought. A loan from FINCA made it possible to survive until next season — and make a down payment on an apple orchard. I am starting university this fall!”– Larisa Aghas

“I care for my four children and four orphans from our village. It is a daily challenge to provide food, clothing and education for them. We have no electricity, so I made and sold papyrus mats to buy kerosene. Saving enough to purchase a solar light changed everything. My children are safer, they can study at night, and I no longer have to pay for fuel.”– Christine Aiimango

The Aghas women, along with the men in their family, work hard for gender equality.

Making Gender Equality Durable

According to the United Nations, the world has progressed over the last few decades but is not on track to achieve gender equality by 2030. FINCA is working to change that. With donor support, FINCA has channelled over $100 million into initiatives aligned with the United National’s Gender Equality goal.

In the last year alone, FINCA loans powered 215,564 women-led businesses that employed 434,967 women and generated over half a million jobs. With each new loan and woman served, the world gets closer to achieving its objectives.