Contribution of microfinance on women empowerment case study of Vision Finance company ltd Nyaruguru
par Albert RUTAYISIRE
Protestant institute of arts and social sciences - Bachelor's degree in Business studies with education 2016
We remind that some information have been obtained through interview with a small group among Vision Finance Company Ltd staff and its beneficiaries. We mention that all information have been completed by observation on field for some projects and consulting some Vision Finance Company Ltd documents. The results from interview have allowed us to draft the contribution or impact of Microfinance on women empowerment, and the challenges experienced by both sides: institution and beneficiaries (Women).
Since the most direct anticipated benefits of microfinance concern are women clients' business, I shall begin with a discussion of the effects of Microfinance program in that area. Running a successful business not only contributes to women's improved welfare; it also contributes both directly and indirectly to their economic empowerment. The interview held with Vision Finance Company Ltd managing director showed that through microfinance services, women's business become more successful in the following ways:
These services enable an increase in operating income that affords women basic necessities, saving, self-esteem, and self-respect which have improved relationships with families and communities, more strategic planning and pricing, and diversification and expansion into more profitable product lines.
Microfinance services ensure an increase in operating income which is particularly important for women empowerment through generating their own capital or have access to cash credit and provide women with considerable more power and prestige in the marketplace.
Women have limited knowledge for business transaction and general business knowledge; this affects clients' business performance in term of price negotiations and dealing with customers. Thus in turn affects income returns which results into difficulties in their loan repayment. Product diversification has been also a burden to Vision Finance Company Ltd clients; where by majority of the borrowers have diversified their loan into other activities leading to loan repayment failure.
During the interview done with some women who have already benefited microcredit from Vision Finance Company Ltd, we have noted certain challenges. The main challenges may be related to the educational background, where beneficiaries who have completed only primary level are more than other respondents (94.3%). This may easily arouse some doubt about the success of their business.
In general, the challenges faced by women in microfinance services and in their business those are:
1. Few women clients still lack self-confidence to try other business opportunities;
2. Limit educational background as it is big problem in the improvement for women's business;
3. Excess household responsibilities that inhibit their business concentration
4. The loan they received is not enough to satisfy their business needs;
5. Lack of tangible assets or properties to be used for larger loan guarantee or caution in the case an individual women encounters loan repayment problem has been one of the challenges
Few of the interviewee, pointed out that family responsibilities take a lot of women's time that could be applied for improving their income generating efforts. Their responsibility for children care limits their mobility and obliges them to generate income in less conducive environment for business.
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