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UN pushes for financing of women’s businesses

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By Chimwemwe Mangazi:

The United Nation (UN) has urged local commercial banks and microfinance institutions to consider developing tailor-made financing solutions targeting rural women – entrepreneurs.

The call was made at an interface between the women-entrepreneurs and financial services providers in Lilongwe on Wednesday.

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It comes as reports suggest that most rural women-entrepreneurs face numerous challenges when accessing capital from commercial banks.

The situation has forced most to opt for informal credit and loans through village banks.

UN Women Country Representative, Clara Anyangwe, said her office is advocating initiatives that would empower the women-entrepreneurs.

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“UN Women has developed an integrated cloud-based mobile platform called ‘Buy from women’ that will be used to link women farmers to information, markets and finance while providing them with a 360 view of their business. This will be done before April this year,” Anyangwe said.

Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare Minister, Cecilia Chazama called on commercial banks to consider penetrating the rural market.

“I have urged the Reserve Bank to be on their toes in regulating the conditions,” Chazama said.

Malawi Microfinance Institutions Network Chief Executive Officer, Duncan Phulusa, said microfinance institutions are regulated effectively by the central bank.

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