Financial System Needs of Micro-Entrepreneur Women

This research investigates women in micro-entrepreneurship in Pakistan. The purpose is to provide contextual information in which these female micro-entrepreneurs get into businesses, their personal and enterprise financial life cycle, the circumstances they face and how it affects their personal and entrepreneurial lives, and explore the potential financial and non-financial solutions that cater to their specific needs. The 20 interviewed Pakistani female micro-entrepreneurs explain the strong linkages between their personal and entrepreneurial lives. While they independently make decisions about their business operations, these decisions/choices are often strongly driven by several factors in personal lives: needs of their children which limits their ability to work outside of home; health problems, either their own or their husband’s which may drive their decision of the degree of work they undertake. We also observe that providing microcredit for enterprises alone is not sufficient for their economic wellbeing. They need mechanisms for saving, investment and risk protection for personal needs along with clarity on business concepts which affect their profitability.

This report further analyses their behaviors and responses, and identifies the key issues specific to our sample. It further proposes series of instruments that may be researched upon, developed, and used to incentivize female entrepreneurs to use digital finances services and move closer towards financial inclusion.

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