Webinar materials: Women's empowerment in smallholder finance, combining social and business goals for good

Published on

July 18, 2018

Webinar Summary

Women comprise approximately 50% of the labor force in sub-Saharan Africa and yet, are less likely to access financial services – like credit, insurance, and savings – which limits their purchasing power and excludes them from their local economy. As a result, women lose out on income-generating opportunities, which could lead to their economic empowerment and financial independence. Thus, inhibiting their agency within their household and community, and trapping them in a cycle of poverty and inequality. However, women aren’t the only ones missing out on opportunities. By not intentionally integrating women into their supply chains or designing products with women’s needs in mind, agribusinesses and other service providers are losing out on potential business opportunities to expand their reach and engage a valuable consumer base.

To help women rise out of poverty while also ensuring organizations benefit from the business opportunity, agribusinesses need to more intentionally invest in business models that empower women, both in terms of financial services and agricultural outgrower schemes. Not only will this improve women’s economic prosperity, but more gender-inclusive investments could help women make a more significant commercial contribution to agribusinesses. If women had the same access to productive assets as men, it could increase farm yields by 20-30%, thereby contributing positively to a businesses’ bottom line.

In an effort to address this challenge in their own work, RAF Learning Lab Partners, AgDevCo and Opportunity International, are committed to investing in women’s empowerment across smallholder and rural communities in sub-Saharan Africa. 

Download the materials below, including presentation slides, the  webinar recording, to learn how organizations such as AgDevCo and Opportunity International, are integrating both business and social goals to empower women in smallholder finance. 

For additional information, please see the list of relevant materials below.

Key Resources 

Opportunity International 

 


RAF Learning Lab Webinar Slides

Opportunity International Webinar Slides

AgDevCo Webinar Slides

Q&A responses from Opportunity International & AgDevCo

About the Author(s)

AgDevCo
Learning Lab Partner

AgDevCo is a specialist agriculture impact investor that has established a Smallholder Development Unit (SDU) with support from the MasterCard Foundation (MCF). The SDU will work with rural agricultural enterprises to develop equitable outgrower schemes in eight African countries. Activities will include providing training and better quality inputs for farmers, implement mobile technology solutions, and brokering long term purchase contracts. The SDU aims to develop 25 “outgrower schemes” over 5 years that will improve the livelihoods of up to half a million farmers.

Press release: AgDevCo and The MasterCard Foundation partnership

Opportunity International
Learning Lab Partner

Opportunity International operates the Africa Growth and Innovations Initiative to promote access to loans, savings programs and other critical financial products and services by expanding delivery channels. Opportunity International also hosts the Knowledge Exchange.

Press release: Opportunity International and The MasterCard Foundation partnership

Original Content

The Learning Lab works to identify and share knowledge relevant to our learning agenda and our users, but also to create new knowledge through research and facilitated learning. Original content from the Learning Lab includes news about the Lab, analyses we've conducted, knowledge products we've created, and posts we've written about other relevant initiatives.