Insights into the business case for non-financial services for women-owned SMEs

According to Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, there are 274 million women entrepreneurs across 74 economies, a 10 percent increase in the last two years.

However, as it stands today, women-owned SMEs remain dramatically underserved and only a small group of financial institutions offer accessible and quality financial services that matches the wants and needs of women entrepreneurs. While an estimated 25 to 33 percent of private enterprises are owned by women, 68 percent don’t have adequate access to credit, representing a USD 1.7 trillion finance gap.

Currently, most women-owned SMEs do not have access to adequate business training or financial education programs that would allow them to expand their networks and to gain the management and financial skills needed to grow their businesses.

To help close the gap in financial access and knowledge, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Netherlands Development Finance Company (FMO) have entered into a strategic partnership for joint research, and shared learning. IFC and FMO have enlisted the support of CCX Inclusive Business to provide insights in the business case for non-financial services to women-owned SMEs.

Study Objectives

Gain insights into the banks' business case for offering non-financial services to SMEs broadly, particularly women-owned SMEs,  and the impact on financial institutions' business growth and sustainability.

Understand how entrepreneurs' usage of non-financial services offered by financial institutions has an impact on the businesses; and how impact differs according to the gender of the owner.

Timeline and Deliverables

By March 2019, CCX Inclusive Business completed a review of published data, a global survey of banks, interviews with key stakeholders in the space and a case study. For more information please contact Anna Gincherman at