Saturday, October 8, 2011

MIF to empower women entrepreneurs in LAC

Microfinance Focus, October 8, 2011: The Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) is introducing new approaches to boost women’s economic presence among small business owners in Latin America and the Caribbean. The four approaches are new credit and saving tools for women, various training and mentoring programs and affordable childcare options.

First, new credit tools are needed to increase access to credit for SMEs particularly suited to women entrepreneurs who are often rejected for credit due to insufficient credit histories and collateral. The MIF has partnered with Harvard’s Entrepreneurial Finance Lab to develop new models of financial risk assessment for financial institutions in the region that could improve access to credit for small and medium-sized companies run by women. It is supporting the adoption of psychometric testing, an automated screening tool that takes into account entrepreneurs’ honesty, intelligence, personality, among other personal qualities, to gauge their ability and willingness to pay back loans, a model that goes beyond the traditional methods that just focus on collateral and future cash flows to assess financial risk.

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