Nearly one billion women worldwide do not have bank accounts. This means they do not have access to funds for predictable life events, like sending a child to school, much less emergencies. WomenSave will expand financial services to underserved women in developing economies with commitment savings plans, a financial product through which clients regularly set aside small amounts of money in a safe place until the target amount/date is met. These savings plans can transform the lives of poor, rural women, giving them a real voice and a risk-free tool to make their financial goals a reality.
What We Do
WomenSave will offer clients financial literacy training, financial advisory services, commitment savings plans, regular reminders to make contributions to them and access to mobile money to keep their money safe until financial goals are met. Savings plan categories will include agriculture, business, consumer goods, education, health, housing, life events and livestock. Clients also will have flexible accounts or welfare funds, to access in case of emergency. Why not loans? WomenSave believes that a savings plan is a more effective financial tool, particularly for unprofitable purposes.
WomenSave will target poor (< $2 a day) women in underserved areas of developing economies. Market research in Uganda, where nearly 5 million women lack access to bank accounts, confirmed an unmet demand for commitment savings plans. The next step is to conduct a pilot project in the western districts of Kanungu and Rukungiri, where WomenSave will reach 1,000 clients.
WomenSave initially will operate as a program within Global Partners for Development, an international non-profit dedicated to community-led development in East Africa. In Uganda, WomenSave will hire a team of Savings Officers, women with accounting, business and finance skills, to train and work directly with clients.
The goal of WomenSave is to expand financial services to poor women, empower them to meet their own financial goals, and bring them into the formal financial system. Metrics of success will include: # Women Trained in Financial Literacy; # Savings Plans Created; # Personal Financial Goals Met; Increase in Women in Formal Financial System; and Improved Quality of Life for Women.
WomenSave is seeking $130,000 to fund the pilot project to be implemented next year (2020). This will cover the cost of delivering services to 1,000 clients, including salaries, training, travel and monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL).
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