Insights on lending opportunities to women-led businesses: Myanmar
15 July 2022
Building on previous work in the area of gender-responsive micro, small and medium-size enterprise (MSME) finance, from December 2021 to January 2022, UNCDF interviewed financial service providers (FSPs) and development actors in Myanmar to better understand the types of MSME loan products available to and serving women entrepreneurs.
The data and recommendations are based on a literature review, online survey and key informant interviews with 15 FSPs working in Myanmar. The results of the consultation have been used to identify gaps in services for women entrepreneurs and ways to better target outreach to, and the selection of, women enterprises for further investment, to improve women’s access to relevant financial services and products.
The assessment utilized existing UNCDF and other desk research to identify the key constraints to women entrepreneurs’ access to finance, and the gap in finance and existing options. It provides recommendations to FSPs and the donor community to address gaps and improve women’s financial inclusion. The changing political situation after the military coup d’état in 2021 and turbulent market dynamics due to the pandemic have contributed to even greater challenges for women entrepreneurs to survive and grow their businesses. Yet demand for relevant financial and nonfinancial support remains high, and the key recommendations from this research remain relevant.