Microfinance, support for women entrepreneurs

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All over the world, women are affected by financial exclusion. In France, for example, a study carried out by the firm Boston consulting group (BCG) in 2019 revealed that an entrepreneurial project presented by a female team to an investment fund was 30% less likely to be financed.

→ READ. “81% of microfinance borrowers are women”

Elsewhere in the world, particularly in developing countries, women may find it difficult to access traditional financial institutions such as banks or investment funds. There remains the alternative of solidarity microcredit to finance their entrepreneurial project. According to the Convergences association’s microfinance barometer, 80% of borrowers from microfinance institutions are women.

The European leader in solidarity microcredit

Helping the most precarious to embark on entrepreneurship is Babyloan’s bet. This website, created in 2008, is today the European leader in the sector. It connects investors with project leaders, all over the world.

On the principle of crowdfunding, everyone can choose a project and the amount they wish to invest in it. The money is then issued in the form of a loan to the entrepreneur who gradually repays his loan. A solidarity act, therefore, for the lender who neither wins nor loses money. However, Babyloan launched a new offer in the fall, Babyloan Impact, intended to obtain larger sums, which are subject to remuneration “up to 6% gross annual interest. »

34,000 women financed thanks to Babyloan

In twelve years, Babyloan has made it possible to finance around 50,000 entrepreneurs, mainly in developing countries, for a loan request equivalent to €700 to €800 on average. “With a total of 34,000, women represent 70% of our borrowers”welcomes Arnaud Poissonnier, its founder.

→ DEBATE. Women and company management: quotas or not?

The leader makes it a point of honor to promote female entrepreneurship. “Our intermediaries responsible for selecting projects in the field are instructed to respect this percentage of 70%”he says.

“They improve the condition of their whole family”

For him, the“economic independence is an essential integration tool” for women in developing countries. “Thanks to microcredit, they improve the condition of their whole family and emancipate themselves from their husbands. They are proud to be able to send their children to school”, he points out. The projects funded are very diverse: grocery stores, hairdressers, beauty salons, sewing shops, etc.

“Women repay better than men, they are often mothers and have a great sense of responsibility”notes Arnaud Poissonnière. “In my experience, women have better financial management than men”abounds Inès Rhouma of the University of Kairouan in Tunisia.

The teacher has set up a coaching system to help her students get started in entrepreneurship. She has also been involved for ten years in Femmes Leadership, which promotes the integration of Tunisian women in the political, economic and associative spheres.

“Help to get out of precariousness”

“In Tunisia, there are many programs to support the projects of women entrepreneurs. But for those who do not meet the criteria of the banks, it is difficult to finance themselves. At that time, they turn to microcredit»comments Inès Rhouma.

“Microfinance allows precarious women to get by even if it is not a panacea”says Laure Le Douarec who has done several missions in Morocco and Madagascar to help women in their business projects with her association 2d4b. “What is very important is not just to encourage them to make loans but to support them to get out of precariousness”she concludes.

On the occasion of International Women’s Rights Day, March 8, a donation pool was created by Babyloan to exclusively support projects led by women. “The money will be donated by the investor and then loaned to women entrepreneurs, explains Arnaud Poissonnier. When the first project is repaid, it will serve as a loan for a second and so on ad infinitum..


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