ACTIAM, a Cardano company, and CARE Nederland will join forces and work together on improving access to finance for female (micro) entrepreneurs in emerging and developing markets aiming to increase gender equality (SGD5). We believe this unique collaboration will be impactful by leveraging CARE's and ACTIAM's extensive experiences at both ends of the chain. ACTIAM is experienced in private funding and direct relationships with local financial institutions, while CARE has decades of experience in improving access and control over finance of disadvantaged communities around the world through saving groups and partnerships with financial service providers.
The focus of this collaboration focusses on bridging the gender gap in access to finance. Despite an increase in account ownership in developing economies (from 63 percent to 71 percent between 2017-2021), the recent World Bank Findex study (2021) indicates that today about 1.4 billion adults worldwide still have no access to an account at a financial institution or through a mobile money provider. Lack of financial resources, large distances to the nearest financial institution, and a lack of documentation are consistently cited by unbanked adults among the primary reasons as to why they do not have such an account.
Marginalized people, and especially women, have greater barriers to access financial products and services. Women face more rigid social and gender-based barriers that constrain their access to and control over resources. They are also more likely to lack identification, which is necessary to meet know-your-customer (KYC) requirements, have difficulties meeting collateral and guarantor conditions to access financial products, and have lower financial and digital literacy. At the same time, financial service providers do not always offer products and services that are tailored to women’s needs and priorities in different contexts, and are often far away from rural areas (creating an additional challenge for communities to access financial services).
CARE Nederland and ACTIAM share the vision that additional efforts are needed to include female micro entrepreneurship as a key underserved population group in the ongoing transformation. Both organizations will work together on developing tailored financial products and services, financial education programs and awareness in the ambition to meet the needs of female micro entrepreneurs and bridge the gender finance gap.
 Global Findex Database 2021.