Women-led businesses in Zambia will find advice on financing in this new International Trade Centre guide.
Greater collaboration between business owners and funders can improve funding and build an enabling environment for greater access to finance for women-led businesses in Zambia. A new ITC guide, created in partnership with the Central Bank of Zambia, takes a step towards creating that supportive environment.
Unlocking Finance in Zambia: A woman entrepreneur’s guide, connects the dots between the obstacles that women-led businesses face, financial products and services available, and guidelines for success.
Zambian women entrepreneurs own more than one-third of the country’s small businesses and more than 40% of its microenterprises, according to the World Bank. By leveraging this user-friendly guide, women-led businesses in Zambia can navigate funding options that align with their business requirements. Funders looking to adopt a gender-lens approach will also find advice and insights.
Zambian women entrepreneurs encounter significant barriers to funding, leading to their depiction as ‘discouraged’ borrowers. To improve their chances, the most important step is to formalize their business. This is why the guide includes a step-by-step explanation of how to formalize a business and create a business plan, as well as a detailed list of the types of records they should routinely keep.
The guide outlines financing types available and how to identify the most appropriate option. One key recommendation: calculate the exact amount needed before embarking on their search. Developing a business plan will also give these women confidence in their ability to repay in a timely manner.
The guide highlights financial products and services with a gender lens, as well as alternatives in the Zambian market. It outlines funding options, including contact details, qualifying requirements, details on how to apply, documents needed and repayment terms. By providing a comprehensive catalogue of available resources, the guide equips women business owners to make informed decisions about their growth strategies.
‘By removing the inequalities that hinder women’s participation in trade, improving their competitiveness, and strengthening their market and investment linkages, we take a significant step towards generating growth, reducing poverty and improving livelihoods for all,’ said Pamela Coke-Hamilton, Executive Director of ITC.
The guide was produced as a part of the ITC SheTrades Zambia project.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of International Trade Centre.