Women's World Banking

WWB was established in 1979 with the objective of supporting the involvement of women in enterprise creation the world over. It is a non-profit organization.

WWB operates by means of affiliate organizations (over fifty) located in forty countries. It is therefore a network in itself, providing access to financing, information and the market for women micro and small enterpreneurers.

WWB's Goals

How Women's World Banking Functions

   Traditional System            Women's World Banking 
   ------------------------      --------------------------
   Poor women as passive         Poor women as dynamic 
   beneficiaries                 economic agents
   Social welfare, charity,      Sustainable business
   paternalism                   approaches dealing with
                                 economic and social
   Local organizations           Self-determined local
   implementing rojects          organizations responding
   designed elsewhere            to local needs.
   Top-down control from         Mutual accountability for
   outside                       results at all points
   Assistance from outside       Lateral learning among
   experts                       practitioners.
   Elite versus grassroots       Partnerships in banking and
   organizations                 business to change money and
                                 power relationships.
   Alternative systems versus    Transformational institutions
   mainstreaming                 with major impact.

Relationship Banking

Affiliate-Local Banks-Clients

WWB affiliates can leverage their successful experience in direct lending to microenterprise clients and expanding capital bases to negotiate leveraged credit lines with local banks. Affiliates can then use these credit lines to scale-up their micro loan programmes.
This arrangement saatisfies the major needs of the key players in delivering financial services to poor women enterpreneurers.

Affiliate-WWB-Local Banks

Experience indicates that loan guarantees, in which banks make the loans, work best for small enterprises. For microenterprises, WWB loan guarantees are useful in providing partial guaranteess with affiliates for bank-affiliate-client credit lines. The loan guarantee is not a start-up product. Afiliates need to develop a strong track record first.
In both arrangements, WWB affiliates seek to leverage substantial bank resources for micro- and small enterprise loans.

Affiliates-Informal Organizations-Clients

WWB affiliates are begining to establish themselves as financial intermediaries by on-lending funds to grassroots organizations, rural banks, and women's savings groups.
Many affiliates have access to local and foreign capital and have financial management know-how. Informal organizations have clients in areas not yet reached by WWB affiliates. By combining these advantages, WWB affilites can reach greater numbers of poor women enterpreneurers.

Affiliates-WWB-Funding Partners

Fnding partners are recongizing that one of the most strategic means of funding with a strong track record is through affiliate capitalization.
With a strong track record, a sound business plan, and network inputs specified under the WWB Affiliate-Network Partnership Agreement, affiliate capital funds can be used to build self-sustaining institutions. Capitlization enables affiliates to: generate income to cover core operating costs, expand direct lending, and leverage substantial local resources.

Abstracted from Vincent, Fernand, "Alternative Financing of Third World ORganizations and NGOs" Volume I, IRED-CTA-FGC-RAFAD. 1995.

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Women's World Banking

Hari Srinivas - hsrinivas@gdrc.org
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