Promoting entrepreneurship among women and youth in Chad by strengthening the microfinance sector
With banking services almost non-existent outside urban areas, only 7% of Chadians have access to financial services and resort to the informal system or loan sharks. Despite the implementation of the Government of Chad’s National Financial Inclusion Strategy (201-2024), most of the 115 registered microfinance institutions (MFIs) continue to face enormous difficulties in meeting the needs or marginalised groups, particularly small businesses, as their activities are limited by lack of infrastructure, capacity and reliable technological solutions.
The African Development Bank, through the Africa Digital Financial Inclusion Facility (ADFI), have awarded a grant agreement for $650,000 with the Government of Chad to promote economic empowerment of women and youth through innovative digital financial and non-financial services.
This initiative contributes to the Microfinance Development Support Project for Women and Youth Entrepreneurship to facilitate the access of vulnerable groups to innovative and secured financial and non-financial services through digital transformation, and to promote women's economic empowerment and youth entrepreneurship in the country's rural areas. Led by the Agriculture, Human, and Social Development Complex (AHHD) this initiative is financed by the Africa Digital Financial Inclusion Facility (ADFI) together with co-funding of $12.8 million from the African Development Bank’s Transition Facility Fund and of $650,000 from the Bank’s Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA).
The overall aim is to provide systemic support to the microfinance sector and the entrepreneurial ecosystem by facilitating access of vulnerable groups to innovative and secured financial and non-financial services through digital transformation, and to promote women's economic empowerment and youth entrepreneurship in the country's rural areas.
The project will be implemented over five years and has three components:
- to improve the supply of microfinance services and develop digital finance
- improve the demand for financial services
- strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem in rural areas, as well as project coordination and management
The funding support from the Africa Digital Financial Inclusion facility (ADFI), together with technical assistance from ADFI and oversight from AHHD and AFAWA, aims to support increased financial inclusion and job creation opportunities by not only building the capacity of microfinance institutions to develop new digital financial services for excluded women and youth, but also through the first FinScope study to assess the supply and demand of financial services in Chad.
Expected outcomes include raising awareness of the initiative and of:
- Importance of digital financial solutions as powerful tools to build financial inclusion and strengthen economic empowerment, resilience and growth.
- Crucial role that the microfinance sector plays in strengthening youth and women’s entrepreneurship.
- Role that microfinance can play in addressing barriers to financial inclusion in Chad, currently standing at 7%, due to non-existent banking services outside urban areas where many Chadians resort to the informal system or loan sharks.