Enabling financial independence, access to social assets, and economic opportunities is one of the most powerful and efficient ways to alleviate poverty across the globe. However, with a vast majority of adults having no access to formal lending or banking, promoting local entrepreneurship and small business growth is a significant challenge. Further, this is almost impossible for an individual seeking economic support to elevate and stabilise their standard of living in their home and community.
In Malawi, access to finance is the biggest obstacle to business establishment, growth, and success (Malawi Enterprise Survey 2014). Malawians are alienated from formal financial services, such as banks and loans, due to a lack of collateral, high interest rates, fear of indebtedness, and low or inconsistent incomes. Whilst some ingenious and informal solutions have been created locally, such as village banks (a collaborative effort by a group of 20-30 women to distribute micro-loans amongst their community), 73% of these community groups claim to have insufficient funds and want access to more capital.
With small-scale entrepreneurship and the desire for more income-generating activities growing rapidly, and mostly amongst women, accessing financial assets and solutions remains frustratingly beyond reach.
In Malawi, only 18% of adults have access to a bank account, with only 6% of the nation’s population having access to formal lending (PEV, 2020)
About 131 million or 41% of formal MSMEs (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) in developing countries have unmet financing needs. (UN, 2020)
The financial inclusion gender gap in developing countries remained at 9 percentage points in 2017, unchanged since 2011. (UN, 2020)
Watch It In Action
What it Addresses
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
8.10 Strengthen the capacity of domestic financial institutions to encourage and expand access to banking, insurance and financial services for all
“I chose to undertake this with Project Everest in Malawi working with the Microfinance Team to determine the viability of offering loans to village banks. This experience has enabled me to apply the skills I have learnt within my degree, whilst considerably expanding my capabilities beyond what can be learnt theoretically. The month has been an unforgettable experience and I will be forever grateful that my university enabled me to undertake this placement.”
How to Get involved
Connecting young change-makers and technology partners you will be testing social enterprise solutions in real-world contexts at the very early stages. This is an opportunity to deeply understand our community members and work with them to develop a meaningful social impact.
Virtual Impact Program4 weeks
January 2021 | January 4 – 29, 2021
- February 2021 | February 1 – 26, 2021
- May 2021 | May 10 – June 4, 2021
- June 2021 | June 7 – July 2, 2021
- July 2021 | June 28 – July 23, 2021
Global Impact Program4 Weeks
Rural Impact Program2 Weeks
- December 2020 | December 7 – 18 2020
- January 2021 | January 4 – 15 2021 & January 18 – 29 2021
- February 2021 | February 1 – 12 2021