Women and girls face unique and persistent challenges to economic empowerment. Whether overt or tacit, many women and girls are denied access and agency to take up financial and nonfinancial services that could profoundly improve the livelihoods, coping mechanisms and lives of themselves and their families. Ayani recognizes the stark contrast between the significant contribution that women make to emerging economies, and their access to finance, non-financial services and basic opportunities for business growth.
As a women-owned firm with a keen awareness of the access and agency challenges faced by women in emerging economies, Ayani also maintains a special commitment to advancing female entrepreneurs’ access to finance, linking them to skill-building initiatives and advancing their opportunities to thrive in economic markets. Ayani's efforts to help bridge the gender gap have included:
Conducting a country assessment of the supply of financial and training resources, as well as the barriers to their access, as specific to women across Zimbabwe;
Assessing women’s contributions to specific agricultural value chains in Mozambique and developing strategies for overcoming barriers to women’s inclusion
Collaborating with local financial service providers and other sector actors in numerous countries in Africa and Asia to develop and implement strategies for improving women’s financial inclusion;
Advising and equipping financial institutions to better reach and serve women-owned businesses;
Encouraging socially responsible investors to devote funding to initiatives aiming to close the gender credit gap;
Empowering women-owned enterprises, through direct business development support, training and mentoring initiatives; and
Focusing on value chains that support high rates of female participation.