On April 7, Mikro Kapital brought together the Italian and Swiss financial and business community for the event “From Italy to Tajikistan: the path of women entrepreneurs”. During the gala dinner, the President of Mikro Kapital, Vincenzo Trani, gave a speech focused on the activity of the group in support of female entrepreneurs and in particular on Imon International, the main microcredit operator in Tajikistan, an institution of which Mikro Kapital is the main shareholder. The history and initiatives of what can be called a real “women’s bank” were outlined, as Imon is strongly committed to supporting female entrepreneurship.
In countries along the Silk Road, in Central Asia, such as Uzbekistan, Armenia, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan, the share of women who receive micro loans for their entrepreneurial initiative exceeds 51% of total number of applicants for micro loans. Doing better than North America and Europe. In some countries of Southeast Asia this percentage reaches as much as 80%. According to estimates at the end of 2020, the entire world microcredit market was around $ 160 billion (and is expected to grow to over $ 304 billion in 2026), with around 140 million end-borrowers, of which 81% globally they are women.
In some developing countries, there is still strong discrimination against women and female entrepreneurs. Although female entrepreneurs do not enjoy the same social status as men from local banks or institutions, particularly in Muslim-majority countries, they result in a greater number of borrowers. In fact, in these countries there are projects and initiatives of other financial operators aimed at filling the gap left by banks or providing credit to women who want to launch or increase their own small business. But not only that, in addition to the loan, many of these initiatives also include training courses and consulting services aimed at supporting the entrepreneur in developing her own project. This is the case of Imon International’s initiatives.
During the gala dinner also an Italian female entrepreneur, Emma Scaravilli, presented her successful story. Thanks to the support of Mikro Kapital, she managed to realize her dream of carrying on her grandfather’s business, that is to grow the Bronte pistachio on the family lands on the slopes of Mount Etna. To date, her DOP pistachios and its derivatives, under the company brand Gemma Verde (green gemstone) are famous all over the world, especially in Japan and Canada. Attendees had the possibility to “taste” the output of a female entrepreneur’s job and of an investments in microfinance.
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