Women’s Loan Fund
In September, we launched a ring-fenced loan fund for women.
Our aim is to build a £2 million fund to enable us to provide loans to women with a viable business plan who have been turned down by conventional lenders.
Although their numbers have increased, women are still under-represented in enterprise. Moreover, women often have responsibilities that make traditional employment difficult, especially if under zero-hours contracts. In the UK, lone parents with dependent children represented 25% of all families with dependent children in 2016 and women account for 91% of lone parents with dependent children. Many women are also carers for elderly, sick or disabled family members. For some of these women, self-employment will represent the best opportunity for work.
Why focus on women?
- Women are at least 14 times more likely to live in poverty and less likely to qualify for full time paid employment.
- Reasons include maternity leave, childcare costs, disproportionate care responsibilities, culture and discrimination.
- Social impact of lending to women is greater.
- When you focus on the woman, the family and community are impacted in a greater way.
- The social impact of lending to women with children is multiplied by the number of children who benefit from their income.
- Women tend to be more reliable borrowers but are more reluctant to take on debt.
- Repayment rate has been higher among our female borrowers.
- Focusing on women will enhance our efforts to find new female borrowers.
- Women are underrepresented in the business community and in our client base.
- Women account for only 17% of business owners in the UK.
- Less than 40% of our loans to date have been to women.
- We have experience with the target groups for the Women’s Loan Fund.
- We have a pipeline of women who need our support.
- 20% of our loans are to single mothers.
- 42% of our loans to women are in migrant communities & ethnic minorities.
- 11% of our loans are to women with disabilities.
How can you help us?
We are looking for people to contribute to the Women’s Loan Fund and join the Frederick’s Women’s Network. Here's how:
- Network with like-minded women.
- Become a mentor or panel member and share your skills with women in your community.
- Help us to fundraise.
- Tell us of anyone we should be speaking to.