Understanding Structural Barriers and Hidden Bias in Access to Credit for Women-Led Businesses

This report, designed for international development organizations, governments, and financial institutions, does the following: 1) highlights the key barriers facing women-led small enterprises across the developing world; 2) identifies how hidden gender and ethnic biases impact the growth of women-led businesses; 3) presents the results of a pilot case study in Guatemala inspired by a novel methodology, first applied to mortgage lending in the United States, that seeks to test for bias in bank-lending decisions for small enterprises; and 4) provides recommendations for policymakers and financial institutions on how this methodology can be applied in developing countries.

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