Analysis of financial access among women in micro agro-based enterprises. a case of Brac Uganda microfinance limited Iganga branch
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This study aimed at examining the access to finance by micro agro-based women enterprises in BRAC Uganda Bank Ltd Iganga Branch. The study was premised on three objectives; to examine the factors influencing access to finance by micro agro-based enterprises in BRAC Uganda Bank Ltd Iganga Branch, to establish the challenges hindering access to finance by micro agro based women enterprises in BRAC Uganda Bank Ltd Iganga Branch and to suggest best recommendations to challenges faced in accessing finance by micro agro-based women enterprises in BRAC Uganda Bank Ltd Iganga Branch. The study employed a cross-sectional and descriptive research with a quantitative study approach which involved collecting numerical data from 234 respondents out of a sample of 285 Women in Micro Agro-Based Enterprises, using a survey questionnaire. Data were analyzed using the statistical package for social science (SSPS Version 23). Among factors influencing access to finance by women entrepreneurs, included credit history of the borrower, the stage of development of the business products, business registration, keeping business records, borrowing in groups than individuals, and finally, the business size. On the hand the challenges, the study identified included the high interest rates charged by the banks, banks/lenders asking for a collateral, the period of repayment of the loan is too short, the study identified that high loan processing fees, the banks lack suitable credit/loan products for agro-based enterprises. Among the strategies, the study found government creating a supportive environment for women entrepreneurs as the most outstanding strategy to overcome the challenges, followed by the government supporting BRAC Uganda so that it extends subsidized loans to the women entrepreneurs. Therefore, the study recommends that banks and the government should create a supportive environment for women entrepreneurs. Secondly the government should support BRAC Uganda so that it extends subsidized loans with low interest. Furthermore, the study recommends that Bank of Uganda should monitor the bank's activities so that they do not exorbitantly exploit their customers through loan processing; in addition, banks should create easier loan conditions, such as a longer period of payment. Banks need to create easier loan conditions will attract more borrowers and help them finance their needs and that the banks train women entrepreneurs on how best they handle record-keeping in their business.