Access to finance and banking

Marketing systems are undergoing rapid transformation. Traditional marketing channels with ad hoc sales are being replaced by coordinated links between processors, retailers and others. As incomes increase, women business patterns are changing. Consumers are becoming more demanding in terms of quality and safety and demographic and income trends are leading to increased demand for convenience products, together with assurances of product safety.

It is against this background that donors, NGOs and others are recognizing the need for activities that link women businesses to market demand. Thus approaches such as “Linking to Markets”, which assume the development of long-term business relationships rather than support for ad hoc sales, were identified during the meeting in Elbasan. The meeting and discussions briefly reviewed examples of linkages developed both directly by the private sector and by projects where donors and NGOs provide the catalyst for women to work more closely within the private sector.

There is a growing trend towards branding on the basis of quality or taste attributes, and this may have the advantage of not requiring certification. Among some development agencies there tends to be emphasis on helping women to identify profitable markets overseas rather than domestically.

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