Women in Chile
Chile has been described as one of the most socially conservative countries of Latin America where traditional gender roles and a patriarchal culture have been the historical norm. Throughout the twentieth century, women increasingly became more involved in politics and protest via women’s rights organisations, resulting in laws that uphold equality between men and women and ban discrimination based on gender.
Since 1990, when Chile returned to democracy, women’s educational achievements, workforce participation, and legal rights have improved. Chile legalized divorce in 2004 and in 2006 Chilean politician Michelle Bachelet became the first woman president of Chile. However, Chilean women still face many economic and political challenges, including income disparity, high rates of domestic violence and lingering gender roles.
World’s Most Powerful Women
The world’s most powerful women are those with qualities of leadership and transformation. They are strong, intelligent business leaders, entrepreneurs, investors, scientists, philanthropists and CEOs. They are women who build brands, manipulate financial markets and broker international agreements as they travel the world, in professions traditionally dominated by men, but where women’s influence is growing.
In this list, we define the word ‘power’ as the ability to influence. The influence that leaves a long-term legacy rather than dictatorial power.
FINAM Corporation in Chile is a branch of the Women’s World Banking (WWB). The WWB network serves more than twenty million entrepreneurs in twenty-eight countries worldwide, the vast majority of whom are women. It is the largest global network in terms of the number of clients it serves and is the only organisation that offers credit and other financial services specifically to low-income female entrepreneurs.
FINAM corporation is a non-profit organization that provides, particularly to women, information, strategic support and technical assistance and information to micro-finance institutions and banks that offer credit and other financial services to low-income entrepreneurs. The mission statement of FINAM Corporation is “to expand the economic assets, participation and power of low-income women and their households by helping them access financial services, knowledge and markets.”
FINAM Corporation came out of an initiative from the United Nations World Conference on Women, held in Mexico City in 1975 that coincided with the International Women’s Year and to mark the start of the “UN Decade for Women” (1976–1985). FINAM Corporation was established in Chile on July 28, 1988 as a Non-Government Organisation (NGO).
FINAM Corporation understand that economic independence can reinforce women’s rights, enabling them to make choices about their own education, opportunity and well-being. Providing small loans and other financial services to poor women entrepreneurs helps in the fight against poverty. The goal is “To reach women who have been bypassed by the traditional banking system and to bring them into the economic mainstream.”
Research has revealed that granting women micro-loans has a long-lasting impact on the wider population, giving women autonomy and a chance to participate in public life. Statistically, women have also be found to invest much more of their income in their families and communities than men, to include health care, education for their children and home improvement. The model of the woman entrepreneur as the foundation of household and community stability in their particular culture is a fundamental basis for the micro-finance business model and a guiding principle behind FINAM Corporation in Chile.
Products and Services
Over time, FINAM Corporation has diversified the products they offer beyond credit. These now include savings products, insurance, housing and home-improvement loans and more flexible loans for individuals and particularly in Chile, rural entrepreneurs.
FINAM Corporation in Chile now also offer advice and technical assistance to include market research as well as financial advice. The Microfinance Information Exchange (MIX), a non-profit organization that provides business information for the micro-finance industry, highlights FINAM Corporation, Chile as achieving high outreach and low transaction costs while being both profitable and transparent.
FINAM Corporation works hard to ensure that women do not lose out in access to micro-finance as institutions grow. It holds onto the concept that access to financial services brings a measure of stabilization to the otherwise precarious lives of the poor. Women’s empowerment is harder to measure than economic change, but is as important when measuring success.
FINAM Corporation in Chile is small, with just one office in Santiago with eighteen personnel, 8 of whom are loan officers. Their latest figures from MIX, for the year ending 2014, show a gross loan portfolio of 0.53 million dollars and assets of 0.51 million dollars (down from 1.09 in 2011). Liabilities are currently 0.26 million dollars (down from 0.43 in 2011).
The number of active borrowers in 2014 was 1590 who borrowed a total of 0.25 million dollars. The portfolios at risk have risen between 2011-2014 from 21 percent to 46 percent and the write-off ratio has also jumped in the same period from 8.80 percent to 17.49 percent.
Percent allocation money management (PAMM)
PAMM describes a software application that allows clients to attach money to a specific trader managing one or more accounts. PAMM allows the trader on one trading platform to simultaneously manage an unlimited number of managed accounts. Depending on the size of the deposit each managed account has its own ratio in PAMM. Trader’s activity results (trades, profit and loss) are allocated between managed accounts according to the ratio.
A PAMM system allows more money to be brought into play while distributing the risk of one trader across multiple investors.