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Innovative approaches for providing sustaibable financial services to the Roma community

Publication Good practices

Foundation Horizonti is a poverty-focused MFI created in 2000 in Macedonia. The primary goal of the project is to provide access to finance, BDS and financial education to low-income women entrepreneurs. The programme started operations in the greater Skopje area, and eventually expanded to seven other cities throughout the country, resulting in 65-70% Roma population coverage. This target group is considered to be the most vulnerable, marginalized and socially excluded group in the Republic of Macedonia. This paper looks at the innovative approaches to successfully reach this population, which posed a unique challenge due to the cultural characteristics of the Roma community and the high level of gender discrimination and illiteracy among women.