Santa Clara University

Amanda Nelson

Amanda Nelson is a senior majoring in Economics with a minor in Philosophy originally from Bellevue, Washington. While in Paraguay, she focused on examining rural savings. She created a saving brochure, an interactive savings guide, and supplemental educational curriculum components to encourage saving among rural women. Based on these experiences, she is writing her honors thesis on how savings products offered by microfinance institutions can be better tailored to the needs of rural women. Amanda is ultimately interested in pursuing a career in impact investing. She was drawn to this fellowship because she sees social entrepreneurship as a viable avenue towards sustainable development that she would like to explore further and hopefully turn into a career.

Individual Research Summary:

Along with lack of access to credit, lack of access to savings for the poor is considered a major barrier to economic development. While credit services offered by microfinance organizations have assisted many poor women in improving their financial situation, many MFIs lack formal products for the poor women they serve, specifically women?s committees. In order to create the most effective savings products, institutions must take into account women?s economic behavior and priorities, their social constraints, and the informal mechanisms that currently exist.