When most of us think of refugees, we probably consider the recent crisis stemming from Syria's civil war, the resettlement debates in the United States and Europe, or we might even have a mental picture of a prison-like refugee camp in a remote part of a country.
In 2012, Joyce received a $3,000 loan to start her business selling kitchen tiles in Lusaka, Zambia. This was no small feat in a country where 27.4% of small business owners recognize access to finance as a major or severe obstacle to business operations. While Joyce lacked the collateral she would have needed for a loan only a few years earlier, Zambia’s newly established credit bureau had a documented record of her overall creditworthiness. When she applied for the loan, the bank verified her reputation and provided the loan within just a few days.