"I can’t get all the stability in life but I’d like some for my children to begin with and then slowly get more..."
Amaka is 24 years old and grew up in a village in Ebonyi state with seven younger siblings. Her family struggled to get by, rarely having enough food. As the eldest, she was responsible from a young age for providing for the household. She had a child very early in her life at the age of 12 and since then, has had four more. Desperate to change her situation, she saved money and one day, fled to the neighboring Anambra state. She does odd jobs and occasional farming to support her children, and uses her earnings to buy food reserves. Amaka aspires to be a "big" trader and use the money she earns to send her children to school one day. However, since leaving her home, she hasn’t been able to borrow, because she is seen as a stranger.
Since moving to Anambra, what strategies have Amaka employed to slowly accumulate wealth and grow her family’s future?
by the numbers
Like Amaka, Dependent Individualists are mostly young, lower to middle socioeconomic status (SES), relatively poorly educated, married women who are confident in their own abilities. Approximately 24 million (22% of the Nigerian population) fall in this segment.
SOCIOECONOMIC (SES 1-3)
HIGH INCOME VOLATILITY
Dependent Individualists are the least financially healthy segment in Nigeria, though surprisingly they report facing the fewest types of financial shocks in the recent past. They have low and volatile income, driving cautiousness around spending, but making it difficult for them to plan and meet expenses, save towards goals, and build an asset base. Moreover, with only a minority identifying as primary household decision maker, they may have limited control over financial planning.
Financial Behavior & Attitudes
SAVINGS BEHAVIOR & ATTITUDES
Though most Dependent Individualists believe
they do not earn enough to save, nearly all save. Their savings frequency is quite low compared to the rest of Nigeria.
Their challenging economic circumstances may demand flexible financial strategies that favor
group savings through family over formal methods, such as mobile savings.
BORROWING BEHAVIOR & ATTITUDES
Just under half of Dependent Individualists borrow, making them the least frequent borrowers in Nigeria. Most are uncomfortable holding debt and do not consider themselves dependable, perhaps feeling unsure of their ability to repay.
Group borrowing and mobile borrowing are low, as most Dependent Individualists distrust social financial networks and banks. As such, their distance from formal financial institutions may limit their familiarity with formal credit providers.