'You have to find a location where you will sell, where you think you will sell most' – Exploring the numeracy skills of female microcredit clients in Nicaragua

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Sonja Beeli-Zimmermann


Using Lindenskov and Wedege's (2001) working model for numeracy, semi-standardised interviews with self-employed women in Nicaragua were analysed. The analysis illustrates that the women’s numeracy skills are not limited to counting and calculation skills when dealing with financial matters. The interviewees display a broad understanding of patterns and relations, and there are indications of an awareness of data and chance. While the medium of money plays an important role, the women also refer to specific products, time or people when displaying their numeracy skills. If the livelihoods of these women are to be improved and international development goals and educational commitments are to be reached and fulfilled, it is suggested that these skills that the women already possess should be investigated more systematically in order to better understand the transfer of knowledge between different contexts.

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Author Biography

Sonja Beeli-Zimmermann, the University of Berne

Sonja Beeli-Zimmermann has a degree in educational science from the University of Berne, Switzerland, where she is currently working as an assistant pursuing a PhD. She collected the data referred to in this article for her master thesis ''Si uno hace planes, Dios dispone' – Exploring planning skills of microentrepreneurs in Nicaragua.' and reanalysed them under the perspective of numeracy.