Browse by Theme: Financial Inclusion

In Tanzania a group has gathered to purchase shares, grow their savings, access loans and do their book-keeping. Regular financial sector activities, but with a difference. These are the activities of the Tushikamane Paris group – an informal savings group of 24 women and 6 men from the hinterland of Zanzibar, Tanzania. Many from this community live on the poverty line, although some manage to make a little extra cash through selling surplus vegetables, crafts or making and selling snacks, amongst other small-scale enterprises. Despite having very limited funds, members of the Tushikamane Paris group manage to grow their savings every week, without fail.

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A recent IMF ‘staff paper’ (i.e. this is not the official view of the organisation, but they’re not disagreeing with it either...) provides additional support to CARE’s fight for financial inclusion by showing that four of the dimensions of financial development – access, depth, efficiency and stability – can significantly reduce income inequality and poverty.

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Banks have clear needs for support in bringing more people living in poverty into the formal financial sector, but the banks could push forward by working more cooperatively with one another in key areas.

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As outlined in my previous blog, with so many people in all three countries preferring informal saving methods to banking, how large are these markets? How much total capital do they possess? And what can we learn from this?

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As mentioned in my previous blog about savings groups in Tanzania, there are massive amounts of capital circulating informally in East Africa. CARE has pointed out time and time again that serving this market is a social and economic win-win for providers and clients, but the persisting geographic, educational and affordability challenges continue to deter providers from making a long-term investment in the lowest-income market. Could an analysis of the size of the market opportunity help to change their minds?

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A recent research report from Accenture has highlighted the enormous revenue opportunity for banks which financial inclusion represents.

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In some parts of the world people used to think it was too difficult to bank the poor. Findings from last week’s webinar launch of the new State of Linkage Report have dispelled that myth.

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