Browse by Theme: Financial Inclusion

The Practitioner Hub and the Inclusive Business Action Network have just launched Search Inclusive Business, a first-of-its-kind searchable online database of inclusive business publications. The website brings together over 1,300 reports, case studies, tools and fact sheets relevant to inclusive business from a wide range of authors and organisations.

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CARE is at Davos again this year, talking to the business and government elite who gather each year in the Alpine hide-away for the World Economic Forum. On Friday (21 January) we are co-hosting a discussion event with Accenture Development Partners on the role of banks within financial inclusion, pointing to the key message for banks in our recent Within Reach report which highlights the strength of the business case for banks to engage in financial inclusion, but also highlighting from CARE’s perspective the key role that financial inclusion plays in the empowerment of women, and the imperative for banks to step up to the challenge.

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CARE has teamed up with Equity Bank to launch a credit product for Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs) known as Pamoja Tujijenge, or ‘We Build Each Other Together’. The product provides thousands of dollars to savings groups as a loan and is the next step in CARE’s long-term initiative of providing meaningful financial empowerment for East Africa’s under-served rural poor. If successful, the credit product can serve as an important precedent for financial service providers wishing to reach this market at a time when private, public and non-governmental stakeholders are taking notice and action to combat poverty through financial inclusion.

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Despite promising advances and commitments to financial inclusion and mobile money, Tanzania remains home to millions of unbanked or under-banked people. Analysis of data about financial inclusion and savings groups sheds some light on the role that savings groups might play in closing that gap. The results highlight a formidable challenge but also a massive opportunity: millions of Tanzanians – most of them young, poor, rural and female – are collectively circulating roughly US$175 million each year through informal systems of saving and commerce. As the year 2015 comes to a close, stakeholders of the Tanzanian mobile, financial and development sectors are facing massive opportunities and important decisions about how to link this under-served market to formal financial services.

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While CARE has long believed that giving women access to savings, both informally and in the formal financial sector, is a key way to empower women economically, it is always good to have such an august institution as the IMF provide support. In fact a recent IMF ‘Staff Paper’ – ie published by the IMF but not officially its policy – goes further to also highlight a positive impact on national growth.

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Accenture and CARE International will discuss key findings from their report, Within Reach – How banks in emerging economies can grow profitably by being more inclusive, in a webinar on 19 November. This will be a chance for key stakeholders around the globe to learn about the commercial opportunities of responsible, inclusive banking.

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Within Reach, a new report launched on 5 November by CARE and Accenture, the global consulting firm, sets out how banks in emerging economies can grow profitably by being inclusive. At CARE we know that providing access to basic formal bank accounts has a transformative effect for those living in poverty, especially women. Decades of working in this area has proven that even the poorest, those living on less than $2, can save and become viable customers. We believe that this report shows that financial inclusion can also be a viable business strategy.

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