Browse by Theme: Private Sector

Despite the many benefits that CARE’s Village Savings and Loans schemes bring to poor communities, they are not a panacea. As groups mature they seek the security of a bank account, or wish for larger loans than the group can provide. This report looks at eight different models that CARE has explored to connect savings groups with formal financial services. Including Barclays, Vision Finance, Vodacom and Mwanga Community Bank, Orange and Equity Bank and Jubilee Insurance.

High uptake of savings, credit and insurance products have allayed concerns that products might prove too expensive for very poor communities. A total of 4,200 groups, or 105,000 individuals have been linked to the new products developed. Businesses too are benefitting, with increased customer bases and strong repayment rates. The report does recognise however, that overall transaction costs of linking savings groups to formal institutions remains high, albeit mobile banking offers opportunities to reduce this cost. The report also recommends that customer protection must be maintained. It outlines a set of ‘Linkage Principles’ that CARE has designed to help guard their interests.

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This report by Banking on Change partners Barclays, CARE International and Plan UK examines the barriers to financial inclusion in developing countries. It also looks at the potential boost to the global economy that large-scale financial inclusion represents, estimating that developing countries could receive a yearly savings boost of up to $145bn if the 2.5 billion adults worldwide who are ‘unbanked’ participate in savings-led microfinance. The report also calls for financial inclusion to be a key part of the post-2015 development agenda.

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Value Chains, Business Plans and International Markets. What do these terms mean for some of the poorest people living in the isolated farming region of Sopachuy in Bolivia?

Quite a lot, it turns out: “Access to bigger markets means increased income and stable employment which will help to pull hundreds of farming families out of poverty in this region” explains Isabel, CARE Bolivia’s Monitoring and Evaluation Advisor on the drive through the beautiful undulating hills of the Chuquisaca region, home to some of these very poor people.

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To many people, charities and huge multi-national companies will always be strange bedfellows. As such, there can be a gossipy appetite to hear of a mighty culture clash when the two worlds come together in partnership – the sandal wearing NGO worker bewildered by their suited counterparts in the shadows of Canary Wharf.

The truth is much less riveting. Earlier this week, I sat alongside fellow panellists from Barclays, Plan, and DFID at an event entitled ‘Out of poverty and into profit’ in which we asked whether new development partnerships were a force for good?’

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Evidence from the Bangladesh dairy sector demonstrates that strategically sourcing from and selling to low-income farmers helped businesses sustain reliable supply chains, enhance market opportunity, and ultimately increase profits.

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First grown by the British, in Sri Lanka in the 1800’s, tea remains one of the country’s primary export earners and employers. World renowned, ‘Ceylon Tea’
accounts for the third of the tea produced globally while it remains one of the largest exporters of tea in the world. Nationally tea is one of the primary export earners, while the industry employs 10% of the country’s labour force, mostly consisting of women. Despite its pivotal role in the country’s economy for two centuries, those who live and work on the tea plantations are some of the poorest and most marginalized in the country. This brief looks at how multi-faceted worker engagement can improve the development of the tea sector.

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With support from the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), CARE Zambia is using a market-based approach to develop a sustainable network of 500 rural agro dealers, which will provide 91,000 smallholder farmers with access to a range of high-quality, affordable agricultural inputs and improved technologies. This innovation brief highlights one unique strategy CARE has used to enable agrodealers to go the last kilomenter in input supply in Zambia – the introduction of pedaling power.

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