Browse by Theme: Financial Inclusion

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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Many banks have opted out of targeting and serving underbanked consumers in developing countries, concluding that it is either too complex, costly or not profitable. In order to tackle these assumptions and to help banks better understand the nuances of what is required to capitalise on financial inclusion, CARE and Accenture joined forces to study the current financial inclusion capabilities and strategies of leading banks in developing countries. The outcome of this important research offers a set of key insights on how banks can profitably and responsibly meet the financial needs of unbanked and underbanked consumers.

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Banking on Change is a partnership between Barclays, CARE International and Plan UK that is breaking the barriers to financial inclusion and improving the quality of life in some of the world’s poorest communities, by giving people the skills to save and manage their money effectively. Since 2009, the partnership has made a difference to the lives of 750,000 people around the world living on less than US$2 a day by setting up community savings groups who save and lend together, with a key focus on reaching young people.

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