Browse by Theme: Financial Inclusion

Promoting gender equality is a core belief of the Cocoa Life programme. For years we have been working with partners including humanitarian organisations like CARE International to implement programmes that empower women in cocoa communities, writes Cathy Pieters, Global Director of Cocoa Life, Mondelēz International.

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The global negotiations to agree a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to eradicate global poverty by 2030 will come to a conclusion this September. Many supporters of women’s economic empowerment have backed a petition urging governments to ensure women’s access to financial services is included, so what are the chances?

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The UN Climate Change talks and the agreement of the Sustainable Development Goals are going to be incredibly important for both NGOs and business in 2015 – but what are some of the other key issues we will be working on with business this year? Here, four of our inclusive business experts have rounded up some key initiatives and (frankly) wishes for 2015...

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I have just spent a few days in Dhaka talking to the Bangladesh Central Bank and a number of the key commercial banks in the country, as part of a research project into the role of banks in furthering financial inclusion. At CARE International, our focus is on the poorest people at the ‘bottom of the pyramid’, and the research so far has posed a key question – what do we think of banks placing a strong emphasis on the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) market, rather than reaching further down the pyramid?

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Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs) are a key way to provide access to financial services for people living in areas which financial institutions typically ignore and where the cycle of poverty prevails. They do exactly what their name suggests: provide a way for a group of individuals in any community to save their money and to access loans. But the benefits don’t stop there: later on, VSLAs also serve as an onramp to formal financial services.

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Since 2011 the Ugandan government has taken steps to double the number of adults accessing formal financial services from 28% in 2009 to 54% in 2013. However, 2.6 million adults remain excluded (15% of the adult population). This CARE International policy brief sets out how Uganda can capitalise upon existing good practice and innovation to become a leader in increasing access to formal finance in the East African region.

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