Browse by Theme: Private Sector

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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Ahead of the Syria conference in London in early February, donors and governments in the region are working closely to agree a new plan for responding to the refugee crisis in the region. The private sector will be critical to its success.

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Out on the conference circuit last year, I heard a lot about using a partnership approach (combining resources and efforts with others to reach some kind of mutually beneficial outcome) in order to reach more people (the most common definition of scale) and bring about change in the long term (impact). My challenge to other development colleagues, and to those I’d met previously at some of these conferences, was that we move away from sound-bite statements, and focus instead on being proactive about piloting and getting on with implementing.

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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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