Browse by Theme: Financial Inclusion

The Trust Women conference (on 18-19 November) was fundamentally about women’s rights. You can’t talk of rights without talking of financial services because this encompasses so much else. Why are women not accessing education? Why do women not have access to banks? Why are women being discriminated against?

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From time to time here at The MasterCard Foundation, we are asked to support a statement of principles or a code of conduct, writes Ann Miles, Director, Financial Inclusion at The MasterCard Foundation.

Often, these requests fall outside of our areas of operation, so we politely decline. Every now and then, though, we’re asked to sign such a document that aligns so well with our own vision and mission that we are pleased to do so.

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CARE International’s approach to SME development includes access to finance as an important element. But we also believe that it is essential to adopt a systemic view of the market system and of the socio-economic situation of the individuals and communities with whom we work.

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The IMF World Bank Annual meetings set the big picture on global finance – this year talk was how to cope with slowing growth rates in emerging economies. CARE went to ensure that some of the conversation focused on how those living on less than $2 a day manage their finances and why more banks should support the Linking for Change Savings Charter. Here’s what we found...

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CARE International and Accenture are jointly creating a Financial Inclusion Maturity Model – which will provide a unique viewpoint on financial inclusion in the developing world. It will support financial institutions in expanding the scope of their services to the unbanked and under-banked in a commercially viable and socially inclusive way.

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Recently I had the honour of presenting at the PowerShift Conference on Women in the World Economy, hosted by the Oxford University Saïd Business School. PowerShift was hands down the most inspiring conference I have ever attended, largely because it drew together companies, NGOs and academics in a way which not only gave participants a comprehensive overview of the current status quo of women and finance but also encouraged them to envision what the future might look like.

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There are 2.5bn people who are financially excluded – who have no access to basic financial products, like savings, credit or insurance. I’ve just been to Kenya to visit Banking on Change, a programme which is changing that. I met young men and women who have joined savings and loans groups set up by CARE Kenya through Banking on Change, a partnership between CARE, Plan and Barclays. Here are five things that the visit impressed on me.

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