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Promoting Inclusive Markets and Financial Systems


Can Formal work with Informal? Lessons, Opportunities and Challenges for Deepening Financial Inclusion

Sponsored by  SEEP
May 21, 2013 (Tue), 9:00am-10:30am (EST)

Virtual Event: Webinar details have been sent to those who registered. Registration is now closed. The Webinar and materials will be posted after the Webinar has finished.

  • Can VSLAs work with Banks and other formal institutions?
  • What kind of preparation is needed among VSLAs and Banks/ institutions to do business together?
  • What has been the experience of the Banks, MFIs, mobile money service providers?

These are some of the questions that will be explored in this webinar, based on experiences and lessons from 8 pilots in 5 countries (Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Malawi), linking VSLAs to institutions such as Barclays Bank, Vodafone, Vision Finance, and MicroEnsure.   

Photo courtesy of Sarah Elliot/CARE

On May 21st , 2013 at 9 am EST join the discussion on lessons, opportunities and challenges emerging from CARE’s 8 financial linkage initiatives. Anuj Jain, Senior Fellow at Coady International Institute, will facilitate.  

The importance of expanding access to financial services for the world’s poorest people is increasingly recognised. But despite the growing international attention to the issue, numerous barriers remain. An estimated 2.5 billion people do not have an account with a bank or other financial institution, severely limiting their ability to save, invest and plan for their future.

Photo courtesy of Sarah Elliot/CARE

The “savings revolution” taking place in many developing countries, which has seen millions of people join informal community savings groups, is now being recognized as a possible solution.  These groups fill some of the gap left by the absence of banks by allowing members to save flexibly, access small loans to invest in small businesses, and build a social fund to strengthen their ability to cope financially with unexpected events such as an illness in the family. CARE’s Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA) group model has proven to be one of the world’s most effective, with over three million members in Africa alone.

Photo courtesy of CARE Kenya

To respond to emerging demands of VSLA members for broader range of financial products and services, CARE has tested eight innovative pilots,  linking informal savings groups with formal financial institutions, with exciting results that could help deepen the financial inclusion and connect the developing world’s “unbanked” with the formal global economy.  

Read more in “Connecting the World’s Poorest People to the Global Economy.”

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