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Market Facilitation Initiative (MAFI) Image

MaFI (The Market Facilitation Initiative)

Market Facilitation Clinic 1: Financial Product Design

Market Facilitation Clinic 1

Scaling Up Financial Products in Market Systems: Beyond the Usual Suspects

This group will use systems thinking to identify and support a range of market actors to  design and scale financial products that meet the unique constraints of rural farmers/poor. Some group members are working directly with financial institutions to refine their product offerings. In other cases, members may be supporting a different market actor to build a custom financing model to help the poor access key products or services, from organic fertilizer to solar-powered irrigation pumps. The group is tackling the challenge getting market actors to move from perceived risk to real risk for different investments, and to structure financial products that match the cash flow realities of the poor.

Learning Agenda: How do we leverage a wider set of partners within the market system to  move from pilot to scale in financial products/services? How do we identify the right incentives, both from supply and demand sides, to increase access to products that are appropriate for the rural poor?

Participants and Their Initial Challenges

Economic Development Manager, World Vision International*

Gustavo oversees a portfolio of projects in Myanmar that are moving towards a market systems approach to financial inclusion. His challenge was to scale up access to financial products to varied parts of the country, with and without the presence of local microfinance institutions.


Managing Director, Faruq Fertilizers Ltd.

Omar leads a local organic fertilizer company in Bangladesh, with a strong mission to reach out to and build a customer base among poor rural farmers. His company partners with donors to increase outreach about the benefits of organic fertilizer, and his main challenge related to helping farmers, whose cash flow was irregular, access the financing necessary to afford the fertilizer his company sells.

Senior Technical Coordinator, ACDI/VOCA*

Heather is the Senior Technical Coordinator with ACDI-VOCA’s Partnership and Investment team, which develops and pilots innovative investment products to move forward the organization’s impact investing work. Her challenge surrounded the piloting of impact investment funds in Ghana and Kyrgyzstan that offered an equity-like debt product that has more flexible payments that are tied to revenues, which is crucial for seasonal agricultural SMEs that have irregular cash flows.

Project Manager, International Development Enterprises (IDE)*

Sarah is a project manager in IDE’s technology and innovation work, who develop new technologies to support farmers to access markets. She came to the group with the challenge of how to develop an effective financial product to help farmers access a new solar-powered irrigation system that had been designed and tested, and now was being sold in different countries around the world.


Manager of Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning, Mercy Corps*

David leads the MEL team for Mercy Corps Uganda, and is exposed to all of the market systems programs the organization implements. He applied to this specific group to gain insights on challenges around the implementation of financial inclusion programs, with an interest to understand how to incentive microfinance institutions and mobile operators to leverage technology to develop innovative and appropriate products for extremely remote poor clients.

* Denotes SEEP Membership

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