Promoting Inclusive Markets and Financial Systems
The MasterCard Foundation works with visionary organizations to provide greater access to education, skills training and financial services for people living in poverty, primarily in Africa. As one of the largest private foundations its work is guided by its mission to advance learning and promote financial inclusion to create an inclusive and equitable world. Based in Toronto, Canada, its independence was established by Mastercard when the Foundation was created in 2006. For more information and to sign up for the Foundation’s newsletter, please visit www.mastercardfdn.org. Follow the Foundation at @MastercardFdn on Twitter.
Savings Groups: What Are They?
Savings groups are not only a viable alternative for the vast number of people unlikely to be served by brick-and-mortar financial institutions, they are the catalyst for enhanced social capital, improved gender relations, women’s leadership, and community social and economic development. In the last 20 years, these pioneering projects have demonstrated the power of saving over and over again. Now they are achieving very rapid growth, increasing in number and scale.
This paper seeks to explore and explain the nature of savings groups and the varying approaches used by the most experienced facilitating agencies (FAs) and projects, which mainly work in Africa.