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.
This paper focuses on savings groups in Swaziland's Shiselweni region. It highlights the benefits that women derive from being part of these groups, like paying for school fees, being able to afford household durables, or even elevating their role in the household. However, the paper also notes that these institutions are far from perfect and points to problems of indebtednesss, lack of transparency, low participation, and inability to meet member's needs during shocks. Most interesting is the various methods that the groups use to calculate interest (not what the may expect). This study shows what happens when groups get some assistance but are left largely to their own devices to get by.
Short version available.