What is Financial Inclusion?
Financial Inclusion aims to provide access to finance to the more than 1.7 billion people in developing countries who remain unbanked. In addition, more than 200 million MSMEs (micro, small and medium sized enterprises) in these economies are thought to be underserved, leading to a financing gap of about USD 2 trillion (source: IFC). Investments in this sector provide access to capital along with secondary effects, including local employment, reduction of poverty, women‘s empowerment, improvements in education, health and sanitation.
FinTech, from mobile money to branchless banking, is technology that is revolutionizing how clients access banking and credit. Financial Institutions can also increase their efficiency, improve access in remote regions, and serve clients at lower cost. Through digital growth, we are also improving remote access to a range of markets beyond financial services.
Microfinance means providing loans, on average around USD 900, to self-employed, household-based entrepreneurs. The majority of clients are women who run retail stores, produce handcrafted goods, or are street vendors, farmers, food processors, or traders.
SME Finance means providing loans to small and medium enterprises with 10 to 300 employees. This serves a wide variety of service and agricultural sectors, as well as small-scale industrial and manufacturing. This group is often referred to as "the missing middle".
Financial Inclusion Impact and Key SDGS:
Provide access to finance for low-income households, offering savings, mortgages, insurance and other essential services.
Create jobs by supporting small businesses, improving the supply of credit from financial institutions to help Micro & SMEs grow.
Boost financial sector development, providing long-term support to improve product offerings, stimulate innovation and promote economic development.
Why invest in Financial Inclusion in Emerging Markets?
Funding Demand (USD)
IFC estimates that 65 million Micro & SME businesses are in need of USD 5.2 trillion of funding every year.
Filling the gap
High demand for financial services. 1.4 billion adults remain without access to financial services today.
Financial inclusion has been identified as an important enabler for 7 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
Financial Inclusion in the News
Watch how Fintech is crucial for Financial Inclusion
Our Financial Inclusion Team
Head of Financial Institutions Debt Africa & Country Director Kenya Link to full profile