Funding 2.0: Building Inclusive Financial Markets

For decades, donors have been devoting significant resources to microfinance and financial inclusion. Over $25 billion had been committed as of December 2011, according to the most recent CGAP funder survey. Largely as a result of such funding, in many countries today there are successful microfinance institutions and other providers of financial services to the poor. Yet 2.5 billion adults still lack access to formal financial services. Notwithstanding limited successes in a handful of countries, building financial markets that serve the poor appears to be elusive. Why?

We have learned over the years that building a financial market that serves the poor and the excluded is not just about supporting microfinance institutions or other providers interested in the “base of the pyramid.” It’s not just about educating consumers. Or drafting a law. Or creating a credit bureau. It is not about any one of these things on its own. It is about all of these things working together in a system that adapts and innovates to serve the poor.

This blog series will explore several concepts that contribute to building an effective market for the poor.

A man is fishing in Bangladesh near train tracks
02 December 2013
Beyond investing in individual MFIs, how can DFIs facilitate broader development of pro-poor financial service markets?
07 November 2013
At a time when neither the government nor the private sector in South Africa were clear about the obstacles to reaching the base of the pyramid with financial services, FinMark Trust demonstrated how an effective market facilitator can develop an evidence base to inform policy and approaches.
People work together to push a cart up a sandy hill
30 October 2013
Once a private financial market is well-developed, public funding should be aimed at catalyzing private investment at an affordable price and crowding-in more private financial providers.
Men fish at sunset.
22 October 2013
Building a financial market that serves the poor requires more than supporting institutions. It also requires coordinating underlying elements - such as educating consumers, drafting appropriate laws, and building capacity in organizations.