Smallholders working with the Wasil Foundation in Pakistan | Photo by Ayesha Vellani Photo by Ayesha Vellani

There are an estimated 500 million smallholder families — representing 2 billion people — around the world. Many are financially excluded. CGAP’s research reveals that smallholders have a stronger, more diverse demand for financial services than most providers realize — especially for savings and insurance. This makes them potential clients for providers, including providers who may not consider smallholders a target segment. Our research also questions common assumptions about what smallholders are looking for in financial services, showing how we can use more comprehensive data to deepen our understanding of smallholders’ financial lives. We find that the products most valued by smallholders are flexible, familiar and tangible. To deliver these products more effectively, financial service providers would benefit from partnering with agribusinesses, mobile network operators and other actors that have extensive networks in the remote areas where smallholders often live.

Explore our smallholder resources by browsing the tabs above. Our work on smallholder families' demand for financial services includes nationally representative surveys in six countries and financial diaries. Our surveys have generated over 300,000 data points, which can be viewed in our Smallholder Families Data Portal. The research reveals the diverse opportunities that financial services providers have to reach this underserved segment. Additionally, we have developed some practical resources to help providers incorporate demand-side insights into successful financial products and services.