Rani Deshpande

Senior Financial Sector Specialist

Rani Deshpande rejoined CGAP in 2019 as part of an initiative to understand the potential of targeted financial services to maximize the benefits of the burgeoning digitally-mediated “gig” economy for young, marginalized workers, especially women.

Rani brings 20 years of experience in various aspects of financial inclusion, youth livelihoods, and nonprofit strategy and management. Most recently, she directed Save the Children’s $35M portfolio of youth and off-farm livelihoods development work in over a dozen countries. From 2010 to 2016 she led YouthSave, an initiative that assisted over 150,000 teens to open tailored savings accounts and save over $1.2M. Ms. Deshpande worked at CGAP from 2003-2006 and built institutional and industry capacity on financial products including savings and money transfers. She has also served as a strategy consultant to US nonprofits and worked directly with MSMEs in India and West Africa, providing technical assistance on production for export and small business management.

Rani earned her undergraduate degree from Stanford University and a dual Master’s degree in International Affairs and Business from Columbia University. She is fluent in French and Marathi.

By Rani Deshpande


Maximizing the Impact of Financial Inclusion for Young Women

Among which segments of young women could investments in improved financial services make the most impact? We highlight findings from a recent CGAP segmentation exercise.

Playing the Long Game: Women’s Platform Work and Financial Services

Tailored financial services could help women platform workers mitigate some of the downsides of this growing source of livelihood and translate new opportunities into greater security for themselves and their families over the long-term

Women in the Platform Economy: Emerging Insights

Millions of women work in the platform economy but often face barriers that prevent them from capturing platform-based opportunities. Learn about female workers’ experiences and how financial services can help make platforms more inclusive.

How Can Financial Services Support Platform Work? Insights from Five Emerging Markets

Based on research with platforms and their workers across five countries, this report describes the platform ecosystem in emerging markets, the experiences of workers and sellers in key sectors, and how financial services can help these workers improve their livelihoods.

Growing Up, Growing Informal: Gender Differences in Financial Services

Teenage men and women in Kenya and South Africa adopt formal savings accounts at similar rates. But when they hit their 20s, men continue to adopt formal services while women begin gravitating toward informal services. Why?