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


Financially Including Young Women: Gains for a Generation

The final blog in our series with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation spotlights what CGAP and BMGF have learned about the dynamics of young women’s financial exclusion, and new initiatives to tackle the gender gap at its source in young adulthood.

Decoding Financial Inclusion Gaps Between Young Men and Women

A recent CGAP study revealed a gender gap in financial service adoption among youth in low-income countries. Here, we analyze Findex 2021 data to better understand the factors driving these disparities.

The Impact of Financial Inclusion on Young Women’s Well-being: A Survey of Evidence and Recommendations for Practitioners

Young women face many gender-based barriers as they navigate major life transitions, with life-long effects. A new CGAP Working Paper finds that in addition to improving financial skills and savings levels, financial inclusion initiatives may also improve health and livelihood outcomes when combined with other interventions.

What Does Financial Inclusion Mean for Young Women’s Well-being?

Well-implemented financial inclusion (FI) initiatives for various sub-segments of young women can produce positive financial and non-financial outcomes. Current research shows plural programs with FI components can benefit marginalized young women.

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.