According to the World Bank, 1.7 billion people are unbanked — they don’t have access to affordable, ethical financial services like credit or even bank accounts.
✅ Financial inclusion creates access to useful, affordable products — like microcredit, insurance, and savings accounts. This is also called “micro-finance” a concept created by Muhammad Yunis in Bangladesh in the 1970s.
While there may be a long way to go to fully understand the impacts of financial inclusion and microcredit, financial inclusion can be a critical piece of the puzzle for eradicating poverty.
We believe that education is a critical component of financial inclusion:
- 🏦 Financial literacy workshops
- 🏔 Personal initiative training (developing a growth mindset)
- 🛠 Other business supports
Microfinance loans serve almost [20 million people](https://asiasociety.org/education/microfinance-and-women-micro-mystique#:~:text=Worldwide%2C microfinance loans serve almost,payments more reliably than men.) around the world living in poverty. Over 70% of these are women – which is why this form of financial inclusion is so important toward gender equality. On average, the gender gap in bank account ownership between men and women is 9% in low-income countries.
WHAT ARE THE POSSIBILITIES?
Traditionally, we’ve measured impact through a westernized lens. Financial inclusion can have impacts as elusive as improving someone’s self-esteem. Other times, it can change someone’s future entirely, enabling them to improve their business, develop more profits, send their kids to better schools, and even hire others in the community.