FINCA International, which has served unbanked and underbanked people for a long period of time, represents FINCA Forward, the new step in this service. It aims at providing small and growing businesses with the ability to strengthen the economy, create more jobs for specific populations and bring financial services with the help of microfinance institutions.
Due to the fact that social enterprise is one of the missions of FINCA International, FINCA Forward, a two-year pilot funded by the grant from USAID, will be focused on the most vulnerable, poor people around the world that still lack access to the financial services. The families with low income need to have a secured economical status and the meaningful solution for the financial inclusion. Innovations in financial technology serve the accomplishment of this aim.
With bringing early-stage financial technologies and financial institutions together in a proof-of-concept (POC) environment, small and growing businesses (SGBs) will be able to overcome the pioneer gap, which will result in the extension of reach to underserved and underbanked populations, however microfinance institutions engagement in this process needs an efficient way to adopt and adapt to new technologies and compare emerging solutions that are transforming banking around the world.
FINCA Forward Incorporates a Gender Lens Focus
In regards to the fact that there are still 1.7 billion unbanked adults around the world, more than half of whom are women, the lack of access to the financial services, especially impacts females. As a result, they are not able to handle poverty and take part in productive economic activities. The FINCA Forward platform will offer products and channels designed specifically for female microfinance clients and consideration of female-owned and female-led fintech enterprises while selecting criteria.
USAID Partners with FINCA for the Launch of FINCA Forward
USAID, the primary U.S. government agency, works on reducing poverty and saving lives globally to strengthen democratic governance and help communities beyond assistance to progress through the contemporary world. Its partnership with FINCA International through the Partnering to Accelerate Entrepreneurship (PACE) Initiative and Feed the Future (FTF) is one of its main interests since FINCA Forward innovation platform is made to support the poor and gender inequality around the world, grow their economies by providing them with more affordable financial services.
How will it work? Through the platform, microfinance institutions will be able to systematically evaluate new technologies, and fintech start-ups will have a chance to test their value propositions with prospective clients, by way of a microfinance institution’s established customer base. All of these efforts will definitely solve the pioneer gap for small and growing businesses, and bring lessons in partnership and innovation to the social enterprise and development industry.