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Forging Sustainable New Paths to Development
4/17/2014

“If you’re trying to fight something as big as global poverty, you need the biggest weapons possible. You need to harness the capital markets. That’s the only way to build long-lasting institutions that will address the needs of the poor…” 

Read more from Michael Schlein’s recent speech, “Forging Sustainable New Paths,” given at Harvard’s International Development Conference.

 

Accion CEO Michael Schlein appointed as Board Chairman of New York City Economic Development Corporation
4/3/2014

Accion’s CEO, Michael Schlein, has been appointed to serve as the board chairman of the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC). While continuing in his role at Accion, he will oversee NYCEDC’s 27-member board of business, community, nonprofit and academic leaders that helps to guide the organization’s agenda. As the city’s primary economic development vehicle, NYCEDC leverages the city’s assets to create jobs, drive growth, and improve quality of life across the five boroughs, using diverse tools like urban planning, asset management, capital construction, and strategic investment.

Read further details about this appointment in the Mayor’s Press Release or in a recent New York Times article.

Azimo Announces $10 Million USD Series A fundraising led by Greycroft Partners, with Accion’s Frontier Investments Group, eVentures, and others participating
3/12/2014

Azimo, the low-cost digital money transfer startup, has closed a $10 million series A funding round led by Greycroft Partners. Accion’s Frontier Investments Group, eVentures, TA Ventures, RI Digital Ventures and KRW Schindler Investments also participated in the round. The company will use the funds to accelerate European expansion and target other key markets in North America and Asia.
Read the Press Release >>

Accion Venture Lab Invests in eMoneyPool
3/4/2014

Accion Venture Lab, a $10 million initiative dedicated to providing seed capital and management support to financial inclusion start-ups announced today an investment in digital savings company eMoneyPool. Building off of the success of traditional savings circles, eMoneyPool is formalizing and digitizing savings pools in order to make them more accessible and convenient to use for a greater number of people.
Read the Press Release >>

New Financial Literacy Training for Professionals and Institutions to be held in New Delhi on April 3-5, 2014
2/20/2014

Accion is pleased to announce a new, three-day financial literacy training program to educate development professionals and institutions.  The program, which will take place in New Delhi, India on April 3-5, 2014, is specifically designed for managers and professionals working in the area of financial services, as well as senior-level management officials and master trainers from financial institutions. This new training is based on Accion’s current financial literacy program, which helps clients improve their ability to manage their personal and household finances and become informed and effective consumers of financial services. Participants will gain a comprehensive understanding of financial literacy as well as the tools and methods necessary to deliver financial literacy training. More information is available on our website here or by emailing Aishwarya Swamy at aishwarya@accion.org.

Finamérica wins Accenture Colombia’s 2013 Innovation Award
2/11/2014

A savings product designed by Accion for Finamérica has won both the Public and Jury Prizes in the Financial Services category of Accenture Colombia’s 2013 Innovation Awards. The product, designed as part of a multi-year project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and spearheaded by Accion to design savings products specifically for Latin America, makes savings more attractive to existing credit clients, thus helping them to reduce vulnerability.

New Video from FI2020 Global Forum Released by the Center for Financial Inclusion
1/27/2014

The Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion today released the first in a series of videos from the FI2020 Global Forum, a landmark event in the expansion of global financial inclusion that was held in London from October 28-30, 2013. In this first installment, leading financial service providers and regulators are asked: Is financial inclusion possible by 2020 and why does it matter?

Click here to watch the video on YouTube.

The Smart Campaign, Fundación Paraguaya and the Center for Financial Inclusion Launch Resources for Disability Inclusion
1/20/2014

While persons with disabilities (PWD) make up 15 percent of the developing world's population it is estimated that they represent only 0.5 percent of current MFI clients. While some PWDs have challenges so severe that economic participation is not feasible and ill advised, the vast majority have the capacity to utilize and benefit from financial services but are currently unserved. The Smart Campaign has joined forces with the Persons with Disability Program of the Center for Financial Inclusion and Fundación Paraguaya to create a set of how-to trainings and tools that will help MFIs become disability friendly and inclusive. The goal of this work is connected to and aligned with Client Protection Principle #5 – Fair and Respectful Treatment of Clients – in particular the section that addresses non-discriminatory practices.

Read more on the Center for Financial Inclusion website >>

Nigeria’s AMfB Named Best Microfinance Bank for 3rd Straight Year
1/17/2014

Accion Microfinance Bank has won the Lagos State Enterprise Award (LEAD) for best microfinance bank in Nigeria for the third consecutive year. AMfB was recognized for “…its uncompromising standard in promoting microenterprises and delivering first-class services resulting in poverty alleviation in Nigeria,” according to LEAD’s executive director.

Read the article in Nigeria’s BusinessDay >> 

 

BancoSol and Swadhaar Recognized for Strong Client Protection
1/7/2014

Accion partners BancoSol and Swadhaar, located in Bolivia and India, respectively, have recently been certified by the Smart Campaign for demonstrating high standards of client protection. The Smart Campaign’s Certification program publicly recognizes those institutions providing financial services to low-income households whose standards of care uphold the Smart Campaign’s seven Client Protection Principles, which cover such critical areas such as pricing; transparency; fair and respectful treatment; and prevention of over-indebtedness.

“We at BancoSol are very happy to learn we’ve been certified by the Smart Campaign,” said Kurt Koenigsfest, CEO. “This will make us work even harder to make sure that our clients know their rights, are treated will all respect and consideration, that we follow transparent practices and, above all, that clients from the base of the pyramid have more and better opportunities to get out of poverty.”

Accion’s Longtime Colombian Partner Finamérica Nominated by Accenture Colombia for Innovative Concept in Financial Services
12/19/2013

“El Milagroso,” a savings product designed by Accion for Finamérica, has been nominated for the 2013 Accenture Colombia Innovation Awards. The product, designed as a part of a multi-year project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and spearheaded by Accion to design savings products specifically for Latin America, makes savings more attractive to existing credit clients, thus helping them to reduce vulnerability.

Accion’s Venture Lab Closes Two New Investments
11/13/2013

Impact-Investing Initiative Announces Close of Investments in Seed-Stage Companies that Provide Payments, Healthcare and Microinsurance Products to Clients at Base of the Pyramid

Read the press release >>

Accion Selected for ‘ImpactAssets 50 2013’
10/31/2013

Accion announced today that it has been selected for the ‘ImpactAssets 50 2013’, an annual listing of top impact investment fund managers, for the third year in a row. The IA 50 is the first publically available database of private debt and equity impact investment fund managers, and serves as a gateway for those interested in achieving social and/or environmental, as well as financial, returns on their investments.

Read the press release >>

Making Financial Inclusion a Reality
10/30/2013

President and CEO of Accion, Michael Schlein, discusses how we can make financial inclusion a reality in his latest Huffington Post article.

Read the article on the Huffington Post >>

Full Financial Inclusion Possible by 2020
10/28/2013

The Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion launched today the Financial Inclusion 2020 Global Forum with remarks from Michael Corbat., CEO of Citi (NYSE: C); Ajay Banga, president and CEO of MasterCard (NYSE: MA); and Bill Sheedy, global executive, corporate strategy, M&A, and government relations of Visa Inc. (NYSE: V). This diverse coalition has attracted more than 300 other leaders in finance, technology, government and the nonprofit community to chart a course to make full financial inclusion a reality by 2020, just weeks after World Bank President Jim Yong Kim embraced the same goal.

Accion announces 2013 Clinton Global Initiative Commitment
10/24/2013

Michael Schlein, President and CEO of Accion, has announced the organization’s 2013 commitment to the Clinton Global Initiative. Our commitment is based on the Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion’s efforts around Financial Inclusion 2020, a global, multi-sector effort that seeks to answer the question: What does the world have to do to achieve full financial inclusion by the year 2020?

Watch the announcement here or read the commitment on the Clinton Global Initiative website.

World Bank President Sets Goal of Universal Financial Access by 2020
10/11/2013

The President of the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim, has announced an initiative to provide universal financial access to all working-age adults by 2020.

Read more on the Center for Financial Inclusion Blog >>

First Microfinance Institutions in Latin America Certified for Strong Client Protection Practices
10/9/2013

The Smart Campaign, a global initiative to incorporate strong client protection practices across the microfinance industry, today announced the first three microfinance institutions in Latin America to become Client Protection Certified for meeting strong standards of client care: Pro Mujer Mexico, and Fundación Mundo Mujer Popayan and Crezcamos in Colombia.

2013 edition of the Global Microscope on Microfinance highlights progress in credit bureau infrastructure, client protection and mobile banking
10/2/2013

More than half the countries in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s 2013 Global Microscope improved their microfinance scores in the past year, evidence of the commitment of many governments and institutions to deepening financial inclusion.

Accion U.S. Network members receive $7.1 million
9/25/2013

For the first time ever, all five members of the Accion U.S. Network, the largest micro- and small business lending network in the United States, were awarded grants from the Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Fund. The CDFI Fund uses federal resources to invest in CDFIs to build their capacity to serve low-income people and communities that lack access to affordable financial products and services.

Coalition of Public, Private and Civil Society Leaders Unveils Roadmap to Financial Inclusion
9/24/2013

Financial Inclusion 2020 today announced the launch of the Roadmap to Financial Inclusion, a series of recommendations designed to expand access to quality financial services globally.

Forbes 400 Philanthropy Summit Report Highlights Accion's Work
9/18/2013

Accion and the Smart Campaign have been featured in the recently released Forbes 400 Philanthropy Summit report, ‘Alleviating Global Poverty’, sponsored by Credit Suisse.

Citi and MasterCard CEOs Join Financial Inclusion 2020 Global Forum Agenda
8/23/2013

Today, the Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion announced that Michael Corbat, CEO of Citi and Ajay Banga, CEO of MasterCard (NYSE: MA) will attend and deliver remarks at the Financial Inclusion 2020 Global Forum. Taking place in London on October 28-30, 2013, the Forum is a one-time event that will promote a global agenda for bringing about the financial inclusion of more than 2 billion people around the world.

Rising Incomes Offer New Opportunities for Financial Inclusion
6/11/2013

The Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion and MasterCard released Growing Income, Growing Inclusion: How Rising Incomes at the Base of the Pyramid Will Shape Financial Inclusion. The report shows that rising incomes among the world’s poor and near-poor are creating a vast new market for financial services. These shifts highlight the next challenge on the path to financial inclusion – designing ways to successfully serve new and untraditional banking clients.

Financial Inclusion 2020 Demonstrates Unprecedented Global Collaboration of Leading Companies, NGOs, Policymakers and Regulators
5/28/2013

The Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion today announced that it has received a $400,000 grant for its Financial Inclusion 2020 project from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The FI2020 project is building a global movement to expand the reach and benefits of a range of quality financial services, using the year 2020 to spark action.

Accion’s Venture Lab Closes Initial Investments in Financial Inclusion Start-Ups
5/7/2013

Today, Accion announced the first five investments by Venture Lab, its $10 million seed capital initiative, which invests in start-up companies that help expand global financial inclusion. A pioneer and leader in bringing financial services to the underserved, Accion launched Venture Lab in April, 2012.

Accion President and CEO Michael Schlein gives Keynote Presentation at the Microlumbia Fund Conference
5/3/2013

Accion President and CEO Michael Schlein addressed students and members of Columbia University’s Microlumbia Fund at their 6th annual conference on May 3rd in New York City.

There's more to financial inclusion than having a bank account, argues Elisabeth Rhyne of the Center for Financial Inclusion
4/12/2013

Elisabeth Rhyne writes in The Guardian: "Financial inclusion policy makers and providers must understand how financially included and excluded people manage their money, because improved money management is in itself one of the main objectives of financial inclusion and because wrong assumptions about money management can lead to failed products and client indifference."

New Study Highlights U.S. Small and ‘Micro’ Businesses as Engines for Job Creation
4/1/2013

By providing small loans that average just $10,000 in the U.S., leading microlenders Accion and Opportunity Fund are significantly contributing to small business sustainability, as well as increases in income and job creation according to their microTracker lending outcomes study – U.S. Microfinance: Small Loans, Big Results.

Accion Pledges Support for Smart Campaign's Client Protection Certification
3/19/2013

Accion today pledged support for the Smart Campaign’s Client Protection Certification Program. The program, created by the Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion, launched in January to ensure that client-protection standards are both achievable and valued by the microfinance industry.