Since 1995, we have been working on this key non-financial component of economic development through two major initiatives: financial literacy and business training. We partner with a wide range of organizations to deliver these programs, including microfinance institutions, nonprofits, banks, governments and universities. Our partners provide these unique training courses throughout the world – in local languages and in culturally appropriate ways.
Building on the skills introduced in our financial literacy program, we offer Dialogue on Business, an award-winning set of business training courses for microentrepreneurs.
Accion’s financial literacy program helps clients improve their ability to manage their personal and household finances and become informed and effective consumers of financial services. The core financial management skills provided in our programs allow low-income clients to move beyond credit management to access and effectively use important asset-building tools such as savings and insurance. Financial literacy is also a critical component of consumer protection, creating knowledgeable clients who can more effectively use financial services and avoid the risks of over-indebtedness. Accion's program is targeted at low-income household members with low levels of education and includes courses on financial planning, cash flow management, budgeting, investing, insurance, savings and debt.
We have developed a comprehensive suite of financial literacy materials focused in the areas where low-income clients can most dramatically improve their quality of life, with topics such as income generation, asset building, financial management and risk management. With the support of VISA we have created two versions of the program. The first focuses on fundamental topics such as financial planning, savings, cash flow and budgeting, and debt management. The second version contains additional concepts such as banking, insurance, pensions and investments.
Accion is pushing the frontier of current work in financial literacy by developing innovative ways to deliver content to low-income clients – such as video and broadcast media – in addition to traditional training methods. These new delivery methods aim to more effectively train larger groups of low-income clients, including those who are unable to read.
In India, we have partnered with 33 microfinance institutions across the country. With the generous support of institutions like the Aga Khan Foundation in Bihar, we have been able to train more than 38,000 individuals in basic financial planning.