HBS-Accion Program on Strategic Leadership in Inclusive Finance

  • Expand your strategic thinking about serving clients at the base of the pyramid through sharing with peers and exploring real-life cases;

  • Consider your role and the role of your organization in financial inclusion;

  • Deepen your knowledge of business strategy and management with the foremost thinkers in the field;

  • Raise the caliber of your leadership skills while debating the challenges facing the microfinance industry as a whole.

The application period for the 2016 program will launch in November 2015. Please sign up here to be notified once it opens.

The six-day Harvard Business School–Accion Program on Strategic Leadership in Inclusive Finance offers leaders from around the world an exceptional opportunity to connect with peers while engaging with some of the HBS faculty's foremost thinkers in business strategy and management. The HBS Executive Education learning model immerses the world’s most promising leaders in a transformational experience that combines the acquisition of knowledge, skills, and tools with professional, intellectual, and personal development.

Last year the program adopted a new name: the HBS-Accion Program on Strategic Leadership in Inclusive Finance. The name change confirmed a shift in course focus and approach that had been underway for some time, from an exclusive focus on microfinance to a broader financial inclusion scope.

In the past, HBS and Accion have brought together leaders from roughly 100 countries – including over 300 CEOs, presidents, managing  directors, and other high level executives from some of the field’s leading microfinance institutions and financial service providers. The course marries the best in strategic business thinking with the most important advances in financial inclusion and impact investing through:

  • A thorough immersion in the financial inclusion industry and the operations of leading financial institutions that serve lower income clients;

  • Examination of how new business models in this space, especially technology-enhanced models, succeed or flounder;

  • Addressing key challenges of doing business at the base of the pyramid, including succeeding in highly competitive markets, maintaining a social focus in a commercial setting, and evolving products and delivery channels;

  • Engaging participants in captivating, thought-provoking, and even inspiring discussions through the famous case method approach pioneered by HBS.

It is an opportunity not to be missed for financial services providers, regulators and investors who are working in a leadership position in what has become a very multifaceted industry!

Participants in the program can expect to leave the course with an enhanced perspective on their leadership roles as well as insights on commercial finance that will shape their strategies in a rapidly changing industry. Another key takeaway is the lasting connections developed as a result of the dynamic peer-to-peer learning that takes place in small group discussions about pertinent issues.

"Professors Chu & Rangan are undeniably world class. They have developed many business leaders and have nurtured great institutions. The HBS-ACCION partnership is a great platform being used to canvass the idea that profitable microfinance businesses can be combined with huge social impact.  That these two great ideas can be combined in a non-zero-sum manner is my biggest take away from the program. The other takeaway is that a successful microfinance business has several stakeholders, and that navigating through these stakeholders is the challenge that must be tackled properly. Ours is one of the several businesses they've nurtured, and we'll forever be grateful."

- Kehinde A. Oyeleke, Group Managing Director, Seedvest Group

The blend of industry players provided a platform for cross fertilization of ideas and enriching experience. The diversity of participants across continents was a great asset and opportunity. Indeed the environment at HBS was conducive for learning and for sure through the executive training and experience sharing, we will change the world.

- Jackson Obare Marwanga, Head of Programs/Consultancy, K-Rep Development Agency