Like many people across the United States, later this week I’ll sit down with my family for Thanksgiving. It’s my favorite holiday — it allows us to express our gratitude for the things we rely on and the people who sustain us.
And it’s in that spirit that I want to thank the people and institutions who believed in and supported Accion over the last year. Throughout the year, we continued to focus on ensuring that everyone has useful financial tools that make a tangible difference in their lives — and throughout the year, your unflagging generosity helped parents pay their children’s tuition, entrepreneurs hire more employees, and families protect their homes and livelihoods.
Just look at some of the things you helped us accomplish this year. Because of your support, we:
- Can help more rural families and businesses across India get the financial tools they need to build better lives. With more than half of India’s rural adults cut off from any formal financial services, we’re helping our new partner, Sub-K, use technology and build its agent network to provide small businesses with the credit they need, no matter where they are.
- Protected more than 43 million people across 39 countries as the Smart Campaign continued to set higher standards for the microfinance sector and create an industry that clients can trust.
- Ensured that more people living in informal settlements across South Africa could use internet-connected devices to protect their homes and families from fire. By helping us support Lumkani’s growth, we’re giving the world’s most vulnerable people the tools they need to rebuild and recover.
- Helped Pula harness satellite technology to provide smallholder farmers with insurance, better seed, fertilizer, and credit. Two-thirds of the world’s working poor make their living in agriculture, so anything we can do to provide them with high-quality financial services can make an incredible difference.
This is just a small sample of the many ways we made a big difference this last year. The work you support matters so much: from eliminating hunger to promoting good health and gender equality, we must first create a financially inclusive world.
To everyone who supported our work and partnered with us over the course of the last year, thank you. We simply could not do this work without you.
As we look ahead to how new technologies and broader changes in customer expectations and social enterprise will change our work in 2019 and beyond, we’ll continue to rely on your support. Technology is fundamentally transforming the financial sector, and it will take constant work, research, and innovation to help make sure that this transformation results in products and services that benefit underserved people and improves their financial health. Together, we can build a safer, more prosperous, and inclusive world, one in which families and businesses everywhere can realize their economic potential.
Again, thank you and happy holidays.