CAMBRIDGE, MA, November 16, 2017 – Global nonprofit and financial inclusion pioneer Accion announced today that it will award the third Edward W. Claugus Award to Mike Quinn, CEO of sub-Saharan African startup Zoona, in honor of his exceptional commitment to advancing financial inclusion. Accion will present the award on the evening of Thursday, November 16, at a reception in New York City.
“We are thrilled to present Mike Quinn with the Edward W. Claugus Award celebrating his dedication to improving people’s lives through access to high-quality financial services,” said Michael Schlein, CEO and President of Accion. “As CEO, Mike has led Zoona’s efforts to catalyze financial inclusion in Africa by providing quick, easy, and secure money transfers and financial tools to people who need them. Mike’s innovation, leadership, and commitment to diversity have spurred social progress and made a significant difference for families, businesses, and communities across Africa.”
Zoona helps communities thrive by offering safe and affordable digital financial services that enable them to send and receive money, save for the future, and pay for daily bills and expenses. At the heart of Zoona’s business is its network of thousands of emerging entrepreneurs who act as micro-franchise Zoona Agents to provide financial services to underserved and financially excluded communities across Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique. These agents manage over 2,600 kiosks which are often located in remote areas where there is otherwise little to no access to traditional financial services. Zoona agents have also facilitated the creation of 3,000+ jobs in their communities.
“At Zoona, we’re passionate about building strong communities, and we believe having access to quality financial services is critical to achieving that goal,” said Mike Quinn, CEO of Zoona. “I’m honored to be recognized by our partner Accion for our work to advance financial inclusion for underserved communities across Africa.”
Quinn has helped bring Zoona’s services to over 2 million active users, and its system has processed over $2 billion in mobile money transactions since its founding in 2009. Zoona also bring jobs and a chance at success for young women. The “Girl Effect Accelerator” – an initiative created by the Nike Foundation and the Unreasonable Group – named Zoona as one of the top ten companies in the world that focuses on empowering and educating women. In 2016, Zoona launched The Girl Effect Project in Zambia to further its commitment to helping women – today 60% of Zoona’s Agent network is female, a number that continues to grow.
The Claugus Award is named in honor of Accion benefactor Edward W. Claugus, a skilled investor who was passionate about social change. Claugus realized significant professional success and empathized with the people that Accion serves around the world: the farmers, women, and families who lack the necessary financial tools and services to build better lives. The Claugus Award recognizes leaders who have made important contributions to advancing financial inclusion and represents one portion of Accion’s programs funded thanks to The Edward W. Claugus Fund.
Accion is a global nonprofit committed to creating a financially inclusive world, with a pioneering legacy in microfinance and fintech impact investing. We catalyze financial service providers to deliver high-quality, affordable solutions at scale for the three billion people who are left out of – or poorly served by – the financial sector. For more than 50 years, Accion has helped tens of millions of people through its work with more than 90 partners in 40 countries. More at http://www.accion.org.