Now more than ever, we have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to accelerate the creation of a fair and inclusive economy – one that works for all.
Two billion people are left out and poorly served by the global financial system. And their plight is exacerbated by global crises, including climate change, economic instability, and conflict. We can change this. By equipping them with responsible financial solutions, we can help them recover from emergencies, gain new skills, and ultimately, strengthen their livelihoods.
That’s what we’re doing at Accion.
On top of the crises they face today, the people we serve often live in hard-to-reach rural areas, have limited access to the internet and devices, and don’t trust digital tools with their money. To make a real difference in their lives, we must make informed and strategic decisions that account for these realities.
Through our updated strategy, we’re applying our decades of experience to focus on innovations that have the greatest potential to achieve scale and answer clients’ unique needs, including embedded finance, which leverages data to provide clients with exactly what they need, when they need it. And we’re focusing on reaching vulnerable groups that are integral to the strength and success of their communities: small business owners, smallholder farmers, and women.
We can’t do this without data. And in our 2022 Impact Report, released this August, we take a closer look at how we measure, analyze, and achieve our impact. We’re centering the needs and voices of clients in our work, and looking beyond the adoption of new financial tools, to gain new insights on how clients are using and applying solutions to improve their lives.
Our work on the ground
Manashi is a rice farmer in Odisha, India, who has strengthened her family’s livelihood through financial services provided by Accion’s partner Annapurna Finance. She joined a group loan with nine other women in her community, which provided the funds she needed to buy seeds, fertilizers, soil, and pesticides. She’s saving money to send her daughter, Manisha, to the best local private school.
These resources have provided a vital boost for Manashi and her family as they contend with reduced rainfall due to climate change. Without the capital unlocked by Annapurna, she would have turned to local moneylenders, who charge usurious interest rates.
Accion supported Annapurna to reduce the cost of its field officer operations by digitizing loan repayments and introducing digitally-enabled emergency lending products, which enable clients to quickly receive funds when they need them. Accion also helped Annapurna restructure its risk policies, company processes, and internal incentives to create an environment where both clients and employees thrive.
Remarkably, 99 percent of Annapurna’s clients are women like Manashi. And the impact data reveals that Annapurna’s services are both responsible and useful to them: 81 percent of clients surveyed said they ‘strongly agree’ that they understood financial products’ terms and conditions, and 89 percent reported their quality of life had improved, with 51 percent reporting significant improvements.
Our impact is impossible without you
We’re working to achieve results like this for millions of underserved people around the world. We’re connecting refugee women in Uganda and Ethiopia with financial services and income-generating opportunities in e-commerce. We’re helping small businesses in Brazil access high-quality financing on the same digital platforms they’re already selling their products and services, eliminating the need to go to a bank. And we’re using edtech to help women entrepreneurs in Mexico, Ecuador, Colombia, India, and Nigeria develop the managerial, financial, and digital skills that can help them grow.
None of our work is possible without the support of donors who share our vision of a fair and inclusive economy — one that enables people to thrive no matter their location, gender, or income. On behalf of Accion, our partners, and the clients we serve, I thank you for your support in turning our vision into reality for underserved communities globally.
Financial services are powerful tools to help reduce poverty and create opportunity.
We work with local partners to develop and scale responsible digital financial solutions for underserved people globally, so they can make informed decisions and improve their lives.