News & Insights
Innovations to serve people living in poverty at the 17th Microcredit Summit
At last week’s 17th Microcredit Summit in Mérida, Mexico, stakeholders from the microfinance industry gathered to discuss how innovations in microfinance can help rid the world of extreme poverty. Many of Global Partnerships’ (GP’s) partners are microfinance institutions (MFI’s) that provide access to finance and education, so our Vice President of Portfolio Management, Ricardo Visbal, attended to meet with existing and potential partners. From the summit, we were also excited to learn about innovations such as:
- Mobile technologies that replace cash with electronic transfers, which makes access to finance more affordable, as well as more accessible for people living in remote areas.
- The role that government can play to catalyze access to finance for the poor. For instance, last month 15 million bank accounts were opened on the day that the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, announced a new initiative to give the poor access to bank accounts.
Innovations such as these are forward-looking and can help change the lives of those in poverty. They are focused on scaling the amount of people that can be reached. However, just as important are the kinds of innovations that help us ensure that MFI’s are serving people living in poverty with the right kinds of services and products, and that these services/products are making a difference.
One such innovation that addresses this need is the slew of new accreditations that have emerged in recent years. One such accreditation is called Truelift, a framework that certifies an MFI’s commitment to its clients. For example, GP’s partner CRECER, a Bolivian MFI, is “the first Latin American organization to achieve the leader milestone for its adherence to the Truelift Pro-Poor principles.” This means that CRECER has demonstrated the highest level of compliance in terms of providing services that meet the needs of those living in poverty and tracking their progress out of poverty.
CRECER targets vulnerable groups; 82 percent of its clients are female and 56 percent live in rural areas. And “out of the clients that remained with CRECER between 2011-2013, 49 percent reduced their poverty probability level.” We are proud to be partners with CRECER, and will be publishing a blog post in the future about why it represents a partner that is “best in class.”
Attending conferences like the Microcredit Summit helps us stay on top of developing trends in the microfinance space so that we can better serve clients through our partners. Please subscribe to our blog so that you don’t miss out on our latest insights.