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Report: In a series of blogs, ISF Advisors and the RAF Learning Lab will introduce major concepts and frameworks that will anchor our upcoming State of the Sector report for rural finance. Building on the “industry model” developed in our 2016 Inflection Point report, these frameworks aim to bring further clarity and insight to the three layers of the market: Rural clients [1], financial service providers, and the capital markets. We hope that by sharing early versions of this thinking we can stimulate debate and discussion across the sector about what is needed to continue to enhance access to rural, agricultural financial services.
Analysis:

Venture Capitals often search for companies addressing sectors of the economy that are...

Report: In a series of blogs, ISF Advisors and the Mastercard Foundation Rural and Agricultural Finance Learning Lab (the Lab) will introduce major concepts and frameworks that will anchor our upcoming State of the Sector report for rural finance. Building on the “industry model” developed in our 2016 Inflection Point report, these frameworks aim to bring further clarity and insight to the three layers of the market: Rural clients, financial service providers (FSPs), and the capital markets. We hope that by sharing early versions of this thinking we can stimulate debate and discussion across the sector about what is needed to continue to enhance access to rural, agricultural financial services.

MCF Huxta
Analysis: In a series of blogs, ISF Advisors and the RAF Learning Lab will introduce major concepts and frameworks that will anchor our upcoming State of the Sector report for rural finance. Building on the “industry model” developed in our 2016 Inflection Point report, these frameworks aim to bring further clarity and insight to the three layers of the market: Rural clients, financial service providers, and the capital markets. We hope that by sharing early versions of this thinking we can stimulate debate and discussion across the sector about what is needed to continue to enhance access to rural, agricultural financial services.
Huxta
Analysis: The eleventh blog in the Pulse series aims to outline key insights from a recent ISF survey on the growing ecosystem of Business Development Services (BDS) to help financial service providers (FSPs) better reach smallholders.
Farmland aerial
Report: A new landscape report by ISF Advisors, with support from the Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture, highlights the current status and future development of agricultural insurance for smallholder farmers. Based on interviews with more than forty-five key agricultural insurance stakeholders, our research paints a picture of an industry that shows great potential but struggles to achieve the necessary scale and product-level refinements.
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Spotlight: Closing the USD 150 billion smallholder finance is no easy feat – but it is possible. With 450 million smallholders worldwide, key stakeholders such as financial and digital service providers, will need to develop new solutions and scale existing ones to help close the gap.
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Spotlight: Each year, more than 10 million young people across Africa enter the job market, competing for just three million formal jobs. As the continent’s youth population swells steadily towards a projected total of 800 million by 2050, this demographic crisis will intensify even further.
Huxta
Analysis: On October 5, 2017 the RAF Learning Lab hosted a RAF Partner webinar to discuss and share learnings from our Annual Learning Review. View the deck below for more information.
Smallholder finance
Analysis: Part 6 of the Pulse series highlights early learnings around the smallholder finance enabling environment and makes recommendations for future research.
TA Pulse
Analysis: Part 4 of ISF's and RAF Learning Lab's Pulse series draws insights from the evolving Technical Assistance (TA) landscape in agricultural finance.
Marie Sow ICCO STARS
Spotlight: Across Africa, 80% of agricultural production comes from smallholder farmers, most of which are rural women. Yet, in countries like Senegal, only 20% of women have access to financial services and less than 30% of them are involved in governance for their Producer Organizations (POs). As a result, many women struggle to scale their farms and build their businesses. This blog explains how the ICCO STARS program, a Learning Lab partner, is working to address this challenge and empower female farmers through stronger access to finance.