Providing Financial Solutions

In order to provide effective financial solutions we must understand the key enablers to business model sustainability. This includes fostering progressive partnerships, leveraging the role of non-financial institutons, offering technical assistance, and the willingness to learn from failure. This primary topic area includes sub-topics like credit assessment, big data, insurance, and digital finacial services. 

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Tool: Speaker presentations posted from the Learning Lab's October 2016 partner gathering where financial service providers and other practitioners shared experiences and research on digitally-enabled finance and customer centricity.
Analysis: The thirteenth briefing note in a series from the Initiative for Smallholder Finance, explores the latest practices from the climate finance community and the agricultural finance community to understand how new combined models can boost returns and attract new investors.
Analysis: The Learning Lab is researching how digitalization affects the business case for smallholder finance, specifically: what role do digital tools play in successful business models for lending to smallholders? Here we provide early findings from the research, in the form of a presentation from a Sep. 2016 workshop where Dalberg and the Lab discussed the results of organization surveys and expert interviews.
Report: The AGRA financial inclusion team has been working on an assessment of the business models of fifteen ICT4Ag solution providers in Kenya, Tanzania, and Ghana. The full report, executive summary, 15 case studies, and farmer videos are now available. In this blog, Hedwig Siewertsen, AGRA's Team Leader of Financial Inclusion, summarizes some of the findings from the research.
Analysis: CGAP’s National Survey(s) and Segmentation of Smallholder Households in Mozambique, Tanzania, and Uganda explores the financial, agricultural, and digital demands of smallholder households. The surveys are a groundbreaking effort to build a representative evidence base for the demand-side of the smallholder finance equation. The links above provide access to both summary reports and full micro datasets for each country, for further analysis. This blog summarizes a few of the key themes and specific variations across the three countries.
Report: Cutting edge approaches to rural and agricultural finance rely on varying degrees of digitalization to reach more customers, and reduce costs and risks of serving smallholders. However, when the the product deployed is itself digital, there are new risks to manage. This handbook presents a risk management framework for DFS.
Tool: On August 31 the Learning Lab team hosted a private webinar for partners where we shared rationale and approach to measuring customer satisfaction in the rural and agricultural finance industry. The presentation from this webinar, alongside a short summary of its learnings and the full webinar recording are now available for public viewing.
Analysis: The Learning Lab recently supported research by the MIX on detailed 2015 lending data from leading social lenders, who make up the Council on Smallholder Agricultural Finance (CSAF). The findings were summarized in the 2015 CSAF annual report, which takes a deeper look into the current state of the sector through the lens of donors, investors, and lenders. Dan Zook, Director of Investments at the Initiative for Smallholder Finance (ISF), unpacks some of the key highlights from the report, many of which corroborate and illustrate major insights from our study, Inflection Point.
Spotlight:

M-KOPA, a winner of the 2015 FRP Scaling Competition, has taken a leadership role in Solar Home System financing. Read more to learn how M-KOPA is expanding its business model to address rural farmers’ needs through innovative financing options.

Report: IIF and CFI Accion’s recently published report, “The Business of Financial Inclusion: Insights from Banks in Emerging Markets” digs into commercial banks and the role of digital technology in the emerging market, a concept the Lab is currently looking into for the RAF space.
Tool: CGAP recently published a Customer Experience Playbook to help FSPs increase uptake and usage among low-income customers. Although the CX Playbook is targeted at urban clients we think there are many valuable lessons that can be applied to rural communities as well.
Analysis: The Learning Lab analyzes applications from the first Scaling Competition of The MasterCard Foundation Fund for Rural Prosperity. Findings confirm key trends from the first Innovation Challenge and identify new trends around bundled service offerings and digital solutions.

Providing Financial Solutions

In order to provide effective financial solutions we must understand the key enablers to business model sustainability. This includes fostering progressive partnerships, leveraging the role of non-financial institutons, offering technical assistance, and the willingness to learn from failure. This primary topic area includes sub-topics like credit assessment, big data, insurance, and digital finacial services.