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Bridging the gender divide: implications for Kenya’s 21st century pathway to inclusive growth

Natasha is a young woman who has a cake baking business on the outskirts of Nairobi. She has a bank account for her business which she uses intensively. Natasha’s business was doing well and she needed a loan to expand.

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Kenya’s youth and the long road to skill-based work

Combining education, apprenticeship, and start-up capital to surmount barriers and transform trajectories 

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Digital Credit – The most pressing problem in Kenyan credit markets – Really?

The focus on the potential and real risks of digital credit, while commendable, runs the risk of taking our collective eye off the wider credit market, which has a much more significant impact on Kenya’s economy.

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Article

Harnessing the market potential of financially underserved Kenyans

On the 5th of September 2019, the Financial Sector Deepening (FSD) Kenya and the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), held a stakeholder validation workshop in Nairobi, where they presented the findings of a research study that identified seven key financially underserved segments of the Kenyan population and discussed the potentially viable business cases and policy implications that financial market players could tap into.

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Welcoming Anzetse Were

Financial Sector Deepening (FSD) Kenya is pleased to announce that Anzetse Were has joined the team as Economist, effective September 2019.

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What’s Twitter got to do with consumer protection?

Social media is changing customer service by shifting the ways in which consumers seek resolution of problems and the communications channels that firms make available to consumers.

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Exploring the economic potential of underserved segments of the Kenyan population

In April 2019, the 2019 FinAccess Household Survey revealed that Kenya had made extraordinary strides in financial inclusion. While FinAccess 2019 shows that financial inclusion has peaked at 83% among Kenyans, its findings also evoke poignant questions.

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Did you see my Tweet? Kenyans’ cries for financial consumer protection ring out on social media

The use of an alert system that flagged Twitter conversations on consumer protection topics, when they rose above certain thresholds, shows promise as a new consumer protection market monitoring tool that we could use in Kenya to address the substantial gaps in consumer protection monitoring and enforcement.

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Please, no snails in my beer: Should a duty of care be introduced for financial service providers?

Manufacturers of cars or microwave machines are duty bound to ensure that their products are safe for use. Why can’t financial regulation introduce a similar obligation to ensure financial products and services are not negligently developed and sold, causing harm to consumers?

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Inclusive finance? Not there yet…

As I reflect on my first month leading FSD Kenya, I am struck by both the challenges we face as well as the opportunities we can seize to truly create value through inclusive finance in Kenya.

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What solutions would make a difference in education finance?

Education presents an opportunity for poor households to break out of the poverty cycle in future. What are some of the interventions and finance solutions that have made a difference in education finance?

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How poor households invest in their children’s future

Education is the top priority for Kenyans according to FinAccess Household Survey 2019. Poor households particularly attach high value to educating their children.

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Building livelihoods using inclusive finance for chicken farming

FSD Kenya set out to explore ways of using finance to build livelihoods of poor households in Kitui. The survey identified indigenous poultry and pulses as the agriculture value chains with the greatest opportunity for low-income households.

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Moving from financial access to inclusive finance

FinAccess 2019 was launched last week by the Governor of the Central Bank of Kenya.  The results from this national household survey provide a comprehensive and authoritative picture of the retail financial services sector in Kenya.

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When pricing is live, competition will thrive

If we want truly dynamic and competitive pricing, we just need to empower consumers’ data to be the oil that lubricates a new type of marketplace.

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What is good regulation and why does it matter for finance?

When clear rules that govern the financial sector are enforced well, it ensures that both providers and consumers emerge from the market place as winners

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Towards a financial system which works for Kenya

Financial inclusion has attracted enormous interest because of its promise to provide an instrument for economic and social empowerment. Initial thinking was that simply expanding the reach of the financial sector would produce financial tools to support greater economic and social inclusion. But the results thus far have been disappointing.

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Building livelihoods: An identity perspective (Part 5)

Throughout this blog series I have examined FSD Kenya’s Building Livelihoods programme from an identity perspective. I have shown how the Hunger Safety Net Programme (HSNP) creates valued identities in the community and how there are different pathways to savings group identification and value.

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Building livelihoods: An identity perspective (Part 3)

The role of community-based facilitators (CBFs) is to encourage participation in savings groups, ensure groups function effectively, and provide training on basic financial and business skills, as well as prepare participants for formal loans.

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Building livelihoods: An identity perspective (Part 4)

Over the past two years I have travelled to Marsabit County in Northern Kenya four times to talk to the same 50 people about their lives and experiences as participants of FSD Kenya’s Building Livelihoods programme. The programme aims to help participants develop sustainable livelihoods through business.

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Building livelihoods: An identity perspective (Part 2)

Where there is already a strong value associated with savings groups, people are likely to more rapidly join, participate more fully, and exemplify what it means to be a member of the group.

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Building livelihoods: An identity perspective (Part 1)

FSD Kenya’s Building Livelihoods programme is a market-based adaptation of the Graduation approach popularised by BRAC in Bangladesh. Over a period of two years, participants shared stories about their lives and early experiences with the programme giving insight into who they are and how they think and change throughout the programme.

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Comments on the proposed regulation data protection bill

Data protection is one of the most important issues currently facing the Kenyan economy. On July 17th FSD Kenya submitted public comments to the Data Protection Bill, 2018 presented by the Senate ICT Committee.

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Data sharing models: The potential for financial innovation and the risks that must be managed

There is a range of new data sharing models emerging that could have a significant impact on financial innovation in emerging markets.

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Groundbreaking new policy and regulatory initiatives may spur more fintech innovation in Kenya

The combination of a regulatory sandbox and a one-stop-shop regulatory helpline is what the Kenyan fintech market needs to continue innovating.

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Article

Field Notes

FSD Kenya carries out research excursions across the country to obtain perspectives of ordinary Kenyans regarding finance, financial services and how the financial system has impacted their livelihoods.

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The story of M-Akiba: Selling Kenyan treasury bonds via mobile

On 30th June 2017, M-Akiba, a Kenyan government bond sold through the mobile phone, was launched.

After many years, the involvement of many partners and many iterations, M-Akiba, a Kenyan government bond sold through the mobile phone, was launched in 2017.

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Why is mobile money interoperability important for Kenya?

The rise of a new dawn in Kenya’s payments system

Eleven years after mobile money started in Kenya, a new dawn is rising – that of open and interoperable systems. Just as you can call people on any network in Kenya seamlessly, you can now send money across mobile money networks seamlessly.

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Tackling poverty in rural Kenya through community-owned village banks

Why FSAs are the preferred financial service providers in Kitui.

The popularity of graduation programmes as the means to ending extreme poverty is growing globally.

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Light at the end of the tunnel: building livelihoods under tough conditions

“We have been working towards this moment for a long time. With the bank loans just a few weeks away we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.” 

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