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Building a better compass: creating financial inclusion measures that are allied with people and their well-being, Part 1

Open a report on – or read the mandate of an organization working in – financial inclusion and chances are that in the introductory paragraph you’ll read a variation of a single sentence that motivates the whole endeavor: “Worldwide, more than 2 billion adults do not have access to an account at a formal financial institution”.

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Blog

10 Things You didn’t know about Financial Access

Financial access is accelerating

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Blog

The use of mobile money technology: a dividend or disaster for FSAs?

This is the third blog in a series about Financial Service Associations (FSAs) and their potential for growth and customer value creation based on an FSD Kenya commissioned survey by BFA.  Read the first blog here: Financial services associations: an imperfect solution and the second blog here: FSA asset financing: when paying more yields more.

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Blog

FSA asset financing: when paying more yields more

This is the second blog in a series about Financial Service Associations (FSAs) and their potential for growth and customer value creation based on an FSD Kenya commissioned survey by BFA. The survey took place in 2017 in Bamba, Kakeani and Mukuyuni and involved in-depth interviews with over 60 respondents including customers, their non-member neighbours and FSA staff. 

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Blog

Financial services associations: an imperfect solution

This is the first blog in a series about financial services associations based on an FSD Kenya commissioned survey by BFA.

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Blog

In Kenya, bank accounts again more popular than m-pesa – why?

Retail banks can still thrive in the face of mobile money, as long as they are prepared to adapt

This blog was originally published by CGAP.

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Blog

10 things you didn’t know about financial inclusion in Kenya

Financial inclusion is growing, and fast. Kenyans excluded from any form of financial service dropped from over 40% of adults to 17% between 2006 and 2016.

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Blog

Unlocking fintech innovation with domestic capital

n May 2017, I had the honour of being on a fascinating Euromoney panel about expanding the digital financial ecosystem. One of the many topics that we discussed was the dearth of debt financing available for fintechs and start-ups limiting the potential for scale.

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How much does it cost to run bank accounts in Kenya?

Although this question seems simple and straightforward, answering it is more difficult than it looks.

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Blog

Why price transparency in banking is good business

Banking remains the largest sub-sector by assets and the most systemically significant in Kenya’s financial services sector. Developments, especially those enabled by technology, have brought a sizeable number of new, mostly poorer and vulnerable first-time consumers into the market.

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Blog

The Future of Finance: Kenya’s Youth

Steps to a financial future where there are as many financial opportunities as there are young people.

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Blog

Young Money: Why Kenyan youth know everything, and nothing, about finance

Kenyans are learning about money earlier than you might think: as early as four or five they’re picking up financial lessons from their parents. By 18, almost a third have mobile money accounts.

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Blog

With great opportunity comes great risk: Keeping up with Kenya’s population boom

Africa’s population is growing faster than anywhere else in the world. More than half of global population growth between now and 2050 is expected to occur in Africa and of the additional 2.4 billion people projected to be added to the global population between now and 2050, 1.3 billion will be in Africa.

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Blog

Unlocking opportunities for the poor, Part two

Our first blog in this series discussed the Hunger Safety Net Programme and savings groups (SGs), for which we’ve also sought to use market based approaches. Part Two, discusses the use of a market based approach in graduation programmes.

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Blog

Leveraging Kenya’s informal sector for growth

Finance helps economic growth, and in turn, job creation.

Today is the first annual International Day for small and medium sized enterprises.

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Blog

Unlocking opportunities for low income households – Mechanisms of behaviour change

The impact of the recent six-month drought is readily apparent. The earth is dry and cracked and most of the trees and shrubs are barren. Riverbeds are full of dried branches and the livestock that roam the area are but skeletons, with many dead along the road.

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Blog

Return on Investment: Making Remittances Work for Africa

Vibrant social networks are what make Kenya unique and modern technology is making them functional.

Friends and family make for a happier and more fulfilled life but in Kenya, they’re also the key to survival.

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Blog

The hidden costs of hiring in Kenya

Across Africa, entrepreneurs and business leaders are increasingly aware that hiring top talent is critical to winning in the marketplace. In Kenya especially, technology-driven financial services companies (“fintechs”)  struggle to recruit efficiently and effectively: when they post a job opening, they are often inundated with a high volume of applications and selecting candidates feels like a subjective process prone to bias and inconsistency.

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Blog

The bright continent

Africa is the continent that will experience the effects of climate change first and worst. Which is why, on World Environment Day, we are pleased that Kenya is a leader in both rural electrification and clean energy innovation.

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Blog

Financing the future

Kenyan parents know that when you invest in education, you invest in the future. But that future isn’t cheap.

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Blog

Unlocking opportunities for the poor, Part One

For seven years, Najiri has received bi-monthly cash transfers from the Hunger Safety Net Programme (HSNP) a Kenyan government program in Northern Kenya

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Blog

In Kenya, phones replace bank tellers

Pauline Kimari is a pharmacist in Ndaragwa, Kenya, a small town several hours’ drive north of Nairobi. She moved there from rural Muranga, several hours away, to open a small shop, Ndaragwa Joy Chemist. It is white with blue and green doors and a blue bench inside. She sells medicine and cosmetics.

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Blog

Making markets work for the poor — Science, Art or Speculation?

As an adviser, trainer and all-round advocate of the “making markets work for the poor” approach to more effective development, I get asked a lot of questions about the approach.

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Blog

Market facilitation is the way ahead, but it needs to do more

Market facilitation can (and does) work

Kenya is a good place to start when considering market facilitation. It is the poster child of financial inclusion, with access to formal finance growing dramatically from 27 percent in 2006 to 75 percent in 2016.

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Blog

Creating value through financial inclusion: the trust element

In an effort to understand the real needs of the people, our seventh ‘Field Friday’ exercise took us to Karagita in Naivasha. We set out to gather insights on which financial services people use and which ones they trust most.

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Blog

It takes a village: Lessons from digitizing social school fees payments

Our work on the Kenya Financial Diaries made it painfully clear to us that school fees are incredibly expensive for low income families.  The lowest end public schools often ask about KSh 20,000 per year for a single student, when rural household incomes often average around KSh 6,000 per month.

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Annual Lectures

3rd FSD Kenya Public annual lecture 2017 – Out of Africa: notes from a visit to Kenya

I spent a week in Kenya, courtesy of Financial Sector Deepening, an initiative of a number of aid agencies, including Britain’s Department for International Development, the Swedish government, and the Gates Foundation. 

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Blog

Trust—Is there an app for that?

Last year, I sat huddled with Esther in the back of her dark market stall.  The walls were lined floor to ceiling with second hand bras for sale, leaving only a small space for us to sit and chat.  Esther was coming through a rough few years.  Her husband unexpectedly and quickly died from meningitis.

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Annual Lectures

3rd FSD Kenya Public annual lecture 2017 – Kay gets perspective on informal sector in Kibera

During his visit for the FSD Kenya 3rd annual lecture, John Kay visited Haki Group, a Self Help Group registered in 2002 but graduated to a Community Based Organization in 2005 to mitigate the effects of HIV/AIDS in Kibera.

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Annual Lectures

The annual FSD Kenya lectures on financial inclusion

Over the past 10 years, FSD Kenya has worked to support the development of financial inclusion in Kenya. In 2015, we launched a series of annual public lectures on financial inclusion.  Our aim is to stimulate debate on this subject and its place in the long-term vision for the financial sector in Kenya.

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