WSBI joins new global coalition to address pandemic effects on base-of-the-pyramid lives, livelihoods; institutions that serve them.
>> Read: Info on coalition in FinDev Gatway and
>> Learn more: Center for Financial Inclusion
>> Discover: Scale2Save
BRUSSELS, 30 June 2020 – WSBI announced recently that it joined a new coalition with other industry actors during the wake of Covid-19 to support the bottom-of-the-pyramid people and the institutions that serve them.
Designed to raise the profile of microfinance organisations as critical players in the response to the unfolding crisis, the coalition led by FINCA Impact Finance began under the umbrella of the Partnership for Responsible Financial Inclusion (PRFI), housed at the Center for Financial Inclusion. Quickly extended far beyond PRFI membership. Members of the coalition include Scale2Save partner microfinance institutions Advans, BRAC and FINCA at group level. The trio join organisations such as AccessHolding, Accion, VisionFund International and Women's World Banking in the coalition.
WSBI’s ScaleSave Programme Director Weselina Angelow commented: “Joining the coalition helps raise our voice jointly with other industry stakeholders. By supporting coalition aims outlined in the calls for action to support the microfinance industry, the group can help further progress policy debate around the sector with policymakers, investors and interested organisations like funders. The coalition gives a boost to more-tailored support to Scale 2Save MFI partners as well as WSBI MFI members.”
Coalition lines up with WSBI, Scale2Save scope, reach, aims
Collectively, these coalition partners serve more than 80 million active customers, 69 percent of whom women. Like other partners, WSBI microfinance members deliver financial services and strengthen their infrastructure through digital innovation to broaden financial inclusion, especially for the poor. WSBI members operate in some 80 countries, including in hard-to-reach rural and low-population areas.
WSBI, Scale2Save and MFIs : Joined up to help people at bottom of pyramid
WSBI places much emphasis on building capabilities and strengthening institutions that are best placed to serve the underserved and unbanked. It’s Scale2Save programme – a partnership between WSBI and Mastercard Foundation – looks to help establish the viability of small-scale savings, building resilience among people and communities, and focusing on people and their financial and life-skills journey. Like other coalition partners, WSBI’s Scale2Save programme places emphasis on helping especially vulnerable women, young people and farmers to make best use of digital innovations. Those advances help people gain safe and secure access to loans, government relief, more affordable money transfers but also better savings and in some instances micro-insurance products– a gateway to a broader set of financial services for poorer segments of the population.
Innovation indispensable to provide last-mile financial services
As millions of livelihoods hit by Covid-19 struggle, they seek critical access to credit, savings and other financial tools – increasingly through digital means, oftentimes serving those without formal employment prospects. Financial services provided by MFIs help people to operate small businesses frequently more resilient than the formal sector in the face of severe economic shocks like coronavirus, and which will be even more needed in a post-pandemic world where the economic hit slashes employment levels. Microfinance provides plays a critical role in not only mitigating the economic impact of the crisis, but also to accelerate recovery from it.
She concluded: “WSBI joins the coalition to focus on what is needed to support and protect those who use MFIs both now and tomorrow. By joining the coalition WSBI and its members join with high-impact coalition partners to make our voice heard. The coalition has therefore invited policymakers, donors
and investors, who have received respective calls to action, which state a case for why each should support MFIs and their clients during the Covid-19 pandemic.”
>> Learn more about the coalition at FinDev
Gatway and Center for Financial Inclusion website.