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NextBillion Financial Innovation is a blog and news resource dedicated to improving financial access for low-income people around the world. 

The site, part of the NextBillion network, focuses on the businesses, issues and innovations that are making an impact on financial inclusion worldwide. It features a diverse collection of experts and practitioners, who share their knowledge, research and experiences in helping low-income people improve their lives and livelihoods.

The blog, which has been made possible by the Citi Foundation, serves as a space for discussion and debate, where readers can go to find fresh approaches and unconventional thinking. It also features job listings, news articles and event listings important to financial inclusion professionals.
 
Some of the topics featured on NextBillion Financial Innovation include:

  • Financial products: Advances in financial products to meet the needs of low-income people in the areas of microlending, microsavings, credit scoring and microinsurance, among others
  • Financial capability innovations and research: Developments in research and real-world initiatives for improving the financial capability of underserved and unbanked customers, regardless of geography
  • Technology: New innovations that harness mobile devices, mobile applications, and other technology to expand and deliver financial services and enable people to build financial capability
  • Business innovators: From startups to large banks, profiling some of the innovators who are deploying new financial products to help low-income customers secure credit to purchase a home, start a business or get an education
  • New approaches to investing: Innovative ways to maximize and assess impact investments across sectors to reach under-served communities
  • Discussion/Debate: Debates on the effectiveness of specific private enterprise approaches as well as government/aid agency and public policy efforts to improve financial inclusion
  • Knowledge: Coverage of important learnings and research shared at conferences, dedicated to financial inclusion dialogue and understanding

James Militzer serves as editor for the new blog. James, an accomplished writer and editor, is the former editor of NextBillion Health Care. He can be reached via email: jamesmil@umich.edu

Follow NextBillion Financial Innovation on Twitter @NextBillionFI.

FeaturesFEATURES

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Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Unlocking the Unbanked: How cyber ID data can advance financial inclusion and ecommerce in emerging markets

By Stephen Ufford

Our financial systems rely on digital information footprints – credit data, banking histories, etc. – to determine whether a person is trustworthy. But many poor people live in a cash economy with no digital record of their financial history, preventing them from transacting with many companies. According to Stephen Ullford, cyber ID data offers one way to bridge this cash-digital divide and expand financial access to the unbanked.

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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Responsible Pricing, Profits and Self-Regulation in Microfinance: Views from the Smart Campaign

By Isabelle Barrès — Accion

The Smart Campaign offers certification to microfinance institutions that uphold its client protection principles. In the process, it has sparked debate on topics like responsible pricing, appropriate profits and the value of self-regulation. In response to recent criticisms of its certification process, Campaign director Isabelle Barrès lays out its perspective on these three issues.

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Thursday, September 25, 2014

'The Hidden Tragedy of the Poor': An interview with Jonathan Morduch, executive director of the Financial Access Initiative

By Andre de Vos

Jonathan Morduch is professor of Public Policy and Economics at NYU, and Executive Director of the Financial Access Initiative. In this interview with Upsides, he discusses the real reasons the poor struggle with their finances, how financial services providers can serve them better, and why his views on microfinance have changed.

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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

WIN-WIN 2.0: Connecting gender lens investing with clean tech

By Najada Kumbuli — Calvert Foundation

The smoke released from traditional sources of household energy pose serious risks to the people's health – particularly women and children. That's why Calvert Foundation and its partners have committed to investing an additional $20 million through its women-focused WIN-WIN portfolio, in organizations and enterprises that provide clean household technologies and fuels.

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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

What's Holding Agricultural Finance Back?: The MIX describes what's needed to help this crucial sector grow

By Xavier Martin Palomas

One of the most effective ways to reduce poverty is to increase agricultural productivity. But for many farmers, access to yield-increasing technologies and inputs requires access to financial products specially tailored to their needs, which are scarce in rural areas. Xavier Martin Palomas of the MIX discusses this challenge and how financial service providers and policymakers can address it.

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The Feast Conference 2014

Thursday, October 09, 2014

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