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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:

Follow NextBillion Financial Innovation on Twitter @NextBillionFI.


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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Seven Strategies to Attract 40+ Million New Customers: How U.S. banks can serve immigrants today and tomorrow

By Thea Garon — CFSI

The surge of unaccompanied minors crossing the U.S. border has put the immigration debate back in the headlines. But CFSI's Thea Garon argues that the more important issue is whether the millions of immigrants who already live in the U.S. have what they need to succeed. She lays out new research from CFSI on how financial service providers can serve immigrants - both now and if comprehensive immigration reform is passed.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Our Communities are Ours to Own: How Calvert Foundation is empowering small U.S. investors to strengthen their local cities through impact investments

By Patrick Davis — Calvert Foundation

Impact investing allows us to reframe the concept of “the investor” in an inclusive way that challenges all of us to invest in the future we hope to achieve, says Calvert Foundation's Patrick Davis. Calvert's "Ours To Own" movement embodies that goal, allowing people to invest as little as $20 to strengthen the communities they live in and love.

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Google Hangout with Margot Kane: Join us for a live Q&A with Calvert Foundation's VP of Strategic Initiatives on Aug. 7, 1 p.m. Eastern Time

By James Militzer — WDI

Margot Kane is vice president of Strategic Initiatives at Calvert Foundation. She manages strategy development, fundraising and implementation of new investment initiatives and portfolios that target key impact areas like women’s empowerment and the revitalization of iconic cities. We'll discuss these initiatives and other topics in a live interview on Thursday, August 7 at 1:00 PM EDT.

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Monday, July 28, 2014

NexThought Monday - Innovation Overkill: Why product innovation in financial inclusion isn’t always the right move

By Graham Wright

All the renewed talk about product innovation and a client-centric approach in financial inclusion may overlook two important points, says MicroSave's Graham Wright. First, there are important differences between market leaders and followers. And second, moving through the product development continuum isn't easy. For some companies, he suggests, it's better to copy than to innovate.

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Two Sides of the Same Coin: How India’s microfinance and health sectors can collaborate for greater impact

By Sabina Rogers and Fred Stuart

In countries like India, microfinance can be a valuable tool for providing the financing that the poor need to maintain their health. And for microfinance to achieve its goal of providing financial security to the poor, it has to address health security. Sabina Rogers of the Microcredit Summit Campaign describes how the two sectors could collaborate to expand health care access to hundreds of millions.


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Asia Microfinance Forum

Monday, August 04, 2014


Marketing to Low-Income Consumers

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

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