Building Inclusive Financial Systems for the Poor: A Multi-Tiered Approach
The USAID Microenterprise Development office's investments in financial services emphasize asset accumulation and protection for the poor (client level), building client-responsive, sustainable institutions (institution level), and helping microfinance providers exit from donor support (market level). Client-level investments aim at deepening access to financial services for populations that are marginalized and underserved due to their socioeconomic status, gender, age, religion, culture, ethnicity, location, or the impact of conflict or disaster. Investments aimed at the retail level continue to underscore microfinance institutions' sustainability, but also their commitment to deliver products and services that meet the diverse needs of the poor. Market-level investments encourage microfinance institutions to transition from donor to commercial sources of capital and to develop productive partnerships with private sector institutions. The goal of these investments is to provide practitioners and USAID missions with technical information on how to design and implement a balanced mix of interventions to foster financial sectors that include, and address the needs of, poor people.