Accion Network – Center for Financial Inclusion

By Andrew Price

Today we continue our introduction to Accion’s broader network with a brief overview of the Center for Financial Independence (CFI), one of Accion’s several industry initiatives.

With countries like China and India growing at a breakneck pace, European and American markets looking for alternative growth paths, and greater integration of the global economy, the need for financial access and literacy is at an all time high. Millions of people are moving out of poverty while millions more are in danger of slipping back in. The result of this changing landscape has been a great expansion in the number of microcredit and financial inclusion participants, raising the need for more communication and convergence in mission to better serve those without adequate financial access.

CFI has answered this call. The center consists of a collection of academics, practitioners, sector participants, and financial experts working to connect the various financial actors from across the globe. CFI’s work to match client services with client needs is supported by a variety of different programs. From the research and advocacy work, to a campaign addressing client protections in microfinance, CFI aims to create an equitable and stable marketplace for everyone.

Take for example CFI’s recently created New Horizons, a program on the cutting edge of financial inclusion. New Horizons is a series of small projects that focus on specific populations and experimental products. The program has initiated projects ranging from including disabled individuals in the financial mainstream to insuring that Cubans have access to credit markets as their government begins to introduce reforms. Just as microfinance institutions hope to bring millions into the broad global community, CFI hopes to create a community of institutions to better learn, to better communicate, and to better serve.

To learn more, visit the Center for Financial Inclusion page or one of CFI’s many partners and contributors.