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Welcome to the conference on Women and Enterprises Driving Financial Inclusion and Investment Returns

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September 3, 2015 - 10:50 -- admin.uncdf
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Apr 08, 2015

The National Bank of Cambodia and the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) are pleased to invite you to attend the upcoming stakeholders’ conference on, "Women and Enterprises Driving Financial Inclusion and Investment Returns”.

This two-day conference is being held on 29th -30th April 2015 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Purpose of the Conference

To develop a framework for action to incentivise greater private and quasi-private sector investment and financing for MSMEs, contributing in particular to women’s economic empowerment in frontier markets in the ASEAN region.

Objectives of the Conference

  • How to introduce and up-scale alternative financing models;
  • How to enhance role of private sector in financing to MSMEs;
  • How to mobilise local capital, international financial flows, have risk financing arrangements for investing in MSMEs;
  • How to collaborate and engage with existing initiatives and stakeholders for addressing the MSME financing gap;

The conference specifically focuses on emerging ASEAN countries - Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam (CLMV), and how they can collaborate with and leverage efforts of other ASEAN countries for MSME growth. The conference outcomes will provide a platform for sharing, gaining insights, networking and partnerships, as well as contribute to the development of a regional level programme in ASEAN.

The conference targets approximately 100 attendees from government agencies, corporates, microfinance institutions, banks, development finance institutions, funding agencies, social/impact Investors, venture capital firms, research and training institutions from ASEAN countries.

We thank you for your participation and we look forward to welcoming you in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Yangon Outcomes for Financial Inclusion in ASEAN

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September 3, 2015 - 07:23 -- admin.uncdf
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Oct 30, 2014

Whereas the ASEAN Financial Inclusion Conference took place in Yangon, Myanmar, on 29 and 30 October 2014, hosted by H.E. U Win Shein, Minister of Finance of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar and Chairman of the 18th ASEAN Finance Ministers’ Meeting in collaboration with the UN Capital Development Fund and other development partners;

And whereas delegates from ASEAN countries reported on their respective financial inclusion strategies and received papers from experts in the field of financial inclusion;

The Conference noted that:

  1. Equitable economic development is one of the critical pillars of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) Blueprint. It is also the central concern of the UN’s post-2015 Agenda.
  2. Financial Integration occupies a central role in supporting increased growth in ASEAN and the addition of pro-active Financial Inclusion programmes can accelerate growth greater equity and the potential for enhanced stability.
  3. Financial Inclusion can support broad-based inclusive growth by allowing poor and unbanked households and small and medium sized enterprises greater access to finance. They are also enabled to better mitigate agriculture risks, natural disasters, increasing food prices and health shocks through the availability of a portfolio of financial services including savings, credit and insurance.
  4. Increased Financial Inclusion can also boost productivity. It enables households to make investments in education and skills, and also to improve their health conditions through the use of risk mitigation products, credit and savings. By bringing enterprises from using informal to formal financial services, Financial Inclusion can help enlarge the fiscal space. It can also broaden the production base of a country by facilitating the continuous emergence of new enterprises through the provision of resources to grow their businesses.
  5. Financial Inclusion further mirrors key functions of social protection schemes by offering a path to both poor and non-poor households just above the poverty-line to stabilise their incomes and expenses and to better manage a host of risks, helping to begin a journey into a more predictable and less deprived future.
  6. Some ASEAN countries have adopted strategies to promote Financial Inclusion, although their approaches vary.
  7. The availability of new survey data and supporting evidence allows the design of regional, national and sub-national Financial Inclusion targets and programmes.
  8. Given the fiscal constraints in some ASEAN countries, the market-friendly nature of Financial Inclusion offers multiple options for public-private partnerships, as well as the opportunity for households to use private financial services to reduce vulnerability.

The Conference accordingly recommends the following for consideration by the future ASEAN Finance Ministers’ meetings:

  1. That the promotion of Financial Inclusion as a policy objective under the third pillar of the AEC Blueprint, i.e. Equitable Economic Development, be affirmed;
  2. That those ASEAN countries who have not yet incorporated Financial Inclusion as a central pillar of their overall development policy, consider doing so;
  3. That ASEAN countries develop comprehensive Financial Inclusion policies that may include the following:
    1. Facilitating the provision of financial services by a diversity of regulated financial services providers, whilst encouraging reasonable innovation and monitoring risk.
    2. Ensuring the delivery of a portfolio of financial services consisting of payments, savings, credit and insurance services that meet their needs, to households and small enterprises.
    3. Promoting the development of financial sector infrastructure and distribution networks that can enhance reasonable physical access to financial services to the large majority of their population. This can include the promotion of electronic payments and branchless or agent banking options.
    4. Taking special measures to assist women to access and use financial services.
    5. Ensuring that financial services deliver value to households and small enterprises and are provided in a responsible and transparent manner, with appropriate consumer protection measures.
  4. That ASEAN, at a regional level, implement initiatives to:
    1. Co-ordinate regulation and supervision to facilitate cross-border remittances, if need be perhaps by initial bilateral agreements. This should include the consistent application of appropriate AML/CFT measures.
    2. Build the capacity of financial sector supervisors and financial services providers responsible for the promotion of Financial Inclusion.
    3. Develop common approaches to the measurement of financial access, usage and value, including common indicators, to facilitate the comparative analysis of the outcomes of different policy approaches.
    4. Facilitate on-going dialogue and support among ASEAN countries with different levels of experience in Financial Inclusion.
  5. That, in order to realise the achievement of the above objectives, the ASEAN Finance and Central Bank Deputies Working Group (AFDM-WG) be tasked with coordinating efforts to implement the above priority actions in the ASEAN region, including engagement with other relevant working groups and the establishment of a Financial Inclusion Advisory Group to support their activities.

The Conference further:

Opening speech sets tone for learning event

admin.uncdf's blog

February 23, 2015 - 12:51 -- admin.uncdf
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Feb 24, 2015

UNCDF Deputy Director of Inclusive Finance John Tucker opened the first full day of sessions at DFSgoRURAL today, inviting us to examine how we can reach deeper into rural areas with digital financial services (DFS). From the start, we’ll be going rural—on field visits tomorrow with the entire group of 150 participants, spread over seven different villages in the area of Kakiri. And, it’s clear, we’ll be doing a lot of sharing and learning from one another. John set the stage for the visits and all the workshop’s sessions with a goal: to promote inclusive, sustainable and equitable growth. But, he also pointed out there are big questions about what that growth will look like and how it will be achieved. So, first, he focused on areas of consensus:

  • Technology—We all see how the rapid spread of new information and communications technology is making more services available to the world’s poor. In short, access to mobile phones can be a game changer, particularly to the 2.5 billion adults without access to financial services right now.
  • Agriculture—With so many of the poor depending on agriculture for food and income, it’s also clear that financial services for agricultural households are absolutely key. The quote John shared from a colleague says it all: “If you aren’t working with smallholder households, you aren’t serious about financial inclusion.”

With those game changers in mind, John turned to what UNCDF is doing to support digital financial inclusion. He touched on four major initiatives, two of which we heard more about from the managers of the programmes in a panel discussion later in the session:

  • MicroLead is responding to the rural vacuum of services in an impressive 21 countries, on 29 projects, with 39 institutions. With MicroLead’s focus on alternative delivery channels for rural areas and its plan to reach over a million more small depositors (on top of 700,00+ from its first phase), John recognized that many of our workshop’s participants—MicroLead partners—will have a lot to share.
  • Mobile Money for the Poor is working in a select group of eight countries to support dozens of partners—banks, mobile network operators, regulators and users—to build strong DFS ecosystems that reach the poor. John again called on the workshop’s participants, many of us partners of the programme, to weigh in during the sessions.

Taking it ‘home,’ John pointed out that being in Uganda will offer all of us a chance to see one of the fastest growing DFS ecosystems in the world and—this is especially exciting—to hear the latest consumer research from InterMedia and the Gates Foundation, just completed late last year and published a few weeks ago, from Uganda and several other countries.

With those teasers, John left us excited and ready to jump into the rest of the workshop’s sessions. Later on in this blog you can read more about the ingredients for DFS to go rural that will be discussed in six different breakout sessions (see the programme here [addlink]). We will also share first impressions and results from the field visits where we will explore the journeys and pain points agents and low-income clients face in rural areas when applying for or using DFS.

Welcome to DFS Go Rural

admin.uncdf's blog

February 20, 2015 - 08:26 -- admin.uncdf
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Feb 20, 2015

Event Objective

The main objectives of the 2015 Workshop are to expose participants to cutting edge initiatives in branchless banking which will allow Financial Service Providers (FSPs) to reach deeper into rural areas, create/solidify the foundations of a community of practice among MM4P and MicroLead stakeholders, and share and learn. This event will achieve these objectives by:

  • Creating the opportunity for face to face knowledge and experience sharing inside and outside the areas of practice of partners i.e. bridge the understanding gap between MNOs and financial service providers and the gaps among practitioners from diverse origins.
  • Exposing participants to the Uganda Mobile Money market.
  • Building a community of practice among grantees that will have the potential to last beyond the programmes.
  • Learning from grantees and disseminating these learning beyond those present at the workshop.
  • Increasing capacity among grantees.


The venue for the stay and workshop will be Speke Resort Munyonyo in Kampala, Uganda. The workshop will be 4 days residential programme which starts on 24th February, 2015, and will close in the afternoon of 27th February, 2015. Participants are invited to an opening reception on the Monday 23rd February from 18:00 to 20:00.  A field visit in Kakiri is planned on 25th February.


admin.uncdf's blog

September 1, 2014 - 06:08 -- admin.uncdf
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Sep 01, 2014

Active since 4 years in Youth Finance, YouthStart is hosting a knoweldge sharing event with its 10 partners in Kigali Rwandan from September 9-11, 2014.

At this invitation-only event, YouthStart partners will discuss best practices and lessons learned during the course of their partnership with YouthStart.

As you follow our post on this page you will learn more about the design of financial and non financial products and services for youth, the challenges and solutions YouthStart partners explored to scale up their services and reach vulnerable youth and young girls.

YouthStart is a UNCDF programme funded by The MasterCard Foundation. More about the programme

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