Being an enabler for at least 7 of the UN sustainable development goals, financial inclusion is a poverty alleviator and prosperity booster. However, about 1.7 billion adults in the world, half of which are women living in rural areas, are unbankable.
Financial inclusion provides individuals and businesses with responsible, sustainable, and adequate access to financial services and products that can facilitate their transactions, payments, savings, and insurance. As an economic and innovation actor in the region, Leaders International seeks to facilitate an inclusive access to credit for startups; freelancers; home-based businesses; micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs); and more specifically, unbankable youth and women in marginalised communities and rural areas.
Access to finance, in the form of access to financial services and access to investment, helps entrepreneurs in developing economies start and expand their businesses, secure funding, and upgrade their living standards. Accordingly, we work at the innovation ecosystem and policy levels to make more financial services available for enterprises and entrepreneurs, with a particular focus on digitally-enabled and mobile services. Through sustainable business linkages, we guide and enable small enterprises to utilise financial services to engage in more business transactions locally and internationally.
Furthermore, providing entrepreneurs with access to credit and funding remains necessary for private-sector development and poverty alleviation. Leaders International does not only provide its beneficiaries with financial assistance through grants, it also gives them access to a wide array of donors, investors, VCs, banks, and other credit providers in their region and abroad. In doing so, we ensure a constant collaboration with other financial-inclusion actors and regulators – public, private, and civil society – to mobilise as many resources as possible to advance the financial inclusion agenda in line with different national strategies.