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Exclusion Innovation Simplification Solution Inclusion

Infusing profit with purpose through financial inclusion

Marginalised populations around the world struggle to access business loans and other financial products. We're helping to develop for-profit ways to improve inclusivity.

Magic happens at junctures where worlds collide. Consider financial inclusion. In an evolving landscape, financial services providers and investors face pressure to deliver strong bottom lines. With market saturation a growing concern, companies must think creatively. At the same time, marginalised groups such as women, immigrants, youth and those outside of urban centres struggle in a market where they bump against barriers in accessing financial products.

An opportunity is born.

Foresighted, entrepreneurial financial institutions and investors are eyeing the more than 1.1 billion women and 70 per cent of women-led small businesses still unbanked globally as a potential revenue source. Companies, however, often balk at the cultural, legislative and technological barriers to entry and seek guidance in navigating these new markets. Enter Deloitte.

Deloitte has long advocated that a for-profit way to be financially inclusive is possible. Working with the World Bank and USAID, Deloitte approaches financial institutions to move forward in unconventional ways. “We are seeding innovation in the finance sector,” said Steve Watkins, a finance and inclusion leader in Deloitte’s ESG practice.

We help financial institutions understand the needs of marginalised market segments and assist in developing strategies and products to profitably serve them. This includes risk mitigation tactics such as leveraging local networks and anchor companies. An example is when KWMA, a Kenyan lender, accepted guarantees from rural community savings groups as collateral for small business loans made to a family-owned Kenyan milk distributor that played an important role in the community.

“We are grateful to Deloitte for helping us plot a path to growth by better serving women customers.”

- Phùng Anh Tuấn , founder and CEO of F88

Wade Channel, retired senior adviser on gender and development at USAID, lauded Deloitte’s approach. “Through their sustained partnership and private sector perspective, Deloitte has helped USAID adopt more private-sector, market-oriented approaches to women’s financial inclusion—and this has improved our programme design and impact.”

Among the solutions Deloitte helps clients pursue are leveraging the fintech ecosystem, accessing new markets through movable property lending, using technology to reduce the cost of regulatory compliance and considering alternative credit scoring models. Phùng Anh Tuấn, founder and CEO of F88, a pioneer of secured lending in Vietnam, said, “We are grateful to Deloitte for helping us transform our approach to customer segmentation and helping us to plot a path to growth by better serving women customers.”

“We want to catalyse impact as broadly as possible,” says Bar Pereg, a Deloitte senior manager. The objective is to reach the inflection point where firms in underserved markets become profitable. Across the globe, helping small businesses succeed is making an impact for both individuals and their communities.

Get in touch

Neil Tomlinson

Global Banking & Capital Markets Leader

Neal Baumann

Global Financial Services Industry Leader