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Welcome to the Publications Library! Here you will find a searchable index of reports, toolkits, research papers, and other resources relevant to the Small and Growing Business Sector. Sort by clicking on the relevant tags, or by typing in key words in the box below.


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Top tags: sector publication  impact investing  Entrepreneurship  ANDE publication  Access to Finance  Global  2018  Social entrepreneurship  women  Development  accelerators  Economic Growth  SGB  SME  Africa  impact evaluation  India  GALI  2016  finance  latin america  Agriculture  ecosystem  social enterprise  2017  environment  gender  private sector development  SGBs  2019 

Financial Inclusion in Latin America

Posted By Lauren Weiner, Aspen Institute, Monday, October 14, 2019
Updated: Monday, October 14, 2019

Financial Inclusion in Latin America 

The ANDE CAM and Brazil chapters created a joint report that gives an overview of the financial inclusion sector in Latin America with a focus on Mexico and Brazil. The report includes an infographic of the financial inclusion landscape in both countries, using facts and figures presented throughout our Learning Lab meetings and roundtables.

Additionally, the report presents 3 relevant topics around financial inclusion: user-centered financial products and services, infrastructure needed to access financial services and financial education. Each topic offers an introduction by experts and  case studies of diverse projects in Latin America. 

Read the full report here. 


Tags:  ANDE publication  finance 

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​Inclusión Financiera en Latinoamérica

Posted By Lauren Weiner, Aspen Institute, Monday, October 14, 2019
Updated: Monday, October 14, 2019

Inclusión Financiera en Latinoamérica
realizado por ANDE

Los capítulos ANDE CAM y Brasil crearon un informe conjunto que brinda una visión general del sector de inclusión financiera en América Latina con un enfoque en México y Brasil. El informe incluye una infografía del panorama de inclusión financiera en ambos países, utilizando información y cifras presentadas en nuestras reuniones  del Laboratorio de Aprendizaje.

Además, el informe presenta 3 temas relevantes en torno a la inclusión financiera: productos y servicios financieros centrados en el usuario, infraestructura necesaria para acceder a servicios financieros y educación financiera. Cada tema ofrece una introducción de expertos y  casos de estudio de diversos proyectos en América Latina.

 Lee el reporte completo aquí.

Tags:  ANDE publication  finance 

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Blended Finance in the Least Developed Countries

Posted By Katherine Chen, Aspen Institute, Friday, August 2, 2019

Blended Finance in the Least Developed Countries
by UN Capital Development Fund and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

This report, the second in a collaboration between the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), outlines the latest trends in blended finance approaches in LDCs. It lays down a challenge to the actors within the financing for development architecture, calling for blended finance to be much more responsive to LDCs, to the 'last mile', and to smaller transactions in the missing middle.

Read full report here.

Tags:  finance  missing middle  SDGs 

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Financing the Future of Asia: Innovations in Sustainable Finance

Posted By Administration, Thursday, April 18, 2019
Updated: Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Financing the Future of Asia: Innovations in Sustainable Finance
by Johan Thuard, Harvey Koh, Anand Agarwal and Riya Garg

This report lays out initial recommendations for how a range of different actors could engage across sustainable finance intervention. FSG's hope is many more investors and financial services providers will seize the opportunity to shape this emerging sector and move toward a future in which all of finance is turned toward building a better world.

Read full report here

Tags:  Asia  finance  fintech  India  innovation  Southeast Asia  Southeast Asia; India  sustainable finance  sustainable finance; fintech; finance; Asia; innov 

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Banking in Africa - Delivering on Financial Inclusion, Supporting Financial Stability

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, January 23, 2019

In its fourth edition, this report focuses on recent developments in Africa’s banking sectors and the policy options for all stakeholders. The study of banking sectors across all African sub-regions includes the results of the EIB survey of banking groups operating in Africa. Three thematic chapters address challenges and opportunities for financing investment in Africa: (a) Crowding out of private sector lending by public debt issuance; (b) The state of bank recovery and resolution laws in Africa; and (c) Policy options on how to finance infrastructure development. The report finds that in many African banking markets, the last two years saw a pause in financial deepening. However, a rising share of banking groups report improving market conditions and plan a structural expansion of their operations in Africa and a continued push for new technologies.

Tags:  2019  Access to Finance  Africa  finance  sector publication 

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Artificial Intelligence: Practical Superpowers

Posted By Administration, Saturday, June 2, 2018
Updated: Friday, June 1, 2018

Artificial Intelligence: Practical Superpowers
The Case for AI in Financial Services in Africa
FIBR, MasterCard Foundation, BFA

While admittedly often overshadowed by hype, Artificial Intelligence (AI) today offers real opportunities for financial sector players to access new and augmented business abilities. Wielded well, AI can unlock data to reveal insights about customers, operations and businesses to inform key decisions. Sensors in smartphones also open up a whole new world of data as captured through images, text, sound and location, which AI can translate into information in real-time and with high fidelity. These kinds of advancements in the field are especially exciting for financial sector players in Africa, with real-use applications in the informal retail sector, and for businesses that rely on last-mile distribution networks, such as pay-as-you-go (PAYGo) providers,1 to reach their customers. Grounded in creating a practical and compelling case for financial services providers (FSPs) in Africa, we present an overview of AI and its benefits to businesses -- lowering costs, increasing revenue and competing in a changing market -- that could ultimately enable a more customer-centric financial ecosystem.

Read the full report here.

Tags:  2018  africa  finance 

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Gender Analysis of AgFinance in Ghana and Mozambique

Posted By Liza Curcio, Aspen Institute, Monday, November 6, 2017
Updated: Monday, October 30, 2017

Gender Analysis of AgFinance in Ghana and Mozambique

By Opportunity International

Opportunity International's (Opportunity's) Agricultural Finance (AgFinance) program helps smallholder farmers increase farm productivity, financial stability, and food security to enhance quality of life. To assess and improve its gender strategy, Opportunity conducted an analysis of its AgFinance program in 2016 with funding from the British Government's Department for International Development 


Key Research Findings

  • For Financial Inclusion: 92% of women clients perceive Opportunity as welcoming to women and 81% of women clients say they have more decision-making power in their families because of Opportunity's AgFinance program. Gender barriers arise primarily when Opportunity recruits clients through traditional male-led village structures and farmer groups.
  • For Financial Institutions: To best understand the market potential in serving women with AgFinance, viable market segments must be identified based on factors like location and literacy before segmenting the market by gender. Grasping the diversity of farmers and agri-businesses helps identify the right target market. 

Download the report here.

Tags:  Agriculture  finance  gender  small and growing agrobusiness 

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SME Finance in Sub-Saharan Africa

Posted By Genevieve Edens, Aspen Institute, Friday, September 22, 2017
Updated: Wednesday, September 20, 2017


by Enclude, the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs, and the Shell Foundation

Enclude, ANDE, and the Shell Foundation conducted this research in 2016 and 2017, with generous participation from leading providers of SME finance globally through roundtables, workshops, and interviews.  The study focuses on SMEs that are commercially viable with five to 250 employees and have significant potential and ambition for growth. Within this segment, our "Target Market" focus is on businesses in the “validate” and “prepare” stages seeking growth and working capital of between $250,000 and $1 million. 

State of the Market

 We estimate there are 9.4 million formal and informal SMEs in this Target Market with a financing gap upwards of $70 billion

Some financing models show solid commercial promise, but subsidy will be necessary for many years to come. Grant, sub-commercial, and quasi-commercial capital will all be required in greater proportions in order to leverage more commercial capital. DFIs will remain as the main investors, but will need to re-calibrate and re-frame their return expectations, and look to lead and be part of bridging solutions and systemic interventions. 

5 Promising Approaches to Move the Market

A material increase would require growth in the quantum of financing – targeting an additional $3 billion in financing by 2020-2022, led with funding from Development Finance Institutions, as well as donors, foundations, and corporations. Five of the most promising approaches to unlocking this capital, listed in order of absorptive capacity and investor appetite are: 

  •  Commercial Bank with an SME Unit 
  • Investment fund providing mezzanine financing
  • Asset-backed financing
  • Flexible debt instrument
  • Tailored private equity fund 

4 Calls to Action 

  • Build a robust data set that sharpens insights of size, distribution, trajectory, and returns
  • Go deep in one country to demonstrate the viability of the five most promising approaches
  • Unlock domestic capital markets, the only viable solution to foreign exchange issues 
  • Support local talent required to sustain reliable support for target SMEs

Download the executive summary & call to action slides here.

For a narrative version, click here. 


Tags:  access to finance  ANDE publication  finance  SGB  SME 

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Financing the Frontier

Posted By Administrater, Thursday, June 1, 2017
Updated: Thursday, May 11, 2017

Financing the Frontier:
Inclusive Financial Sector Development in Fragility-Affected States in Africa

by Financial Sector Deepening Africa in partnership with Mercy Corps

Poverty in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is reducing, but the concentration of extreme poverty in fragile states is likely to increase, according to a new report published today by the Financial Sector Deepening Africa in partnership with Mercy Corps. The report concludes that the donor community can crowd-in legitimate financial market actors and provide the flexibility needed to take risks, and allow development actors to pivot as the fragility-affected states in Africa (FASA) change and adjust.

Download the case study here.

Tags:  Africa  Development  finance  sector publication 

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How to IPO Successfully & Responsibly

Posted By Administration, Thursday, May 11, 2017
Updated: Thursday, May 11, 2017

How to IPO Successfully and Responsibly:
Lessons from Indian Financial Inclusion Institutions

by Grassroots Capital Management PBC and sponsored by Financial Inclusion Equity Council (FIEC)

This paper examines the 2016 IPOs of two Indian micro-lenders – Equitas Holdings and Ujjivan Financial Services – and how they “hardwired” their missions to prioritize their clients, setting them apart and driving their success. The experience of these two companies suggests how a responsible financial services company can position itself to go public while maintaining its social mission. 

Download the case study here.

Tags:  finance  inclusive business  India 

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