Developing an entrepreneurial mindset is key to helping the world’s financially underserved.
It’s easy to become dismayed thinking about 2.5 billion people at the bottom of the pyramid. That’s nearly a third of the world’s population without affordable financial services. How do we tackle this global problem that penetrates so many lives in diverse countries?
Having an entrepreneurial mindset means changing the focus from a problem to an opportunity for a solution. Entrepreneurs regularly acknowledge human and organizational problems. Then they innovate, knowing that some ideas succeed, others fail. They continuously develop products and services to improve the world.
Because of entrepreneurs, computers, mobile phones, and the Internet emerged and flourished. Some of these inventions first appeared radical. But now they’ve become essential to people and a catalyst for FinTech startups.
Accion, realizing innovation is the best hope for financial inclusion, created Venture Lab. This initiative provides seed capital and support to innovative financial inclusion start-ups. It fosters experimentation, promotes business models, and improves financial access for the poor. As another technology venture, Omidyar Network believes investors impact change best by supporting market innovators.
10 Financial Inclusion Entrepreneurs
Below are 10 insightful entrepreneurs who help the underserved. From remittance to lending to credit scoring, each pioneer contributes to financial inclusion.
- KyePot founder & CEO, Sidd Gandhi, using social tools, enables lending and borrowing within small, trusted groups.
- Coins.ph founder & CEO Ron Hose created a Bitcoin mobile wallet that cuts transaction costs for Filipinos who work abroad and send money home. The company also offers ATM withdrawals from banks and e-commerce merchant integration.
- LendStreet’s founder & CEO, Jerry Nemorin offers marketplace lending capital that assists distressed borrowers with debt refinancing.
- Kopo Kopo’s founder & CEO, Dylan Higgins uses mobile money merchant data to provide financing to merchants that fit within their cash flow cycles.
- First Access’ founder & CEO, Nicole Stubbs leverages cell phone data that improves credit risk assessments for borrowers in informal markets.
- Juntos’ founder & CEO, Ben Knelman creates mobile-based personal finance tools for cash-based households.
- Destacame’s founder & CEO, Jorge Camus analyzes utility and cell phone data. The service creates and manages alternative credit scores and influences credit scoring models.
- SimbaPay, a mobile app, enables Kenyans abroad to deposit money instantly into their bank accounts.
- Simpa Networks’ founder & CEO, Paul Needham makes solar energy simple, affordable and accessible.
- Microensure’s founder and CEO, Richard Leftley, developed individual life, health and comprehensive insurance reducing risk for people in over a dozen countries.
Helping Pursue Financial Inclusion
Whether or not you consider yourself an entrepreneur, your willingness to help the underserved population by focusing on potential solutions can make a huge impact. You needn’t be a thought leader or regulator, just a person who cares about those who are less fortunate.
Organizations like CGAP and CFI will inform you about the current financial services landscape. Get inspired by watching Co-Author, Carol Realini, speak at 2016’s Digital Money Symposium and European Payment Summit. Listen to the audiobook version of Financial Inclusion at the Bottom of the Pyramid and share your review here. Become a part of the #SuccessatBOP movement, as you watch thousands of people, policymakers, financial institutions, and non-profits create affordable financial services.
Want more ideas of how to get involved? Click here.