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NextBillion Financial Innovation is a blog and news resource dedicated to improving financial access for low-income people around the world. 

The site, part of the NextBillion network, focuses on the businesses, issues and innovations that are making an impact on financial inclusion worldwide. It features a diverse collection of experts and practitioners, who share their knowledge, research and experiences in helping low-income people improve their lives and livelihoods.

The blog, which has been made possible by the Citi Foundation, serves as a space for discussion and debate, where readers can go to find fresh approaches and unconventional thinking. It also features job listings, news articles and event listings important to financial inclusion professionals.
 
Some of the topics featured on NextBillion Financial Innovation include:

  • Financial products: Advances in financial products to meet the needs of low-income people in the areas of microlending, microsavings, credit scoring and microinsurance, among others
  • Financial capability innovations and research: Developments in research and real-world initiatives for improving the financial capability of underserved and unbanked customers, regardless of geography
  • Technology: New innovations that harness mobile devices, mobile applications, and other technology to expand and deliver financial services and enable people to build financial capability
  • Business innovators: From startups to large banks, profiling some of the innovators who are deploying new financial products to help low-income customers secure credit to purchase a home, start a business or get an education
  • New approaches to investing: Innovative ways to maximize and assess impact investments across sectors to reach under-served communities
  • Discussion/Debate: Debates on the effectiveness of specific private enterprise approaches as well as government/aid agency and public policy efforts to improve financial inclusion
  • Knowledge: Coverage of important learnings and research shared at conferences, dedicated to financial inclusion dialogue and understanding

James Militzer serves as editor for the new blog. James, an accomplished writer and editor, is the former editor of NextBillion Health Care. He can be reached via email: jamesmil@umich.edu

Follow NextBillion Financial Innovation on Twitter @NextBillionFI.

FeaturesFEATURES

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Crowdfunding for Development: Recommendations vs. reality

By Sam Raymond

Last year, infoDev released a report that explored what crowdfunding could mean for enterprises in developing countries. Now, it's seeing the first results of its Crowdfund Investing Pilot, a project designed to mentor and train six Kenyan startups on crowdfunding campaigns. The organization reflects on some key recommendations of the report, and how they compare to the reality of working with these entrepreneurs.

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Monday, October 20, 2014

The Other Digital Currency: Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin get all the attention, but using airtime as currency could play a vital role in developing the digital finance ecosystem

By Chris Connolly

Mobile money’s origins lie in the practice of sending airtime instead of money. And today, the use of airtime as currency endures in markets where mobile money has failed to flourish - or when it is simply more convenient than mobile money services. Mondato's Chris Connolly explores the benefits and risks of the practice.

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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Twitter Top Ten - 10/19/14: The week's top tweets in social enterprise, global health and financial inclusion

By NextBillion Editor

We're introducing a new "pilot feature" on NextBillion: a Sunday post highlighting the top 10 tweets from the preceding week. If you have any tweets you'd like us to consider for this weekly post, tweet them our way. And if you enjoy this feature and want it to continue - you guessed it, please tweet about it.

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Friday, October 17, 2014

Bringing the Gender Lens into Focus

By Tara Sabre Collier

Gender lens investing is an increasing focus of investor and media attention. But this paradigm shift calls for a new approach that holds investors accountable, says Tara Sabre Collier. The term “gender lens” should imply a shift away from a gender-specific silo towards a more holistic vision of empowering women as investees, employees, consumers, suppliers and beyond.

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Funding to Reach the Tipping Point: Doug Balfour, CEO of Geneva Global, on how to spark collaboration that amplifies social impact

By James Militzer — WDI

Geneva Global funds social impact projects worldwide, and it has fine-tuned the way it works with local community-based organizations to maximize its philanthropic bang for the buck. In part 7 of our Impact Investing Insights series, its CEO Doug Balfour explains how the company aims to create a virtuous cycle through its grants, leading to sustainable, long-term social change.

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EventsEvents

October
23
2014

2014 Fall Conference Social Venture Network

Thursday, October 23, 2014

October
23
2014

GAIN: AIGA Design and Business Conference

Thursday, October 23, 2014

October
25
2014

2014 Finance Conference

Saturday, October 25, 2014

November
01
2014

Partner Contributors

Vikas Raj

Vikas Raj


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Alex Counts

Alex Counts


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Debbie Dean

Debbie Dean


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Camilla Nestor

Camilla Nestor


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