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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:

Follow NextBillion Financial Innovation on Twitter @NextBillionFI.


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Thursday, November 27, 2014

Four Insights from Four Investors: Practitioners of impact and angel investing share their views

By James Militzer — WDI

As our Impact Investing Insights series concludes, we've compiled the views of four practitioners on topics like impact assessment, crowdfunding, and the advantages of socially responsible investing. You can read excerpts here, or check out the embedded video for their full perspectives.

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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

It's About Launching Ecosystems, Not Just Products: Insights on the next generation of mobile financial services from the Mondato Summit Asia

By Chris Connolly

As the explosive growth of mobile financial services (MFS) reshapes economies around the world, the Mondato Summit Asia brought an impressive line-up of speakers and panelists from all parts of the ecosystem to explore the next generation of MFS in Southeast Asia. Chris Connolly delivers some highlights - and tweets - from the recent conference.

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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Weekly Roundup, 11/22/14 - Going Postal: Is postal banking a key to financial inclusion?

By James Militzer — WDI

The U.S. Postal Service is losing some $5 billion a year. Bank branches are closing throughout low-income and rural areas. Could both problems be solved by converting the Post Office into a bank? Many countries in the developed and developing world have already done it. We highlight two opinions on whether the U.S. should follow suit in this Roundup.

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Curbing the "Impact Impostors": The growing movement toward transparency in impact investing

By William Burckart

Impact investing's rising popularity has spawned some unfortunate side effects. For instance, as demand for a social component has grown among investors, so have efforts to brand standard equity investments with the impact label – even when their actual impact is negligible. In the final post of his series, Bill Burckart details the efforts of policy makers, regulators and investors to address this issue.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Blurring the Boundaries: How impact investing is shifting paradigms in the public, philanthropic and nonprofit sectors

By William Burckart

As impact investing has grown, it has begun to reshape traditional approaches to financing socially focused initiatives – sometimes to the point where paradigms start to shift. In part two of his series on new frontiers in impact investing, William Burckart discusses the implications of these changes for the public, philanthropic and nonprofit sectors.


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The Social Lending Awards

Thursday, January 22, 2015


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