Creativity, Culture and Capital: Why Impact Investors Should Recognize the Untapped Potential of the Global Creative Economy
Impact investors have been overlooking a large and rapidly growing sector, one driven by women, youth and other overlooked workers and entrepreneurs and aligned with many key impact priorities: the creative economy. Laura Callanan at Upstart Co-Lab, Fran Sanderson at Nesta and Carolina Biquard at Fundación Compromiso explain why the industry is a powerful force for social and economic development, and share insights from a recent report from Creativity, Culture & Capital, a new initiative that seeks to develop the global creative economy through impact investing.
The Resilience of Indian Microfinance: Why the Sector Has Successfully Navigated the COVID-19 Pandemic
When a crisis hits a financial system or economy at large, the microfinance sector is usually among the worst impacted, since it caters to the most economically vulnerable segments of the population. As Sudip Bandyopadhyay at Inditrade explains, that's what happened to Indian microfinance when COVID-19 struck — yet the sector has shown remarkable resilience in weathering the pandemic. He explores some effective measures Indian microfinance institutions and policymakers have taken to address these historic challenges.
Below the Tip of the Iceberg: Why Systems Change is the Key to Scaling Innovations and Solving Development Challenges
In recent years there has been an increased focus on systems change in the development sector, in response to growing awareness of how underlying systemic causes are perpetuating many global challenges. María Boa-Alvarado at CIMMYT, Lennart Woltering at One CGIAR and Marcos Sanjuán at CRS-El Salvador discuss the benefits of this approach, as applied to the issue of land degradation in Central America. They explore how their organizations are using a systems thinking tool, the iceberg model, to better understand the root causes of this problem – and to provide lasting solutions.
The COVID-19 crisis has had serious impacts on the microfinance industry and the micro and small enterprises it typically serves, leading to a decrease in both the quality and volume of microfinance institution (MFI) portfolios. Mathilde Bauwin of ADA explains how the organization designed and implemented a response program to help its partner MFIs overcome the pandemic's challenges. She shares lessons learned during the process, which could be useful in helping MFIs navigate future crises.
Opportunity or Threat: Are Healthy Partnerships Possible Between Digital Financial Services and Microfinance Institutions in Bangladesh?
Microfinance institutions in Bangladesh reach over 32 million customers with a loan portfolio of around US $9 billion. According to Jakirul Islam at Bank Asia, partnerships with digital financial services (DFS) could benefit both microfinance and DFS providers and their customers – but these partnerships are not functioning at their full potential. He shares four key benefits that are driving interest in these collaborations, and explores their inherent challenges – and some partnership models that could address them.