Economic Inclusion

The challenge: Around the world, millions of people are locked out of economic opportunity because they don’t have the right tools and resources. This burden is particularly acute for youth and women. Only 63 percent of women aged 25 to 54 participate in the labour force, compared with 94 percent for men. Around the world, it is estimated that 71 million youth are unemployed – and 16 percent of employed youth are considered “working poor.” This exclusion results in hardship at the household level, and slower growth of the global economy.

Our solution: We work on multiple fronts to create opportunities for all to build a more prosperous future. Our programs address a wide spectrum of needs, from community-based savings groups, to financial services and support to women and youth entrepreneurs. We invest in innovative, market-focused initiatives that build the knowledge, skills, and institutional capacities to promote sustainable economic growth in remote or marginalized communities.

It takes a village

We were all once children. We were all once young, full of hope and potential.

Dispatch from the field: Kettles and cameras in Karasu, Kyrgyzstan

Rachel Mather was part of the 2016-2017 cohort of the International Youth Fellowship Program. She was placed with First Micro Credit Company in Osh, Kyrgyz Republic.

Feeding Her Community

Lal and Samantha live worlds apart, but their lives are more similar than it seems at first glance.

We are there

For vulnerable communities in remote, high mountain valleys across Central Asia, lives are changing.

Dispatch from the field: Supporting dairy farmers in Bangladesh

I’ve been in Bangladesh for more than two months now, working with CARE Bangladesh on their programming to help rural farmers improve their agricultural practices – and incomes.

Dispatch from the field: The rights and responsibilities of microfinance in Tajikistan

The Smart Campaign is a global effort spearheaded by the Center for Financial Inclusion, dedicated to “uniting microfinance leaders around a common goal: to keep clients as the driving force of the industry” – by following principles designed to help microfinance institutions practise good ethics and smart business.

These keys unlock five things you take for granted

These are the keys to a lockbox where 12 members of a savings group in Mozambique are investing their earnings. With the return on their investments, they have been able to make basic improvements to their homes, like a freezer, an oven, a table and chairs, bowls and plates, and a roof that doesn’t leak.

Under the canopy of the apricot trees

It sits nestled in the palm of my hand, a shrunken, wrinkled russet sphere that rattles softly when I shake it. I find it in Zeverdashd, a Tajik village wedged between the towering Pamir Mountains of Tajikistan and Afghanistan. It represents a livelihood for 15 women and their families.

Weaving a Brighter Future: Apendiwe’s story

Apendiwe Momade sits in the shade outside her home in rural Mozambique, next to a billowing pile of dried grass.

Her legs are outstretched on one of her homemade mats, her fingers a blur as she expertly twists the grass into intricate patterns.