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Dear all,

It’s been a year s
ince we last shared news via the MicroLead Newsletter. Over the past 12 months, we have continuously encouraged knowledge sharing among our partners through webinars and events. This past February, MicroLead’s partners gathered in Kampala, Uganda for their annual knowledge sharing event, together with partners of another UNCDF programme, Mobile Money for the Poor (MM4P). This joint event focused on topics related to reaching rural areas with Digital Financial Services (DFS) and provided the opportunity to meet agents and clients as well as discuss saving groups linkages, managing rural agents, small holder farmer initiatives, and designing services appropriate for rural households. If you missed our communications on the event, you can check the event website to read the findings of the workshops and field visit at www.dfsgorural.com.

In this issue, you will learn about three MicroLead partners that have made significant progress in reaching rural areas with savings products for underserved population.

Enjoy the reading,
 
MicroLead Expansion Team
The journey to mobilizing small savings in Ethiopia
Four years ago, UNCDF via its programme MicroLead embarked with three Ethiopian partners and two external TSPs (one from India and one from France) on a journey to mobilize savings with technology in rural Ethiopia. As the project reached its closure, MicroLead organized an event to share the achievements and the lessons learnt. During the knowledge sharing event, MicroLead launched a case study titled Expanding access to savings-led financial services in Ethiopia - integrating people and technology that summarizes the experience and progress gained during the automation at both MFIs. Read more about the event and the learnings here.
Increasing Savings for Rural Tanzanian Women
MicroLead provided the means and the technical support to link Savings Groups (SGs) created by CARE in Tanzania with the Mwanga Community Bank (MCB) through the development of branchless banking services tailored to the groups. The belief behind this project is that the empowerment of rural women is key to pro-poor development and economic growth. MicroLead is leading the way in this ‘last mile’ of financial inclusion by employing innovative strategies, such as SG linkages through technology. Read more about the learning of the project.
Sinapi Aba’s Launch of Savings Products in Ghana
The transformation of Sinapi Aba Trust into a deposit-taking financial institution was a pivotal moment in its history. Due to the financial institution’s extensive footprint across Ghana– reaching all ten regions and over 130,000 clients– the process required substantial changes to the organization’s business model and culture. This transition is the focus of the MicroLead project established in partnership between UNCDF, Sinapi Aba, and Opportunity International, and provides a myriad of lessons to draw upon. Read more.
Sponsoring Savings Groups Conference 2015
UNCDF is proud to announce its sponsorship of the SG2015 Savings Groups Conference. UNCDF, via the MicroLead programme, is supporting the development of linkages between savings groups and financial service providers. Out of the 11 projects supported by the programme, seven are currently involved in linking savings groups to regulated financial institutions while the remaining four are exploring SG linkages. Read more.

The views expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the United Nations, including UNCDF, or their Member States.
Copyright © 2015 UNCDF, All rights reserved.


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