Realizing our vision of a financially inclusive world requires efforts on multiple fronts. Our investing initiatives reflect our commitment to cultivating a financial ecosystem that will enhance the efficiency, reach and scope of financial services for millions of people living in poverty around the world.
Think of our investments as grouped in two broad categories: investments in microfinance institutions (MFIs) and investments beyond MFIs – these are companies that offer products and services for people living in poverty or, as they are commonly known in the industry, those at the base of the economic pyramid.
We help microfinance institutions reach meaningful scale and sustainability and to broaden significantly the range of financial products and services they offer to their clients. We provide early-stage equity, quasi-equity financing and loan guarantees to help MFIs become independent of donor funds, build their capital base, attract deposits and attain financial leverage through the following vehicle:
Accion Gateway Fund: This private fund provides equity and quasi-equity capital to MFIs in greenfield or early-stage operations that demonstrate a potential for strong financial and social returns to their shareholders.
Many compelling financial services and methods to serve the entrepreneurial poor are being developed outside of traditional brick-and-mortar MFIs. To help serve those companies, we created two unique investment funds:
Venture Lab: This U.S. $10 million fund provides seed funding and technical assistance to promising start-ups whose goal is to broaden financial inclusion but which are often considered by others to be “pre-investable.”
Accion Frontier Inclusion Fund: Accion sponsored and is an anchor investor in the Accion Frontier Inclusion Fund, the first global emerging markets fintech fund for the financially underserved. The Fund invests in innovative financial technology and services companies that promote financial inclusion for the two billion people around the world who lack access to savings accounts, checking, insurance, credit, and other basic financial services.