Nov 12, 2020

The European Microfinance Platform is delighted to announce the publication of Encouraging Effective & Inclusive Savings, the latest in an annual series of papers that condense the themes and pull together the outstanding cases and factors for success from that year’s European Microfinance Award.

Despite the incredible challenges faced by financial service providers throughout 2020, this year’s Award on Encouraging Effective & Inclusive Savings received a record number of applicants from all regions of the world, innovating in different ways in the design, delivery and encouragement of savings among vulnerable, low-income populations.

Among the various lessons that this difficult year has shown is that saving – to set goals, manage household finances but particularly to mitigate the effects of sudden financial and economic shocks – is more important than ever.

The publication just launched starts will a tour of the subject – why savings matter, how ‘real’ people save, why savings are valuable to clients, providers and society – before profiling the ten semi-finalists (and among them, the three finalists) from this year’s Award, and places these ten organisations’ initiatives into three broad categories: ‘Designing Products for People and Purpose’; ‘Enabling Savings through Delivery Innovation’; and ‘Encouraging Clients to Save’. The paper concludes with the ‘Factors for Success’ that have emerged over this almost year-long evaluation process: what distinguishes the exceptional initiatives profiled within Encouraging Effective & Inclusive Savings, and how can other organisations replicate their success?

This is a rich paper – commensurate with the rich information provided by the applicants this year – and is built on the support of many people. Thanks must go to Luxembourg’s Directorate for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs within the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, and all the members of the Selection Committee and the High Jury who gave their time and expertise to take part in a rigorous evaluation process.

We at e-MFP are extremely proud to launch this paper, at a time when the resilience from savings is so important. It not only captures why savings matter so much to vulnerable populations, but also shows how the semi-finalists’ diverse and fascinating initiatives actually encourage effective and inclusive savings, and how others can learn from them.

Download the report here

Don’t miss the ‘fireside chat’-style session at EMW2020, with the paper’s lead author Sam Mendelson, Manoj Sharma from MSC, and Chiara Pescatori, one of the consultants who supported the e-MFP team throughout the EMA2020 application and evaluation process.


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