On June 17th, 2012 Ashoka Changemakers in partnership with the G2012 Mexico Leaders’ Summit announced the creation of a new financial inclusion competition. The G2012 Mexico Financial Inclusion: Innovative Solutions for Unlocking Access competition seeks to highlight the lack of financial services geared towards the poor and encourage the development and growth of financial products focused on underserved and unbanked communities.
When Mexico assumed the role of the G20 Presidency, President Calderon with the support of G20 member countries, broadened the group’s financial and economic focus by asserting, “Under the Mexican G20 Presidency actions to foster financial inclusion, including financial education and consumer protection have become a priority of the finance track agenda.” With financial inclusion a key agenda item, the group has reached across sectors to learn from and collaborate with key stakeholders in the space, including the private sector, civil society and non-G20 member states.
By partnering with Ashoka Changemakers and launching this pioneering competition to engage the public, the G20 has taken another step in promoting the issue of financial inclusion. President Calderon stated that, “the Financial Inclusion Challenge is a competition that will promote innovation in bringing financial services closer to more people by focusing on the population with least resources.”
Innovative solutions that can address the needs of over 2.5 billion unbanked people will require collaboration and knowledge sharing. Those interested in developing ideas for the G2012 Mexico Financial Inclusion competition should look to existing resources and insights as they seek to solve the financial needs of the poor. The Savings for the Poor Innovation and Knowledge Network (SPINNAKER) has worked to create a platform where financial services data and information are accessible to the public and to those concerned with financial inclusion. Beyond data collection and sharing, SPINNAKER seeks to stimulate collaborative and innovative work at the financial products level, encouraging improvement and advancement in the field. We hope that the resources made available here – including our own analyses on trends and behaviors can assist those eager to participate in this competition.
Ashoka Changemakers is looking for innovative and impactful solutions that address issues that currently exclude the poor and most vulnerable from using financial tools. The competition is open to ideas and products at any stage of development that aim to make financial services more secure, affordable and accessible to those with the least resources. The winner of the competition will be awarded a US $100, 000 prize and receive valuable guidance and support from Ashoka Changemakers. The deadline for submissions to the G2012 Mexico Financial Inclusion: Innovative Solutions for Unlocking Access is September 12, 2012.
As SPINNAKER continues to foster dialogue and innovation on the design and delivery of financial services to the poor, we look forward to learning more about the entries and ideas submitted to Ashoka Changemakers!