Financial Services

Financial institutions such as Banks, Microfinance Deposit-taking Institutions (MDIs), Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs) and Savings and Credit Co-operative Societies (SACCOs) exist in many African countries with the aim of providing access to finance. However, financial exclusion still remains a key challenge in Africa leading to extreme poverty and preventing inclusive growth. This is largely due: long distances from the formal financial service providers; banking products and services that are either complex or not designed to meet the needs of all;  lack of regular income to pay for the financial services; lack of trust in financial service providers; religious practices that demonize loan-taking; illiteracy of the populations; lack of access to communication services; lack of the required formal documentation; among others.

To address some of these challenges, ACLAIM works with various players in the sector through: facilitating financial institutions in developing innovative and affordable products and services that align to the context of Small and Medium Enteprises (SMEs); demystifying to SMEs the complex financial products on the market and providing linkages to available financing sources that match their needs; building the capacity of SMEs to make them investment-ready and attractive to financing sources; providing outsourced governance services to SMEs to give assurance – to the financing sources – of the adequate business and financial oversight; training investment brokers on how to effectively link farmers and SME owners to various sources of financing, among others.

Under ACLAIM Capabilities are the services offered to the sector. Please refer to ACLAIM Insights for some of our lessons and experiences.