What's at Stake
More than two billion people worldwide live on less than $2 a day, and another estimated two billion struggle with the financial resources and stability to procure basic services, protect themselves from economic shocks, and build wealth.
In emerging markets, we invest broadly in the microfinance industry to accelerate its growth and extend the benefits of financial services to the people who need them. We address specific constraints to growing the sector by helping microfinance institutions (MFIs) gain access to capital; alleviating information, technology, and other resource shortages for MFIs; and building the industry infrastructure needed to serve millions of people efficiently.
This work is supplemented by our efforts in the United States to address the needs of roughly one in four American families who are living paycheck-to-paycheck, have no or damaged credit, and lack rainy-day funds. Through technology-enabled innovation and new business models, we believe we can reduce costs and increase the quality and convenience of financial transactions, as well as encourage savings. Thus we help enable conditions necessary for individuals to better manage their financial lives.
We further strive to demonstrate that these ventures can be self-sustaining and profitable and thus more attractive to traditional investors. We believe this will foster greater competition in the market and create economies of scale that both drive down costs and improve financial services for the poor.
We aspire to make high-quality, affordable financial services widely available to the poor so that they may gain financial security and escape poverty. When people have access to financial services, they can stabilize their sources of income, build up assets, plan for the future, and feel more empowered and secure.