Client Stories

Muhammad Abid Islam, owner of the New Waseem General Store at Ghalib Market in Lahore, had problems with his staff that resulted in a financial loss last year. So, he decided to cut ties with his employees and manage the business end-to-end on his own.

To recuperate his losses, Mr. Abid Islam, a Unilever retailer, wanted to purchase more products to stock and sell. And for that, he needed a loan.

Mobile Wallets: The Newest Tool for Beauticians at a Pakistani Startup

Safia Javed, a 48-year-old beautician and mother of three sons in Lahore, has been the lone breadwinner in her family since her husband experienced renal failure several years ago and can no longer work. However, being responsible for earning the money to support her family did not mean she was… Read more

Financial Inclusion and Job Skills Transform the Lives of Women in Bangladesh

For Bangladesh’s poorest women, the roadblocks to earn and save money have traditionally been high. A government program supported by UNDP known as SWAPNO (Strengthening Women’s Ability for Productive New Opportunities) aims to lower those barriers. Implemented under the national social security… Read more

New Digital Platforms Expand Financial Options for Rural Dwellers in Bangladesh

When the UNSGSA last visited Bangladesh in 2015, she met rural residents who had just started to access financial services for the first time—along with vital government services and basic internet—due to an ambitious government program called Access to Information (a2i). Since, a2i has built on… Read more

Early Lessons from the CEO Partnership for Economic Inclusion

By Eric Duflos and Nancy Widjaja A few months after the leaders of the CEO Partnership for Economic Inclusion (CEOP) met for the second time in Davos during the World Economic Forum (WEF), we spent two days working with the companies’ advisors to… Read more

Blog: Doing Business While Doing Good: CEOs Partner to Boost Inclusion

Members of the CEOP met privately to discuss their progress, and also participated in a public event about the initiative. By Eric Duflos   Read more

Blog: For Tanzanian Farmers, Digital Platform Strengthens Every Link in the Value Chain

Tanzanian farmer Martha Emanuel Talanju. Photo credit: Sebnem Sener By Sebnem Sener Over the past three years, Tanzanian farmer Martha Emanuel Talanju has seen her business growing steadily thanks to a value-chain financing program from the Farm to… Read more

Innovation Serving Tradition: India Stack Meets Mumbai’s Dabbawalas

Vilash and other dabbawalas can now collect instant digital payments for delivering hundreds of thousands of home-cooked lunches every day. Photo credit: UNSGSA/Ruhani Kaur Everyone’s talking about the India Stack these days, but what does it mean… Read more

Blog: On the Fast Track to Digital Financial Inclusion with Indonesia’s Go-Jek

By Nancy Widjaja Anywhere you look in Jakarta these days, you’ll see the bright green helmet and jacket of a Go-Jek motorbike driver carving a path down the crowded streets. Established in 2010 as a ride-hailing service, Go-Jek has become a ubiquitous presence in Indonesia’s cities. Through the… Read more

Casting a Wider Net: Digital Loan Helps Nigerian Fish-Seller Expand Her Business

Tucked away in the bustling Ijesha Market in Lagos, Flora Edojah’s small catfish stall seems as humble as its quiet owner.  Yet waters run deep with the 53-year-old businesswoman—and not just in her catfish pens. With 30 years of experience and a strong entrepreneurial drive, she is a successful… Read more

Blog: In Nigeria, New Horizons for Digital Financial Inclusion

By Eric Duflos and Sebnem Sener Last November we were in Nigeria with H.M. Queen Máxima, the Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance, for a visit focusing on financial inclusion. Thanks to our partners in Nigeria and beyond, we arrived with a good understanding of how far the… Read more

In Mexico, a Convenience Store Makes Finance Easy

María Teresa Gaytán López met the Special Advocate when she was visiting an OXXO branch in Mexico City to open her first account. Care for a soda with that savings account? For millions of low-income customers throughout Mexico, OXXO corner markets… Read more

Nigeria's Economic Future Is in Its Hands

The Special Advocate's column on mobile money in Nigeria appeared in three Nigerian papers at the start of her 2017 country visit. By H.M. Read more