VisionFund welcomes the Grameen Foundation’s report Measuring the Impact of Microfinance and its findings that microfinance has a consistent and positive effect on 200 million people worldwide. We are pleased that the report recognises the industry's shift from microfinance alone to financial inclusion, which parallels our work to bring sustainable financial services to the rural poor who have lacked access to these previously.
Part of what enables the reach of financial services into isolated geographies is new technology. Convenient, mobile lending and financial management requires less travel and speeds up borrowing applications and approvals. As microlending facilities develop, we see client uptake increase, business investment grow and purchasing choices expand. We look forward to additional research into how digital tools can support financial inclusion.
As part of the Microfinance CEO Working Group, VisionFund lends its knowledge for the benefit of financial access across the globe. We are pleased to have contributed to the analysis in this report and will use its findings in service to our 1.1m clients. We will continue to build on our programme evaluation to witness the wider implications of financial inclusion.
VisionFund’s financial services combined with development programmes from World Vision affect lives in a holistic way. Families are enabled to grow their livelihoods, stimulate community job creation, provide schooling for their children, and afford better nutrition and healthcare. It is through this assessment of microlending’s role in building resiliency that the full picture takes shape.
Our work shows us that microfinance and financial inclusion lead to outcomes: last year we were able to impact 1.4 million jobs, reach 3.8 million children, and serve a client base that is 78% female with a repayment rate of 98% in largely rural areas. We encourage additional research into how exactly microfinance meets the needs of the poor and contributes to the end of poverty so we can strengthen our services and provide brighter futures for more children.