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iHub By Joseph / June 23, 2014

Call for Proposals: Human-Centered Design and Smallholder Finance

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Guest Blog By cgap.org

Can digital financial products and services meet the needs of smallholder farmers and their families?

CGAP invites proposals from branchless banking service providers interested in partnering with us to use human-centered design to develop innovative digital financial services that meet the needs of underserved smallholder farmers and their families in developing countries.

Given that the vast majority of the world’s 500 million smallholder farming households are not reached by financial services, designing adequate products and delivery mechanisms for this underserved group is an important need. Yet, despite an increasing interest by many financial services providers in reaching low-income or unbanked customers via the use of technology, very few providers have an in-depth understanding of how smallholder farmers manage their money or what sort of products these customers need. CGAP has worked with a number of human-centered design firms in the past to complete applied product innovation projects in BrazilMexico and Uganda. Now, we are seeking to build on this experience by developing digital products and delivery mechanisms specifically designed for smallholder families.

We are searching for the right partners who are motivated and excited about developing financial services that truly meet the needs of underserved smallholder farming families. Branchless banking providers of any type, including banks, MNOs, retailers, agent network managers, or others, may apply. The winning proposals will be selected based on the openness of the providers to bring to market innovative financial services as well as how best they can help us answer our key learning question: How do we design digital products that not only meet any of the wide array of financial services needs of smallholder farming families but also do so in a commercially viable way?

The right partner for us is an organization who:

  • Has a track record of innovative products;
  • Is eager to reach underserved smallholder farming families;
  • Is already serving these clients, or has approval to target this segment;
  • Has approval for a new or modified product for this client segment within the next year.

To submit a proposal, please download the full requirements and follow the instructions. Proposals should be no more than five pages.

Please submit your proposals to smallholders@cgap.org before July 4 for consideration. 

Author : Joseph

A USIU trained journalist & an aspiring animator Joseph thrives behind the camera. He is a still photography and videography aficionado. Joe is currently the director/editor behind African Tech Bits, an iHub production that features start ups in the tech scene. This Canonite can mostly be seen at the iHub in the company of his Canon 550D.


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