We believe that social inclusion improves with financial inclusion. We fund values-based organisations working for inclusive finance across the world, because they provide access to fair and transparent financial services for people and small businesses. Bringing people into the financial system spurs social and economic development and contributes to achieving multiple SDGs.
At year-end 2021, Triodos Investment Management’s financial inclusion funds financed 111 financial service providers (2020: 109) in 47 countries. These values-based institutions vary from small NGOs working in underdeveloped markets to digital lending platforms and to fully-fledged banks that offer access to a range of fair and transparent financial services for people and small businesses.
Together, these financial service providers reached approximately 18.6 million individuals in 2021, saving for unexpected expenses and their future (2020: 20.2 million). The decline in the number of savers compared to last year is mainly due to the replacement of a handful of large institutions in the portfolio with several new companies that are expected to grow in 2022.
Some 17.8 million borrowers were reached who used the funding to start or expand their business, generate income and better manage their daily lives (2020: 18.2 million). Two thirds of them live in rural areas. In most countries the economy reopened and a recovery and growth was seen. Micro and SME finance was the first to recover and larger loan amounts were distributed.
Of the loan clients, 76% are female. Women in developing countries and emerging economies are often in a disadvantaged position. Giving women the freedom to manage their income and to support their families empowers their position and has been shown to have a greater economic impact overall.