ADVANCING WOMEN’S ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT THROUGH FORMAL FINANCIAL SERVICES FOR SAVINGS GROUPS (LINK UP)

Publication Date: 01/06/2017

LINK Up, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, aimed to link 10,000 Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs) to formal financial institutions; building financial inclusion in Kenya and Tanzania, assessing the impacts of access to formal financial services on VSLAs and their
members and determining whether serving such groups presented a viable business case for financial service providers (FSPs).

Over the course of this program, LINK Up partners have opened 13,165 group savings accounts and have served approximately 322,000 members, 81% of which were women.
To implement LINK Up, CARE partnered with four financial service providers; co-designing and copromoting group products and alternative channel solutions tailored to the needs of savings groups and their members. The collaborations resulted in the creation of four new group-focused products and a host of innovations in the mobile and agent banking solutions deployed to deliver those products.