MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: FSD Africa, SEEP Network to Fund Research on Savings Groups

The Financial Sector Deepening (FSD) Africa, a Kenya-based nonprofit intended to reduce poverty in sub-Saharan Africa, and the Small Enterprise Education and Promotion (SEEP) Network, a US-based network of approximately 124 microenterprise practitioners representing 170 countries, recently partnered to conduct research on the effectiveness of savings groups, “in which members provide their own savings and credit services at a negligible cost, while retaining earnings and capital in their own communities” [2]. FSD Africa plans to donate USD 2.5 million over four years to expand the SEEP Network’s research on these groups.

FSD Africa is funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and has about USD 50 million in total assets as of 2016. In 2014, the SEEP Network had revenue of USD 4.4 million.

By Jason Wei, Research Associate

Sources and Additional Resources

About Financial Sector Deepening (FSD) Africa

Financial Sector Deepening (FSD) Africa was founded in 2012 by the Department for International Development (DFID), an agency of the United Kingdom’s government. With an initial budget of GBP 35 million (USD 50 million) FSD Africa is intended to reduce poverty in sub-Saharan Africa by facilitating that capital flow to projects that show the most potential to reduce poverty, such as renewable energy operations, financial literacy programs and efforts to decrease corruption. FSD Africa is part of the FSD network, which consists of regional FSDs based in South Africa and Kenya and national FSDs in Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. This network comprises approximately USD 450 million in collective investment by DFID; the US-based Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; the Swedish International Development Cooperation, which is also known by its Swedish acronym SIDA; the Danish International Development Agency; Foreign Affairs and Trade and Development Canada; the Royal Netherlands Embassy and the World Bank.

About The SEEP Network

The Small Enterprise Education and Promotion (SEEP) Network is headquartered in Washington, DC, and was founded in 1985. The nonprofit connects microenterprise practitioners to develop guidance and tools, build capacity, and help set standards to advance SEEP’s mission of sustainable income in every household. As of 2015, SEEP has 143 institutional members that operate in 170 countries.

[1] Savings Group Evidence and Learning Initiative, http://www.seepnetwork.org/savings-group-evidence-and-learning-initiative-pages-20829.php

[2] Savings Groups: What Are They? http://www.seepnetwork.org/filebin/pdf/resources/Savings_FINAL_web.pdf

MicroCapital Universe Profile: Financial Sector Deepening (FSD) Africa

MicroCapital Universe Profile: The SEEP Network

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