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Researchers at Birmingham Business School are leading work into inclusive finance that could improve people’s lives across Africa and other developing countries. 

Researchers at Birmingham Business School are leading work into inclusive finance that could improve people’s lives across Africa and other developing countries.

Led by Victor Murinde, Professor of Development Finance, an international consortium of academic partners are collaborating on a project which fills an urgent need for research on inclusive finance and how it might lift low-income countries to the level of their medium-income peers.

The consortium includes six UK universities, as well as institutions from the Netherlands, North America and Africa. Its research will focus on delivering inclusive financial development, particularly in low-income countries in Africa. 

Professor Murinde, the Principal Investigator, said: “This research is vital for embedding financial inclusion in African economies and aims to have a significant impact on society as a whole.

“Small businesses in such countries can find it difficult to survive, but with improved access to finance can participate fully in economic life, create jobs and realise their full potential.

“Low income-families can find that access to a small loan, savings account or insurance policy makes a big difference – making it easier to cope with difficult times and helping people plan for the future.”

The project will deliver rigorous, high quality research to support financial inclusion policies, whilst developing innovative financial products – working with households, banks, and the private sector.

It will also allow the consortium to engage with policy-makers to provide research-based advice on financial inclusion in Africa.

 The research is funded with a £1.99 million grant under the DFID-ESRC Growth Research programme (DEGRP) Call 3 (2015/2016). 

Below: Victor Murinde and members of his team talk about the aims, stakeholders and potential impact of the Inclusive Finance project: