Frequently Asked Questions
Microfinance, which has its roots in microcredit, has evolved in recent decades. In the 1970s, social innovators from the Global South introduced the concept that small amounts of short-term capital (microcredit) can help poor people in the informal economy engage in productive activities and grow their way out of poverty. Experience and research revealed the limits of microcredit as an anti-poverty tool. This led to the recognition that poor households need access to a full range of financial services, not only to generate income, but also to build assets, smooth consumption, and manage risks. The term “microfinance” thus has evolved to refer to a broad set of financial services tailored to fit the needs of poor individuals.
Financial inclusion has a wider meaning, and it encompasses a wider range of players and institutions. It refers to individuals and businesses having the opportunity to access and the ability to use a diverse range of appropriate financial services that are responsibly and sustainably provided by formal financial institutions. Whereas microfinance advocates generally work with the microfinance institutions that grew out of the microcredit revolution serving the poor, financial inclusion advocates more often work with a broad range of providers to achieve their goals, including those that do not necessarily focus exclusively on poor people. Both the microfinance sector and the global financial inclusion agenda recognize the importance of building consumer financial capabilities and consumer protection policies that account for the conditions and constraints of poor families in the informal economy.
Read more FAQs on financial inclusion >>
FinDev Gateway, previously known as the Microfinance Gateway, is CGAP’s independent knowledge platform for the global financial inclusion community. We support the financial inclusion sector by providing a neutral space for sharing knowledge, lessons and ideas on making financial services work for poor people.
Through the FinDev Blog and our FinDev Webinar series, microfinance and financial inclusion practitioners connect with their peers to discuss the pressing topics of the day. These platforms allow the community to step out of their day-to-day work and engage in deeper learning and discussions that help advance financial inclusion.
FinDev Gateway also provides access to over 8,000 publications, events, jobs and news on financial inclusion and microfinance contributed by organizations from around the world. Organizations can gain visibility for their work by publishing it on FinDev Gateway.
The platform is a public good available to anyone interested in financial inclusion.
FinDev stands for “Financial Inclusion for Development.” The name is meant to convey the important contribution of financial inclusion in achieving global development goals.
FinDev Gateway has served the microfinance community for over 20 years, first as the Microfinance Gateway and now, as of October 2018, as FinDev Gateway. Over the years, the microfinance and financial inclusion landscape has evolved, our audience has expanded, and FinDev Gateway has changed accordingly to keep up with the needs of this evolving sector.
Today’s FinDev is an interactive knowledge-sharing platform that engages a more diverse audience through publications, blogs, webinars, communities of practice and events. We now cover a wide range of topics beyond traditional microfinance. While microfinance practitioners continue to be an important part of our audience, FinDev Gateway users include digital financial service providers, technology firms, investors, and others who work more broadly on financial inclusion. The new name is more inclusive and better reflects what FinDev Gateway is today, not what it used to be.
FinDev Gateway is a program of CGAP, a global partnership of more than 30 leading development organizations that works to advance the lives of poor people through financial inclusion.
While we include CGAP research and publications on FinDev Gateway, we maintain editorial independence in order to represent a wide range of perspectives from across the financial inclusion sector. FinDev Gateway does not support any particular agenda or viewpoint, but rather offers an independent knowledge platform where the global financial inclusion community comes together to share the latest research, lessons and ideas on making financial services work for poor people.
FinDev Gateway hosts the largest, free collection of online resources on microfinance and financial inclusion. Here you can find:
- Over 8,000 publications including papers, case studies, best practice guides and toolkits.
- Resources on over 30 different topics related to financial inclusion.
- Access to all the key financial inclusion datasets.
- News, jobs and events posted by the global financial inclusion community.
- Financial inclusion data and research on different countries and regions.
- FinDev Blog, featuring posts and interviews from financial inclusion practitioners around the world.
- FinDev Webinars, sharing discussions and presentations from the world's leading microfinance and financial inclusion experts.
- Resources in English, French, Spanish and Arabic
No, the regional FinDev platforms - in French, Spanish and Arabic - are not translations of the English site. They are each independent platforms, curated by a FinDev language editor, which focus on their respective audiences in sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Arab world. While the English site serves a global audience, the regional FinDev platforms host content relevant to their regions.
Publishing your content on FinDev Gateway is free, and to make it easier, we no longer require you to have an account with us to submit content. We encourage all of our users to share their knowledge, lessons learned and ideas with the rest of the community.
Simply use the following submission forms to send us your content:
All content submitted to FinDev Gateway is subject to review by the FinDev editorial team before publishing. Read the Guidelines for Submitting Content.
You can also connect on a deeper level with the FinDev community by:
- Writing a blog post for the FinDev Blog. See blog submission guidelines>
- Speaking in a FinDev webinar. See webinar guidelines>
- Hosting a Community of Practice on FinDev Gateway. See our communities of practice page>
To explore any other collaboration possibilities or if you have any questions, please contact us.
FinDev Gateway users are primarily financial inclusion and microfinance practitioners. They come from over 100 different countries, with the majority from developing economies, and they represent the various types of organizations that make up the financial inclusion sector, including:
- Financial service providers in developing countries (banks, MFIs, credit unions, savings groups, digital payments providers, etc.).
- Technical assistance groups working with financial service providers.
- Donors and investors.
- Researchers and students.
- Policymakers and other government representatives.
- Stakeholders from the ecosystem of related industries such as fintechs, mobile network operators, payments networks, credit bureaus, etc.
No, you do not have to pay to access any of FinDev’s resources or webinars. The FinDev platform is a public good available to anyone interested in financial inclusion.
FinDev Gateway is not a training provider, and does not provide any direct funding to individuals or organizations.
We do, however, provide a platform for listing and searching for such opportunities. You can find training resources and lists of online and in-person training courses hosted by other organizations on our Training & Events page. You can check our News section for announcements of funding opportunities from organizations working in the financial inclusion and microfinance sector. The FinDev Gateway platform is a public good available to anyone interested in financial inclusion.