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Fintech for the People

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Fintech has the power to build a more inclusive world. Fintech for the People is about the innovators who are developing fintech solutions that reach the people who’ve been left behind. In each episode, we’ll hear from innovators who are creating financial solutions that bring every person the financial tools they need to grow their business, support their family, and build their community. Together, we’ll learn how fintech looks different in spaces and places where basic financial services are a luxury — and how solutions to address these challenges require a different level of creativity, empathy, and execution.

Fintech for the People is an Accion podcast hosted by Amee Parbhoo, Managing Partner of Accion Venture Lab – an early-stage investor in inclusive fintech startups. Learn more about Accion Venture Lab here. Episodes will be released in seasons, on a weekly schedule.
38 Episodes
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This episode of Fintech for the People is focused on the critical research around risks and bias in AI, explaining the importance of equitable AI and its impact on the financial ecosystem. Our guest, Alexandra Rizzi, Senior Research Director at the Center for Financial Inclusion, shares insights about various challenges, including bias and contextual differences, emphasizing the need for inclusive outcomes in financial decision-making processes. She highlights scenarios where seemingly neutral AI models may inadvertently perpetuate biases, underscoring the importance of understanding the context and nuances of different markets. Exploring mitigation strategies, Alexandra Rizzi outlines a three-step approach focusing on understanding AI usage, identifying biases, and evaluating outcomes. She emphasizes the need for ongoing monitoring and governance mechanisms to address harmful biases effectively. Moreover, Alexandra sheds light on collaborative efforts involving stakeholders such as investors, operators, and regulators in refining ethical AI practices.   To learn more about the Center for Financial Inclusion, visit their website and download their report on Equitable AI for Inclusive Finance. And learn more about Accion Venture Lab on LinkedIn and X (Twitter). 
In this episode of Fintech for the People, Amee Parbhoo, Managing Partner at Accion Venture Lab, sets the stage for a deep dive into four key areas where AI can empower fintech companies to expand the reach and effectiveness of financial services to underserved populations: compliance, credit decisioning, customer engagement, and workflow optimization.  Starting with compliance, Amee discusses how AI streamlines customer screening and KYC compliance for thin-file or no-file customers with Ashok Hariharan, CEO of IDfy. Next Amee interviews Benjamin Njenga, Co-founder and Chief Customer Officer of Apollo Agriculture, who shares the insights on implementing AI in credit decisioning and underwriting for smallholder farmers in Africa. Later, Ananth Gudipati, Founder of Sukhiba, joins to discuss AI's role in customer engagement, particularly using conversational commerce for small retailers and wholesalers in Africa. Lastly, Amee Parbhoo talks to Nicolas Yepes, Co-founder and COO of Moffin, offers perspectives on using AI to optimize backend workflows for financial institutions.  00:00 – 13:40 – Ashok Hariharan, CEO of IDfy13:40 – 24:30 - Benjamin Njenga, Co-founder and Chief Customer Officer of Apollo Agriculture24:30 – 36:40 Ananth Gudipati, Founder of Sukhiba36:42 – 44:25 Nicolas Yepes, Co-founder and COO of MoffinTo learn more about IDfy, Apollo, Sukhiba, Moffin, please check their websites. And learn more about Accion Venture Lab on LinkedIn and X (Twitter). 
In this episode of Fintech for the People, host Amee Parbhoo, Managing Partner at Accion Venture Lab, speaks to Jimena Pardo and Federico Antoni from Hi Ventures about the transformative role of AI in fintech. They explore the potential for AI to revolutionize financial services by streamlining operations for fintech companies, improving credit scoring, detecting fraud, and fostering financial inclusion.   Jimena and Federico share insights into their commitment to ethical AI implementation and the importance of minimizing biases in fintech solutions. They discuss Hi Ventures' dedication to empowering startups and driving positive change in the financial sector.  To learn more about Hi Ventures, visit their website. Learn more about Accion Venture Lab here and follow us on LinkedIn and X (Twitter). 
Supriya Paul, the co-founder and CEO of Josh Talks, joins host Rahil Rangwala in this episode of Accion Venture Lab’s Fintech for the People podcast to talk about online education for the future workforce in India and opens job opportunities for India’s youth. They also chat through the company’s growth that Supriya built over the last few years and its impact on the youth in India, especially when it comes to their career, financial literacy, and earning potential. Supriya shared her experience growing up expecting to become an accountant, and instead diverting from the expected path and forging a new one with an online English learning app that boasts an average of 52 minutes of engagement per day with its 15,000 paid users, and 37 percent of users completing the 90-day course. She speaks about the impact that Josh Talks has had not only on her own life, but on countless of others’ as well. To learn more about Josh Talks, visit their website. And learn more about Accion Venture Lab here.
Advance is a digital lending platform founded by CEO Jaime de los Angeles to help low and middle-income workers bridge their cashflow needs and manage unexpected expenses throughaccess to salary advances. His focus on the Philippines and Vietnam has brought financial freedom and credit to previously underserved markets, where they are now seeing as much as 50percent of users reporting increases in savings, health, and overall satisfaction.  In this episode, Jaime and the host Rahil Rangwala, Managing Partner of Accion Venture Lab, talk about Jaime’s experience growing Advance over the last four years and unpack the importance of nurturing the middle customer relationship in a B2B2C business model.  To learn more about Advance, visit their website. And learn more about Accion Venture Lab here.
The rise of digital platforms and apps that offer on-demand services, like ridesharing and deliveries, has created a new labor market referred to as the “gig economy.” Because of the temporary nature of their work, gig workers often face financial instability and limited access to financial services. In this episode of Accion Venture Lab’s podcast, host Rahil Rangwala hears from Flourish Ventures’ Director of Strategy and Insights Stella Klemperer about the growing gig economy and how digitization presents new opportunities and challenges in the fintech space.In this conversation, Stella Klemperer shares her experience and knowledge on embedded finance for gig workers, growing government involvement in the fintech space, and the revolution of the gig economy. To learn more about Flourish Ventures, visit their website. And learn more about Accion Venture Lab here.
Global shifts like digitization are driving economic and societal change, including the way that people find and do their jobs. More and more people are using jobtech, digital platforms that connect people to employment opportunities, to earn a living. In this episode of Accion Venture Lab’s Fintech for the People, host Rahil Rangwala sits down with Chris Maclay, Program Director at the Jobtech Alliance of MercyCorps, to talk about how MercyCorps is merging fintech with innovation in the job market, especially in Africa. Listen to this in-depth talk about the role that technology continues to play in employment and the future of work, the beginnings of the Jobtech Alliance, and what an ever-shifting job market means for workers. To learn more about the Jobtech Alliance, visit their website. And learn more about Accion Venture Lab here.
Rapid digitalization, climate change, economic instability, AI and automation, and other trends have shifted how people around the world live and work. For low-income and underserved people, these shifts have created new work opportunities, like gig work, and new risks and challenges, like the need to learn new digital skills. In this season of Accion Venture Lab’s Fintech for the People podcast, we’re exploring the role of fintech in the changing future of work. In the first episode of the season, host Rahil Rangwala interviews Sophie Sirtaine, CEO of CGAP, a global partnership of leading development organizations working to advance the lives of people living in poverty — especially women — through financial inclusion.. They discuss the intersection of fintech and the future of work, particularly for blue and gray collar workers, like gig workers. Sophie shares CGAP's mission to make financial services accessible to the world's most vulnerable communities. The episode explores the importance of building responsible and inclusive financial ecosystems for a green, resilient, and equitable future. Tune in to learn more about the importance of inclusive financial solutions as global shifts change the nature of work, especially for low-income and underserved populations.To learn more about Accion Venture Lab, visit our website.
This season, we’ll dive into one of the hottest topics investors and entrepreneurs are discussing: The intersection of the future of work and fintech. Global shifts and trends — like rapid digitalization, climate change, migration, and generative AI — are changing the way that people around the world live and work. Host Rahil Rangwala, Managing Partner of Accion Venture Lab, will speak with five industry experts, ranging from entrepreneurs to investors to stakeholders in the ecosystem, who are playing a critical role in shaping this transition. We are excited to navigate this complex topic of the future of work with you this season and aim to share what future work means and how it is affecting the lives of a vast emerging workforce that is often overlooked. Learn more about Accion Venture Lab here and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.
After seeing the need for climate solutions in Africa, Lyndsay Holley Handler decided to commit to building a company that would deliver clean, affordable energy and financial services to hard-to-reach communities. Amee Parbhoo speaks with Lyndsay, Co-founder and Managing Partner of Delta40 Studio, an early-stage investor and venture builder in energy, agriculture, and mobility sectors that are increasing incomes and tackling climate change in Africa.Lyndsay shares how Factor[e] and Delta40 Studio are investing in climate solutions that immediately impact income and resilience in Africa, can mitigate climate change, and are delivered with scalable business models. Amee and Lyndsay also discuss the power of partnerships with corporate partners and how getting to the root of problems unlocks economic development, carbon mitigation, and climate resilience. To learn more about Accion Venture Lab, visit our website and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.
The agriculture sector may be a big contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, but it’s also the most affected by climate change. Climate change and a lack of access to technological innovations harm rural agricultural communities. To find out how to address this, host Amee Parbhoo talks with Abhishek Gupta, co-founder of Semaai, to learn how Semaai is building agritech solutions in Indonesia to help farmers and rural shops maximize their earning potential and reduce their emissions footprint. Semaai is a farmer-first company building full-stack agritech solutions that provide innovative financial services to farmers and rural MSMEs. Amee and Abhishek discuss the challenges rural communities and small farmers face in Indonesia, how agritech addresses issues like the overuse of chemicals when crop yields fall, and how the Semaai platform empowers farmers and small mom-and-pop shops to grow their businesses. To learn more about Accion Venture Lab, visit our website and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Overfishing poses a big threat to the health of oceans, marine life, and communities everywhere. But the aquaculture industry presents more responsible opportunities to harvest more eco-friendly proteins. Now, through innovative digital and financial solutions, smallholder aquaculture farmers in India can dramatically improve their yields while protecting our oceans and marine life. Host Amee Parbhoo, Managing Partner of Accion Venture Lab, talks with Pavan Kosaraju, CEO and co-founder of AquaExchange, about how AquaExchange's solutions empower farmers to reduce production costs and sustainably farm seafood. AquaExchange is revolutionizing the aquaculture industry in India by providing full-stack digital and proprietary farm management solutions and financial services to aquaculture farmers in India. Pavan and Amee discuss how tech-based solutions can decrease the environmental impact of aquaculture farms, the challenges faced by small-scale shrimp and fish farmers, the effects of overfishing on farming communities, and the shift towards inland aquaculture. To learn more about Accion Venture Lab, visit our website and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.
For the venture space to build climate resilience among vulnerable populations, we need to mobilize more capital, talent, and innovative technology to support locally led solutions that address climate change in regions most affected. To explore this, host Amee Parbhoo talks with Maelis Carraro, Managing Partner at Catalyst Fund, about how we can build climate resilience, prepare for future risks, and build long-term opportunities in a new climate environment.Catalyst Fund is a pre-seed fund and accelerator focused on inclusive tech solutions in emerging markets. Maelis shares how Catalyst Fund's new Climate Resilience Fund invests in companies that offer climate-smart financial services, climate-resilient agriculture innovations, and sustainable mobility solutions. Amee and Maelis also discuss how startups can address their customers' climate vulnerabilities, strategically map opportunities in the value chain, and explore the carbon finance world.To learn more about Accion Venture Lab, visit our website and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.
As the world grapples with the devastating impacts of climate change, financial institutions have the power to reduce vulnerability and build resilience by making financial services more accessible to vulnerable populations. In this episode, host Amee Parbhoo sits down with Howard Miller, the Director, Climate at the Center for Financial Inclusion (CFI), to discuss how financial inclusion strategies enable people to manage climate-related risks. CFI, an independent global think tank within Accion, recently released The Green Inclusive Finance Report. Howard shares findings from the report and explains how financial services use various impact pathways to help low-income and vulnerable populations with the mitigation, resilience, adaptation, and transition that come with responding to climate change. Howard and Amee also discuss how to incorporate climate risk into financial inclusion strategies, innovations that improve the design of climate-related financial products, and the need for financial institutions to develop new models that consider climate-related risks.To learn more about Accion Venture Lab, visit our website and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.
As climate change-related events increase in frequency, unpredictability, and severity, low-income and vulnerable populations are the most affected. In our fifth season, we’ll explore climate fintech, a new and exciting area of fintech that aims to address climate change. We will speak to startup founders, investors, and other ecosystem players to understand how we can  help individuals and small businesses manage the climate risks they face and work together to build a more sustainable future. Listen in every Thursday as we bring more awareness to the intersection of climate and fintech and its enormous potential to create a more sustainable future.To learn more about Accion Venture Lab, visit our website and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Fintech is no longer just about expanding access to financial services; it’s also about increasing their quality. In this episode, Accion Venture Lab’s Amee Parbhoo sits down with TS Anil, Global CEO of Monzo Bank, to discuss his principles of building a sustainable and growth-oriented business, and what he sees for the future of inclusive fintech.TS shares his personal and professional journey, and how he managed a company through the pandemic. During the conversation, TS also shares some practical advice for CEOs and founders on leading in uncertain times. To learn more about Accion Venture Lab, visit our website and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Climate change threatens vulnerable, low-income populations around the world, including smallholder farmers. In this discussion, we explore if fintech solutions can address farmers' pain points. Mayada El-Zoghbi, Managing Director of the Center for Financial Inclusion, leads a panel discussion between entrepreneurs and investors to discover how financial solutions can help combat and mitigate climate risks. Smallholder farmers are a crucial component of the agriculture supply chain; unfortunately, they are also the most susceptible to long-term negative effects of climate change. Together, panelists explore how financial services and solutions aimed at smallholder farmers can help smooth these effects and create lasting livelihoods for this population.Speakers:Mayada El-Zoghbi, Managing Director of the Center for Financial InclusionNick Hughes, Founder and Managing Director of 4RDigitalRicardo Salinas, Director and Manager for Impact of the U.S. International Development Finance CorporationMaurice Scheepens, FMOYoga Anindito, Co-Founder of SemaaiTo learn more about Accion Venture Lab, visit our website and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.To learn more about Accion Venture Lab, visit our website and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.To learn more about Accion Venture Lab, visit our website and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.
The pandemic greatly accelerated digital adoption. Now, tech is cheaper and more accessible. But innovative fintech products can  risk leaving customers behind, especially those who aren’t experienced with or comfortable using technology. Prateek Shrivastava of Accion speaks with four fintech and industry leaders at the Fintech for Inclusion Global Summit to explore how to build fintech platforms that are innovative and accessible to customers everywhere. Together, these panelists share how they balance tech and touch within their products. They discuss how to help clients move from simple to complex products without getting left behind, help communities build trust in new technologies, and build strategies to help customers feel comfortable with new fintech products. Speakers:Prateek Shrivastava, Vice President Global Operations at AccionFernando Sucre, Founder & CEO of R5Neeraj Bansal, Co-Founder & CEO of CredrightSofiat Abdulrazaaq, Co-Founder & CEO of Goodfynd.Xavier Faz, Lead of Digital Finance Frontiers at CGAPTo learn more about Accion Venture Lab, visit our website and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Entrepreneurs are working worldwide to build financial solutions across credit, payments, and insurance so small business owners can better access financial services. Embedded finance is evolving quickly, and its capabilities are widening. In this episode, Amee Parbhoo sits down with four CEOs at the Fintech for Inclusion Global Summit to hear how their companies are building embedded finance solutions that uniquely reach underserved populations across the globe.Each panelist shares why they chose to develop embedded finance solutions and how it gives small business owners access to credit and payment solutions. Then, they discuss the importance of transparency around pricing and between partners, how to combat the risks around data privacy, how to make the value proposition work for end customers and offer solutions that simplify the technical integration processes.To learn more about Accion Venture Lab, visit our website and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.Panelists:Rajeev Agrawal, Founder, and CEO of Innoviti TechnologiesJihan Abass, Founder and CEO of LamiVahid Monadjem, CEO of NomaniniSuzy Ferreira, Founder and CEO of Dinie
We’ve talked with industry leaders about blockchain, web3, and cryptocurrency’s potential impact on financial inclusion. Now the question arises: what do we do now? In this final episode of Season 3, Matt Schaar talks with fellow host Amee Parbhoo about how Accion Venture Lab is looking at the web3 space, and how the industry can evaluate and support the industry to support founders building solutions to increase financial inclusion.  Why should investors in inclusive fintech care about web3? Matt and Amee discuss this and explore if web3 provides access to better financial products, if there should be more transparency in delivered solutions, and if these solutions can help the financially excluded build more wealth. Some people argue that the “crypto winter” is upon us, and Matt and Amee discuss why some web3 projects are failing and whether we are investing at the wrong time. Lastly, they explore how to invest in responsible web3 solutions. Read Hope or hype: web3 and its potential to advance financial inclusion.To learn more about Accion Venture Lab, visit our website and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.
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