Financial Inclusion

Through our financial inclusion programming, JOA aims to reduce poverty and increase resilience through the availability and use of financial services.

There are currently 1.4 billion unbanked adults worldwide and over 90% of these people live in developing countries. Evidence shows that when people have access to useful and affordable financial products and services - including money transfers, payments, savings, credit and insurance - everyone benefits. Greater financial inclusion means that people save more; spend more on healthcare and education; start and invest in enterprises which leads to job creation; and weather unexpected shocks.

Our Financial Inclusion programme targets poor and marginalised groups in our six target countries, with a particular focus on empowering women and on improving the efficiency and profitability of agricultural value chains. Projects will seek to improve access and usage of formal and informal financial services, including through the use of digital channels and the empowerment of communities and marginalised groups to develop financial literacy and financial capability. Some of the projects we support also seek to improve cooperation and capacity among policy makers, financial institutions, mobile network operators and other stakeholders responsible for delivery and overseeing financial services.

Download our Financial Inclusion Thematic Guidance

Current Financial Inclusion Grants

List of Current Grants
Agency Programme Country Value Start End
Toronto Leadership Centre Expanding Financial Inclusion Through Financial Stability Sierra Leone, Zambia £800,000 2023 2027
Habitat for Humanity CASH: Creating Access to Safe Housing - Building Financial Inclusion and Resilience for Women in Zambia Zambia £1,400,000 2023 2027
Opportunity International UK Inclusive Finance for Agricultural Value Chains in Rwanda Rwanda £1,200,000 2023 2026
Restless Development International Ulemelero' - Live Well for Women’s Empowerment in Zambia Zambia £1,300,000 2023 2027
Mercy Corps Europe Financial inclusion for clean cooking access Rwanda,Sierra Leone £1,200,000 2022 2025
Practical Action Empowering Women Farmers with Digital Finance, Nepal Nepal £1,199,254 2022 2025
Mercy Corps Europe Resilience And Incomes for Smallholders through Digital Financial Services (RAISE-DFS) Ethiopia £1,200,000 2022 2025
Financial Sector Deepening Zambia Improving smallholder farmer resilience and productivity in Zambia Zambia £1,200,000 2021 2025
Toronto Leadership Centre Building Regulatory Capacity to Increase Access to Financial Services Ethiopia,Rwanda £1,200,000 2021 2025
Opportunity International UK Strengthening Systems for Financial Inclusion in Rural Malawi Malawi £1,200,000 2021 2024
CAFOD Women and Girls FIRST (Financial Inclusion & Resilience Strengthening) Sierra Leone £882,000 2021 2024
Restless Development International Financial Inclusion for Women Living in Freetown's Informal Settlements Sierra Leone £999,437 2021 2024
Access to Finance Rwanda Access to Finance Rwanda Phase III- April 2021-March 2026 Rwanda £1,200,000 2021 2026
Toronto Leadership Centre Building Financial Inclusion & Stability in Malawi & Nepal Nepal,Malawi £944,000 2020 2024
Habitat for Humanity Financial Inclusion for Marginalised Women in Nepal Nepal £999,905 2020 2024

Project in focus: Financial Inclusion for Marginalized Women in Nepal


PARTNER: Habitat for Humanity

DURATION: 2020-2024

The Challenge:

The project seeks to expand and ensure continued access to microfinance (supply-side) and build awareness and financial literacy capabilities of marginalised communities in four districts of Nepal to finance and build safer homes using microfinance loans (demand-side). Increasing financial inclusion with a focus on housing loans is crucial to help low-income women out of poverty in rural Nepal. The majority of those young women in need lack the finances to improve their homes or build new homes.

What are we doing:

This four year project starting from 1st August 2020 has the goal to improve financial security and safer housing for low income women through increased economic empowerment and the availability of affordable financial services including housing loans. Capitalizing on ongoing efforts, this project will contribute to an uptake of 112,000 housing loans by marginalised, low-income women by 2024.


The project aims to achieve two key outcomes over the course of the four years:

1) Low-income families have increased capacity and awareness on how to access microfinance loans for financing and planning their home improvements.

2) MFIs have increased capacity to offer client-centric housing loans that meet the needs of clients from marginalised, low-income communities.

“Such Financial Literacy and Safe Shelter training encourages poor persons like me to engage with work that can increase our income and ultimately help to improve the financial status of our family’s. It is truly the first step towards having a successful future.”