Press Release (Rosita Najmi 865-310-2787, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Washington, DC, August 26, 2011 – Entourage will host a cameo appearance by the founder of Financial Access at Birth (FAB), Bhagwan Chowdhry, on August 28 during an episode in the HBO television series’ final season. The Center for Financial Inclusion at ACCION currently hosts FAB as it prepares for pilots.
“It’s incredibly exciting to bring Entourage’s massive audience a taste of what we can accomplish with FAB, a social and economic innovation that seeks financial inclusion…one birth at a time,” said Chowdhry, a professor of Finance at UCLA’s Anderson School. “FAB presents an innovation to the delivery of financial and social services that helps us reach the “last mile” into rural areas and minimizes costs for reaching the bottom of the pyramid by using technology.”
“Solutions to poverty do not have to be as complicated as the problems they aim to solve,” said Doug Ellin, Executive Producer of Entourage. “I imagine among the million viewers of Entourage, there are others who also have good ideas. Hopefully, they, like Bhagwan Chowdhry, have the courage to share their vision and collaborate with others to connect their ideas to action to benefit us all.”
Entourage is an American comedy-drama television series that premiered on HBO on July 18, 2004 and is now in syndication around the world. The series was created by Doug Ellin and chronicles the acting career of Vincent Chase, a young A-list movie star, and his childhood friends from Queens, New York City, as they navigate the unfamiliar terrain of Hollywood, California. The show is known for its array of guest stars, usually featuring at least two celebrities per episode.
Rosita Najmi, who leads FAB’s day-to-day operations notes, “The Center for Financial Inclusion is proud to host FAB, prepare it for pilot, and looks forward to disseminating the knowledge that its demonstration will teach us all about creating new, innovative delivery channels that are sustainable and poverty-smart. ”
“I’m grateful to be able to play myself on Entourage,” said Chowdhry, an innovator in financial services for the poor, whose work has been featured in The Economist, CNN, Forbes, Smart Money, and Fast Company. “FAB promotes one idea of how to respond to the global challenge of financial inclusion, in a world where nearly 2.7 billion people still lack access to a wide range of quality and safe financial products and services – a life and death matter for many.”
Program Manager at the Center for Financial Inclusion, Rosita Najmi, observes, “Television has done much to bring the idea of financial services to the poor into our living rooms and water cooler conversations. Oprah featured Kiva’s innovative model, while The Simpsons introduced Mohammed Yunus to its viewers. Even financial education is being promoted by Bollywood Stars and via sitcoms as far away as Mongolia – the industry of financial services for the poor is learning how to reach audiences in new, creative ways.”
“Reaching financial inclusion by 2020 just might be possible if we act now, act together, and act differently. FAB provides such an opportunity and remembers to put clients first,” says Elisabeth Rhyne, Managing Director of the Center for Financial Inclusion at ACCION, which in addition to hosting FAB takes innovative approaches to client protection, investing in inclusive finance, and financial inclusion for vulnerable populations like persons with disabilities.
About Financial Access at Birth
As featured in The Economist, CNN, Forbes, Fast Company, and Smart Money, Financial Access at Birth (FAB) is a social and economic innovation that presents new opportunities for financial inclusion and a potential new delivery channel for social and economic development. Nearly half the world’s adult population, 2.7 billion people, lacks access to a wide range of quality and safe financial products and services. FAB proposes that one approach to financial inclusion is to open savings accounts at birth that are linked to mobile banking, unique, universal IDs, and initial deposits via cash transfers. Once the account is created and financial identity secured, a FAB child would have a growing asset on which to build. Moreover, other social service providers would have the opportunity to employ this delivery channel for dissemination of information, health, education, emergency aid, and more. This could include vaccines, tuition grants, or cash transfers for food and shelter. The Center for Financial Inclusion at ACCION currently hosts FAB, and the UCLA Center for International Business Education & Research (CIBER) has also supported FAB with funding. Learn more at www.financialaccessatbirth.org.
About the Center for Financial Inclusion
The Center for Financial Inclusion at ACCION (CFI) was launched in 2009 to help bring about the conditions to achieve full financial inclusion around the world. Constructing a financial inclusion sector that reaches everyone with quality services will require the combined efforts of many actors. CFI contributes to full inclusion by collaborating with sector participants to tackle challenges beyond the scope of any one actor, using a toolkit that moves from thought leadership to action. Learn more at: www.centerforfinancialinclusion.org.
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