Platforms provide critical employment opportunities for many underserved populations and are increasingly interconnected with financial services. To advance financial inclusion and support development goals, however, platforms must focus on the unique digital, financial, and livelihood needs of micro and small enterprises. This publication provides an overview of the increasing interconnectedness of platforms and financial service offerings, how platforms can push the frontiers of inclusive finance, how platforms support women, and what is needed from policymakers for platforms to serve broader development goals. The audience of this report includes policymakers, platform leaders, donors, international development actors, and anyone interested in the potential for financial services and/or platforms to improve livelihoods.


Authors

Loretta Michaels

Independent Consultant

Loretta Michaels is an independent consultant with a focus on policy strategy around digital financial inclusion. She works closely with the World Bank/IFC, the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) and the Better Than Cash Alliance (BTCA), amongst others, and has supported the Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI) since 2014. Previously, she was the Senior Policy Advisor for Financial Inclusion for the US Treasury, where she was the subject matter expert on technology-enabled financial inclusion, working with officials across the US government to promote enabling policy environments and capacity building programs in low-income countries. Prior to becoming an independent consultant, Loretta served in a number of management positions in the telecommunications industry, leading the development of new venture initiatives worldwide. She also managed the Telecoms & IT consulting unit at Cap Gemini Ernst & Young.

Mayada El-Zoghbi

Former Managing Director

A veteran and leader in financial inclusion, Mayada El-Zoghbi served as CFI’s Managing Director from September 2019 – May 2023. Mayada also worked as Lead for Strategy, Research & Development for CGAP, where she led CGAP’s strategy development and its research on women’s financial inclusion, financial services in crisis environments, and other emerging topics. Prior to this, she managed CGAP’s work with the donor and investor community-based in Paris, France. From 2002 to 2009, Mayada founded and managed a development consulting firm. She has also led numerous technical assistance, evaluation, and research assignments, served as a research director for a USAID initiative, and lectured at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs. Mayada started her career working with several non-profit organizations establishing inclusive financial institutions in the Palestinian Territories, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, and Kosovo.

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