The Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion Launches Executive Education Program for Financial Service Providers to Enable Business Growth and Social Impact

With support from the Citi Foundation and FMO, CFI launches board effectiveness program for leaders at the nexus of social enterprise and financial services.

WASHINGTON, DC, August 27, 2019 – The Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion (CFI) has launched an executive education program for financial service providers serving low-income communities in emerging markets. Through peer learning and exchange, the Board Leadership for Impact Program will empower executives and board members to foster client centricity, lead digital transformation, sustain business growth and drive social impact. In partnership with the Citi Foundation and FMO, the Dutch development bank, supporting program implementation and participant scholarships, the Board Leadership for Impact Program will offer multiple in-person workshops per year coupled with a robust virtual portal.

Derived from CFI’s five-year Africa Board Fellowship Program, which fostered the growth and development of more than 300 executives and board members of financial service providers serving more than 10 million clients in Africa, the Board Leadership for Impact Program will now expand to include early stage to mature companies offering financial services to underserved customers that operate in emerging markets around the world.

“Our experience with leadership development through peer exchange will inform our efforts through this new program to cultivate a community of leaders who have the skills and the network to help their organizations thrive,“ said Deborah Drake, Vice President, Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion. “Tackling challenges like achieving sustainable growth or pursuing digital transformation, particularly as a mission-driven organization, takes strategic leadership at the board level.”

Through role play, simulations and facilitated discussion, participants will gain new perspectives, skills, and knowledge on topics critical to social enterprise growth and impact, including risk management, board dynamics, digital transformation and inclusive digital finance. They will join an active community of alumni of the Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion’s executive education programs.

“By developing and strengthening leadership skills that drive business growth and social impact, our partnership with the Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion will help accelerate financial inclusion and economic progress around the world,” said Florencia Spangaro, Director of Programs, Citi Foundation.

“FMO is a proud partner of Accion for over a decade and we realize that creating a lasting impact starts in the board room. Strengthening the management of financial service providers and enterprises will help ensure business longevity and commitment to underserved customers,” said Gerbrich Salverda, Capacity Development Officer at FMO.


About the Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion

The Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion (CFI) is an action-oriented think tank that engages and challenges the industry to better serve, protect, and empower clients. We develop insights, advocate on behalf of clients, and collaborate with stakeholders to achieve a comprehensive vision for financial inclusion. We are dedicated to enabling 3 billion people who are left out of – or poorly served by – the financial sector to improve their lives.



Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion
Virginia Moore
+1 202.393.5113

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