Advancing Women's Economic Empowerment through Formal Financial Services for Savings Groups (LINK UP)
LINK Up, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, aimed to link 10,000 Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs) to formal financial institutions; building financial inclusion in Kenya and Tanzania, assessing the impacts of access to formal financial services on VSLAs and their members and determining whether serving such groups presented a viable business case for financial service providers (FSPs).
Over the course of this program, LINK Up partners have opened 13,165 group savings accounts and have served approximately 322,000 members, 81% of which were women. To implement LINK Up, CARE partnered with four financial service providers; co-designing and copromoting group products and alternative channel solutions tailored to the needs of savings groups and their members. The collaborations resulted in the creation of four new group-focused products and a host of innovations in the mobile and agent banking solutions deployed to deliver those products.