Financial Inclusion

To promote financial inclusion, KIT Royal Tropical Institute supports development finance institutions, commercial banks, funds, and impact investors in the public and private sector to shape their offerings and value proposition for marginalised market segments (e.g. women, youth, entrepreneurs and smallholder farmers). 

Our vision for financial inclusion

Financial inclusion is a key enabler in development. It supports people’s economic empowerment and helps them to better manage their business and their lives.

It is more than just access to finance. Every financial product lives in an ecosystem where inequalities influence whether different groups of people – including women – can benefit from it. People may end up with very different opportunities, even if they have the same access to finance.

Our approach to financial inclusion seeks to transform these underlying inequalities. We aim to generate both sustainable impact in the lives of people and in the financial performance of the service provider. To do so, we place equal emphasis on grounding our clients’ financial services and investments in a sound business case with an in-depth understanding of the specific needs and preferences of different customer segments. Our customer-centric approach allows us to find solutions that address these specific needs and preferences through financial, non-financial and digital services.

You can learn more by exploring our individual projects listed below.

Gender, youth and rural finance

By offering critical insight into the needs and context of these unique customer segments, KIT enables organisations of all sizes to build their business case and required competencies to offer products and services that help these actors to reach their goals.

Gender Finance

KIT promotes the financial inclusion of women through a three pronged approach.

  • We help financial institutions to incorporate a gender lens into their environmental and social safeguarding processes.
  • We leverage data to prove the business case for financial inclusion.
  • And we develop gender strategies to raise the impact on women’s livelihoods.

KIT’s rooted expertise in women’s markets catalyzes a greater understanding of gendered risks by sector and region. It reveals women’s needs and wants and supports the design of gender-smart products and women-oriented value propositions. It also enables gender-sensitive monitoring and evaluation frameworks.

KIT applies a well-grounded approach to gender equality and women’s empowerment. We have a long track record of assisting governmental and non-governmental agencies, financial institutions and organisations. This work focuses on integrating gender equality concerns into their policies, organisational structures, systems and practices as well as sector strategies and programmes. We work on both stand-alone women’s rights and empowerment initiatives as well as gender and rights issues within programs related to health, food security, energy, finance and broader inclusion in agribusiness value chains.

Youth Finance

KIT promotes the financial inclusion of youth in agricultural value chains by developing and implementing youth programmes and business models that improve access to finance among youth-led Small & Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs). KIT is also involved in projects that support youth development in a holistic manner, complementing the financial component with training in entrepreneurship, financial literacy, and mentorship opportunities.

Rural Finance

KIT promotes the financial inclusion of rural stakeholders. This builds our deep track record in the fields of agribusiness development, value chain finance, and understanding the needs of smallholder farmers and Micro, Small & Medium-Sized Enterprises.

A diversity of financial products and related non-financial services are being developed, experimented with, and rolled out by donors, financial institutions and investors, and KIT has been active in assessments of impact and learning processes for a wide variety of clients. Guarantee and insurance schemes, credit facilities for crop-specific loan products and business development services have benefited smallholders and youth and women in particular.


FinEquity is the annual gathering of researchers, practitioners, policymakers, and donors to discuss the latest developments in Women’s Financial Inclusion. In September 2021, FinEquity hosted two webinars featuring Financial Service Providers who are using innovative ways to learn and respond to women’s needs and preferences to grow their market share and achieve business goals. 

In a webinar on the segmentation of women clients, KIT’s senior financial inclusion advisor, Fiona Jarden, held a conversation with Access Bank Nigeria to discuss why they choose to focus on the women’s market and how they developed and rolled out the “W” initiative in their quest for becoming the bank of choice for women in the markets they serve.

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Monitoring, Evaluation & Impact Assessment

Monitoring, evaluation, and impact assessment are powerful tools to assess health, social, and economic impact. They allow us to learn what works and why. Our expertise and track record in these areas make us well-equipped to evaluate your work. 

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Education, training and coaching

There is probably no better contribution towards sustainable development than investing in people and building capacities at all levels. KIT Royal Tropical Institute plays a major role in this by offering a range of education and capacity building services, from formal education at masters level to client-oriented training and coaching support. Our training and coaching programmes are tailor-made to address the unique objectives and capacities of the requesting organisation.

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Our experts

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Bertus Wennink

Senior Advisor

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