Grameen Foundation Savings Seminar

Thank you for attending the Grameen Foundation Savings Seminar! Below is a recap and links to resources for attendees.


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Debbie Dean: Director, Financial Services, Grameen Foundation

Debbie Dean

Debbie Dean leads several global financial service programs, including our microsavings initiative, which is helping microfinance institutions in India and the Philippines to develop savings programs for the poor. She also supports our e-Warehouse program in Kenya. Before joining Grameen Foundation, Debbie spent 20 years in the technology industry, leading and managing technical sales teams, business operations and product management at several companies, including IBM, Legent Corporation and Cisco Systems. She holds a degree in Finance and Economics from Miami University and studied at the Boulder Institute of Microfinance. Debbie has lectured at the Wharton School of Business, the Brookings Institute, the SEEP Conference and the USAID Microlinks Speakers Corner, and has been published in the Enterprise Development & Microfinance Journal. She sits on the board of the DaltonDemorest Foundation.

Alex Counts: President & Founder, Grameen Foundation 
Alex Fiorillo: Vice President, ideas42
Fermin Vivanco: Financial Inclusion Specialist, MIF/IADB
Jacobo Menajovsky: Sr. Data Analyst, Grameen Foundation
Jordan Weinstock: Sr. Director, OpenRevolution
Kimberly Davies: Program Officer, Grameen Foundation
Leo Tobias: Program Manager, Mobile Financial Services, Grameen Foundation
Shannon Maynard: Chief of Staff, Grameen Foundation
Tanaya Kilara: Financial Sector Analyst, CGAP


Data Analytics: Answering Business Questions with Data
Includes a “Bring Your Own Data” Opportunity for Analysis of Your Data Set

Product Design: An Iterative Approach
With a Sneak Peek of Our Human-Centered Design Process and Toolkit

Building a Business Case: Golden Rules and Unique Examples

Mobile Financial Services & Agent Networks: Mobile Financial Services Must Haves
A New Perspective On Agent Network Challenges

Why is Savings Important?

The poor lead very unpredictable financial lives. Their income arrives in irregular increments as they struggle to build assets, leaving them vulnerable to financial shock. A single unplanned event – a healthcare emergency, natural disaster, or unexpected expense - can take away all the gains they’ve made. The poor need access to formal financial tools that allow them to manage risk, build assets, and manage daily household cashflows.

More than one-third of the world’s population – 2.5 billion people – lack access to financial services, including a savings account. While poor households make active use of informal savings mechanisms (such as moneyguards or burying cash), there is significant unmet demand for safe, convenient formal savings options. In particular, the poor appreciate both accessibility in their formal savings options – to meet daily needs – as well as inaccessibility, to ensure money is safely secured away from temptation. For poor households, especially those living on less than $2.50 per day, formal savings accounts – both demand deposit accounts and commitment savings accounts are essential for creating stability and for moving out of poverty.

Gramen Foundation’s Microsavings Initiative, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, works in partnership with local financial institutions in the Philippines, India, and Ethiopia to build savings products that meet the unique needs of the poor, delivering the products through innovative channels, including mobile phone-enabled channels, that are sustainable for the clients and institutions that serve them.

Highlights from this project’s approach include focuses on

  • A client-centered approach
  • Iterative product design
  • Innovating in delivery channels
  • Building business models
October 22, 2013 - 8:30am to 4:30pm
The District Architecture Center
421 7th St. NW
Washington, DC 20004
United States