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Grameen Foundation Microsavings Work Featured in Wall Street Journal

Between 2008 and 2013, Grameen Foundation helped CARD Bank to open 480,000 new savings accounts through its microsavings initiative. In this article, Julie Peachey, director of Grameen Foundation's social peformance management team, discusses the findings of a study designed to improve savings habits of these new clients through behavioral science. The study was conducted by ideas42.


Anne Ndungu is a mother of three, chairlady of her church, treasurer of her village’s women’s group and – thanks to a loan from Grameen Foundation partner Musoni – a successful entrepreneur.

“With the Kenyan shillings 80,000 loan (about US$800) I got from Musoni,” she said, “I was able to buy a dairy cow, start poultry keeping and build a cow shed.”


Traveling by motorbike on rural Ghana’s dirt roads, Racheal Derchie is an anomaly.

Young and university-educated, Racheal is the unlikely face of the future of farming in a country where the average farmer is 55 and poorly educated.

Racheal works with 200 smallholder farmers in Grameen Foundation’s AgroTech project. She uses its digital app suite to analyze and understand each farm’s history and needs. She teaches the farmers new practices, trains them in record keeping, and helps them obtain loans to purchase inputs.

Use of Mobile Financial Services Among Poor Women

These studies aim to understand how mobile phone technology and its usability is impacting poor women’s ability to access and benefit from mobile financial services.  Many players assume that if a poor person owns a mobile phone, they are able to use it. We have found that this is a faulty assumption, and believe that usability and “mobile phone literacy” are big issues that are preventing poor women in particular to benefit from mobile-enabled solutions. 

Applying Behavioral Economics to Improve Microsavings Outcomes

Many of the world’s toughest problems, including persistent poverty, are rooted in individual behavior. Behavioral economics and more specifically the emerging practice of behavioral design offer powerful tools to solve these social problems at large scale. Behavioral design applies insights from decades of academic research in behavioral economics and behavioral psychology to develop low-cost interventions with large effects.