Written by: Arit Archibong
Financial Inclusion is also known as “Inclusive Financing” and means making products and services affordable and accessible to all individuals and businesses, irrespective of their gender, class structure or net worth. In addressing the factors that hinder people from participating in the capital market, the financial sector has developed new ways to make financial products and services accessible to all, that it has become our prerogative to uncover and lay claims to these assets for a better living. Here are a few steps to take.
Having the right information about financial sources and investment opportunities, both online and offline is highly necessary for SMEs requiring funds for startups and investors looking to invest their money. Getting your products to the right people, through the right channels and for the right reasons will help you achieve results. The problem here is that most businesses are not viable enough to attract investors, and majority of entrepreneurs fear the loss of ownership and are not open to investment opportunities, while many businesses are ignorant of the ‘key’ strategy to make it work.
Financial Inclusion has witnessed a paradigm shift from the traditional method of just having a job, business or purchasing power to a modern and more acceptable method of being able to explore financial benefits accruable from such a business, using technology.
According to the World Bank Group, access to a transaction account is a first step towards broader financial inclusion. Furthermore, account holders are more likely to use other financial services such as credit and insurance, to start and expand their businesses, invest in education or health, manage risks and weather financial shocks which can improve the overall quality of their lives.
Indeed, financial technology (Fin-tech) is evolving. It goes beyond carrying out financial transactions and purchases using technology to earning and generating tokens online. Technology has filled the void in banking and brought about excellent, transparent and direct access to financial transactions embracing digital innovation, that it becomes necessary to earmark and acquire the following in order to a be a part of an all inclusive financial movement.
1 National Identity (Voters card, Drivers’ license, National ID, International Passport)
2 Bank Account (To include mobile banking apps, credit cards and services)
3 Online Identity (Website, Blog, Google account, Social media accounts)
4 Digital Wallet (Pay pal, Bit coin accounts, etc.)
5 Digital Currency/ E- Money
“You can only go as far as you think”
Some of us will admit that our businesses need funds, but not many of us are aware of the various funding opportunities or have taken actual steps to secure these funds. Getting access to loans and grants and exploring the benefits of ‘Equity Financing’ from financial institutions (Bank of Industry, Bank of Agriculture, SMEDAN, etc.) has become even more achievable with the Sustainable Development Goals in view.
Financial Inclusion is an enabler of the Sustainable Development Goal 1 (to end extreme poverty), Goal 2 (Zero hunger) Goal 3 (Good health and well being), Goal 4 (Quality Education), Goal 5 (Gender Equality) Goal 8 (Decent work and economic growth) and Goal 10 (Reduced Inequalities), needed to build peaceful and sustainable communities (Goals 11 and 16). In ensuring that everyone has access to these financial services, people can compete favourably for certain offers and benefits in their own capacity and for a variety of products. It also goes a long way to reduce inequalities borne out of age; gender and class, as the youths, women and the poor in the society can gain access to financial resources that allow them participate in the social, political and economic strata of the society.
Do the right thing!
You can make money by buying and reselling tokens online, selling videos and E-products, through affiliate marketing, ads placement, blogging and website monetization, Google Ad sense, Yahoo Media.net, and by carrying out surveys and product reviews among others.
So, you have a sustainable business idea? And you’ve acquired digital skills? Unlock the hidden potentials in the digital world and secure these financial resources!
If you are not ready to start up on your own, register for freelance jobs using these sites: Freelancer.com, Upwork.com and digitize.mindthegap.ng. Others are: Guru, Fiverr, Simply hired, People per hour, Project4hire, etc.