What’s keeping three billion people from climbing out of poverty? Accion President and CEO Michael Schlein and New York restaurateur Roni Mazumdar talk with Billy Shore about the importance of financial inclusion and creating an economic system that works for everyone. “It’s really hard to imagine anyone working their way out of poverty without some of the most basic financial tools—a safe place to save, access to credit, efficient payments, insurance,” says Schlein. Accion provided capital that helped young entrepreneur Mazumdar save his first business after hurricane Sandy devastated the region. “People don’t realize how important it is to survive that first year… Within two weeks, I had the money to continue to operate,” he recounts.
Schlein explains Accion’s market-based strategy for investing in financial technology companies and the people they ultimately help. “We’re a nonprofit, but we’re a big believer in harnessing the capital markets to change the world,” he explains. Mazumdar talks about his personal philanthropic initiative to alleviate poverty in India by improving access to education for girls. “There is a human being [in India] who is no different than I am. I happen to be in a position that is far more fortunate, so therefore, it’s imperative that I do something,” he says.
Listen to this engaging conversation about helping the billions of people who are invisible to the financial system that many of us take for granted.