Banyan Global


Millennium Challenge Corporation Financial Inclusion Activities

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Banyan Global is supporting Gender and Social Inclusion (GSI) considerations in Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC)-funded Financial Inclusion activities. This work addresses systemic constraints for women-owned agribusiness, smallholder farmers, and micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to access debt, equity, and professional business services. This work leverages financial technology solutions and blended finance under MCC Compacts in Malawi, Sierra Leone, Nepal, and Indonesia.

In Indonesia from 2022 to 2024, Banyan Global is supporting MCC in designing a new finance and business advisory services project for MSMEs, emphasizing support for growth-oriented, women-owned businesses. Banyan Global led a due diligence effort to design this business development services (BDS) intervention to improve MSMEs’ digital and financial literacy, formal registration and licensing, business management skills, and access to new markets. The MSME project in Indonesia will also facilitate growth-oriented women-owned business to access debt financing through a blended finance vehicle.

In Nepal, Banyan Global assisted MCC in its Compact development with the Government of Nepal in 2023 to advance economic growth and reduce poverty. The Electricity Transmission Project (ETP) is a component of the Nepal Compact aimed to increase domestic electricity consumption by improving availability and reliability of electricity in Nepal’s national grid and to improve cross border distribution and trade of electricity in selected districts. The project included capacity building for businesses and citizens around the effective use of electricity. Banyan Global assisted MCC to design inclusive interventions supporting businesses to access financing and new technical skills. Banyan Global also supported MCC to design and deliver market-oriented technical and soft skills training for women and youth to access decent employment.

In 2022-2023, Banyan Global assisted MCC’s Compact development with the Government of Sierra Leone. A series of assessments took place to explore interventions that will support the productive use of electricity in agriculture value chains to improve economic expansion, diversification, competitiveness, and green growth. The Compact’s interventions will increase the productivity of agricultural value chains especially among commercial scale agro-processors, which is anticipated to create inclusive opportunities for income generation for different segments of the population, notably youth and women. Banyan Global’s financial inclusion team participated in an agricultural value chain financing assessment to design a new blended finance intervention to facilitate agro-processors’ access to financial services.

In Malawi (2022), Banyan Global led a design intervention to facilitate smallholder farmer’s access to commercially oriented, high-growth value chains. This work was part of MCC’s Compact with the Government of Malawi to leverage private sector investment into areas constraining agricultural growth, such as rural roads and irrigation. Banyan Global led field-based research and collaborative discussions with key stakeholders in designing a locally led quasi-equity finance mechanism to provide smallholder farmers with investments to upgrade their production for commercial markets. This work included an assessment of the local financial system and the use of digital finance. Field work explored how female-owned agri-businesses access financing and opportunities to expand new sources of finance. The final due diligence document provided an innovative, locally led solution to expand investment capital and debt financing to the agriculture sector through a blended finance solution.