Monkiri is making it easier for low-income people to access formal financial services and value chain. Millions of low-income people are excluded from formal financial services because they don't know about these services or how to use them efficiently.
At Monkiri we educate users on core financial concepts and provide transparent info about relevant financial services. This allows users to make their own informed financial decisions and access these financial services that can create major impacts on lives. The financial services that we are most interested in are microfinance, savings, mobile money, insurance, and value chains. Once users are able to leverage these services, they not only are able to grow their own local economies but also be included in the wider global economy.
Our initial target market is Myanmar where we are focusing our work on rural women. The issues we are addressing are women not being able to access financial services to grow. Some examples fo the issues we address are the limitations for a lack of access and understanding of loans that could be used for expanding or starting a business. Make remittance payments faster and cheaper for families who have been forced to move. Using insurance products to provide a safety net when economic shocks happen. Accessing the wider value chain to connect users to services to help them grow their work opportunities.
The inspiration for Monkiri came from my experience working at an impact investment firm that provides debt financing to microfinance institutions across Southeast Asia. A common issue I saw was a lack of financial literacy that kept people from fully utilizing these services. Looking outside of microfinance, I saw this issue was worse for other services like insurance, savings, mobile money and digital financial services. I have read the impact reports that these services can have on the lives of people, but the knowledge gap that restricts users from accessing these services is still too big.
This is why our goal is to be the bridge that connects users to these financial services. If people are not empowered to find and understand these financial services, the disconnect will remain. When users are able to feel confident in finding and using financial services, it opens up the value chain and opportunities for economic growth and stability.