Results tagged as "financial inclusion"

  • Citi Jordan and Inclusive Finance: Advancing Financial Access for 10,000 Women

    By Nour Jarrar, CCO Citi Jordan and Kyla Gineitis, Vice President, Citi Inclusive Finance January 24, 2019 04:30 PM

    Despite significant progress in expanding financial access for underserved communities across the globe, one billion women remained unbanked in 2018, according to Global Findex data from the World Bank. Jordan is one country that in recent years has successfully advanced financial inclusion for women. In 2018, 26.6% of women in Jordan had a bank account, an increase of more than 10% since 2014 (15.5%). With just over one in ten women in Jordan participating in the formal economy, however, much more needs to be done to ensure that more women gain access to financial services.

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  • EmpoweredNYC: New Financial Coaching for New Yorkers with Disabilities

    By Frances Liu, Vice President, Citi Community Development January 07, 2019 11:00 AM

    To support the financial resilience of people with disabilities, Citi Community Development is collaborating with the City of New York and National Disability Institute (NDI) on EmpoweredNYC. This multi-prong initiative is developing and delivering enhanced counseling services to advance the financial stability of people with disabilities, as well as new trainings for nonprofit and municipal service providers on how to connect people with disabilities with the best information, services, and programs to meet their financial needs.

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  • Empowered Cities: Financial Empowerment for People with Disabilities

    By Bob Annibale, Global Director, Citi Community Development and Inclusive Finance, and Michael Morris, Executive Director, National Disability Institute February 22, 2018 04:00 PM

    Last month, Tracy McKnight participated in the launch of EmpoweredNYC, a new program led by Citi Community Development, National Disability Institute (NDI) and the City of New York. EmpoweredNYC is the first pilot under Empowered Cities, a $2 million national initiative to enable municipalities to expand financial empowerment and economic inclusion for people living with disabilities and their families.

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  • Building Credit = Building a Better Boston

    By Trinh Nguyen, Director, Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development and Office of Financial Empowerment, Boston July 12, 2017 02:00 PM

    In the latest in Citi Community Development’s Inclusive Cities Series, Trinh Nguyen from Boston's Office of Workforce Development and Office of Financial Empowerment discusses the new Credit Building Initiative for Young Working Adults.

    Nayshia Scott, a 21-year old single mother living in Boston, Massachusetts, had a seasonal job and no credit score.

    Nayshia is one in 26 million people – 11 percent of all adults in the U.S. -- who are “credit invisible,” meaning that they do not have a credit record on file at one of the three nationwide credit reporting companies. When borrowers lack a credit record, lenders have a harder time assessing the creditworthiness of applicants who then often find it difficult or even impossible to obtain safe, affordable credit.

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  • Citibanamex: Inclusive by Design

    By Ernesto Torres Cantu, Chief Executive Officer, Citibanamex, and Bob Annibale, Global Director, Citi Inclusive Finance November 02, 2016 10:00 AM

    When Citi announced a US$1 billion investment in Citibanamex – proof of Mexico’s significant role in the bank’s global strategy – we made sure that this investment would be sustainable through the creation of a business unit dedicated to financial inclusion.

    Mexico’s residents face significant hurdles to financial inclusion. According to the 2015 Financial Inclusion National Survey, while 8 million adults have opened a bank account for the first time, approximately 38 million remain unbanked. That means more than half of the country’s adult population is cut off from the mainstream banking system. As a result, advances in financial technology are not improving economic outcomes. For instance, just 9.5 percent of adults are using mobile banking, even though 75 percent have a mobile phone.

    The Mexican government has taken significant and meaningful steps to expand access, especially with the launch of the National Financial Inclusion Strategy. But these steps are enhanced by partnership with the private sector – and Citi’s investment shows our commitment for the long haul and a formal alignment with Mexico’s national plan.

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  • Building from Scratch: A New Ecosystem for Chicago’s Small Businesses

    By Jonathan Brereton, CEO, Accion Chicago July 29, 2016 10:30 AM

    Nearly five years ago, the City of Chicago launched the Chicago Microlending Institute (CMI), a program established to train new lenders to make targeted loans to small businesses. For the first time, a city took action to directly invest in the creation of a more robust microfinance ecosystem that could deliver the financing needed by entrepreneurs to spur small business growth.

    After estimating an unfulfilled demand for nearly $28 million in microloans annually -- a funding gap that threatened jobs and economic stability in already vulnerable areas – CMI’s goal was to increase the capital access needed for small businesses to create jobs in communities that needed them most: the low-and-moderate income and communities of color on the south and west sides of Chicago.

    Since its establishment, more than 250 businesses have received loans from the CMI, for a total of $2.6 million, creating or preserving more than 1,000 jobs. Nearly 70 percent of those loans have gone to communities that have historically seen below- average lending activity. Just as importantly, more than 90 percent of those loans supported women and minority entrepreneurs.

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  • Restoring Opportunity for the Long-Term Unemployed

    By Joe Carbone, President and CEO, The Workplace May 10, 2016 01:00 PM

    At first glance, employment in the U.S. appears to be on a slow and steady march of improvement. After reaching a high of 10 percent in 2010, the unemployment rate is now down to half of that amount– nearly reaching the 4.7 percent it was back in April 2006. But this promising trend obscures the ongoing struggles of those for whom being unemployed is in itself the biggest obstacle to finding another job.

    More than a quarter of all unemployed Americans – 2.2 million people, roughly the population of Houston, Texas – have been without a job for 27 weeks or more, and are considered “long-term unemployed.” These workers are predominantly older (ages 55+), and many have a career’s worth of marketable skills and achievements which ought to give them an advantage in their job search; but as the weeks go by, and the time gap since their last job grows wider, prospective employers begin to overlook them in favor of candidates – even less qualified candidates – who currently have jobs or are only recently unemployed. As despair and debt quickly begin to pile up, the consequences are often financially and psychologically devastating, both for the workers and their families.

    In 2011, we sought to take on this complex challenge by launching Platform to Employment (P2E) – a career readiness program which provides the long-term unemployed with the tools, resources and support they need to rejoin the workforce. Participants receive career coaching and professional skills training, such as resume-writing assistance and mock interviews. They gain access to free behavioral health services and, with support from Citi Community Development, receive financial counseling to overcome some of the challenges that result from long-term unemployment. Once participants complete the five week preparatory program, P2E helps participants find jobs with local employers. A dynamic element of the program is providing employers with a financial incentive to consider hiring participants. P2E offers employers an eight-week wage subsidy to cover a participant’s salary while they are given an opportunity to demonstrate they can do the job. Platform to Employment removes the perception of risk for employers, enabling them to evaluate the candidates fairly and without stigma.

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  • Citi and Miami-Dade: Investing in Inclusion

    By Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava, Miami-Dade County, Florida April 12, 2016 09:00 AM

    Nearly one out of every five people who live in Miami-Dade County is an immigrant eligible for citizenship; but because of real and perceived legal, financial and informational hurdles, these individuals are missing out on the potential for higher earnings and access to vital resources for education and retirement.

    That’s nearly half a million people -- greater than the entire population of the City of Atlanta.

    Increasing immigrant integration in our county for those who are eligible will benefit families, their businesses, and both our local and national economies. Studies show that residents who naturalize see an average increase in earnings of between eight and eleven percent. If just half of all eligible residents became citizens, that could translate into a $3.2 billion boost in total earnings for Miami Dade residents. We also know that becoming a citizen opens up pathways for immigrants to stabilize their household finances and to build a stronger financial identity alongside their new national identity.

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  • Ventanilla de Asesoria Financiera: Building more financially inclusive cities for Mexican Immigrants

    By Ambassador Sandra Fuentes-Berain, Consul General of Mexico in New York March 28, 2016 02:00 PM

    Maria De Los Angeles Baez Rivera, a Mexican immigrant living in Queens, was in a very difficult place in October of 2014. Facing extreme financial hardship, she did not have a permanent home, and was constantly moving from place to place. She did not have a bank account, could not afford a mobile phone, and lacked the basic resources and stability necessary to obtain full-time employment.

    There are roughly 320,000 Mexican immigrants in New York City—a community roughly the size of Pittsburgh—many of whom are struggling with similar situations as Maria. In order to better understand the financial needs of this community, the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs Office of Financial Empowerment (OFE) and Citi Community Development published the Immigrant Financial Services Study in April 2013. The study revealed that more than half of Mexican immigrants in New York City do not have a bank account because of perceived or structural obstacles to engaging with financial institutions—obstacles which are often rooted in language, cultural or informational barriers to trust.

    Mexican immigrants, like immigrants from many other countries, often have limited experiences with financial institutions in their new home. They worry about hidden fees, the security of their deposits or that authorities might take away their money. They are unfamiliar with tax benefits and are at times skeptical of programs that offer help.

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  • Empowering Women Entrepreneurs,
    From Dhaka to Queens

    By Andrea Jung, President and CEO, Grameen America March 11, 2016 02:45 PM

    Left to Right: Andrea Jung, President and CEO; Grameen America, Bob Annibale, Citi Community Development; and Professor Muhammad Yunus, Chairman & Founder of Grameen Bank and recipient of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize

    Eight years ago, Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus had a vision to bring his award-winning micro-lending model to the United States. As the founder of Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, Professor Yunus was internationally acclaimed for demonstrating that lending small amounts of money to underserved women would provide them with the economic opportunity they needed to start businesses and escape the grips of poverty.

    To get the program off the ground in the U.S., Grameen America approached Citi as a thought partner, tapping into the firm’s expertise and international experience in microfinance. In 2008, with Citi’s support, Grameen America opened its first branch in Jackson Heights, Queens.

    Grameen America alleviates poverty for low-income women by providing them with small-dollar loans to support the creation of micro-enterprises, working in groups of five. For our members – more than 90% of whom are self-employed minorities living in underserved neighborhoods – a critical element of building and safeguarding capital is access to high-quality banking products and services. In addition to receiving support from Citi for our operations, we work closely with the bank to provide our members with savings accounts for which fees are waived.

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