For many people around the world, banking is easy: swipe a card, check a balance online, visit an ATM, or make a payment using a smartphone. Without these tools, how do families manage their finances, grow a small business, or send a payment to a relative? There are 2 billion “unbanked” people around the world who lack access to these basic financial services.
Over the past decade, the annual CGAP Photo Contest has documented the remarkable ways that access to formal financial services can improve poor people’s day-to-day activities. During this time much has changed. New innovations, such as digital financial services, offer great promise for better serving poor customers. Now in its 10th year, the annual CGAP Photo Contest aims to demonstrate the ways financial inclusion can help poor people transition out of poverty and lead more financially secure lives.
This year, we looked for photos that touch on the following themes:
Digital financial services and mobile banking
Women’s use of financial services
Microfinance for small business enterprises
Smallholder farmers and their families
Third Place: Hands for Freedom, India
Photo by Pranab Basak
A teen girl is helping her father in a potter’s village in Mankundu, West Bengal, India. Five years ago, they have started the pottery with a small loan from Co-operative Bank in their home. After making clay pots, they sell it in the local market of Chandanagar. It’s a simple story of a potter’s life.
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Smallholders Families Prize: Work in Mountains, India
Photo by Tatiana Sharapova
Old Ladakhi women work in a mountain field. They grow vegetables to sell at a local market in Ladakh in northern India.
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Women’s Use of Financial Services: Creating the Creator, India
Photo by Prathamesh Vinod Ghadekar
This woman works in the backyard of her house creating idols of the Hindu God “Ganesh” as the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi nears. She procured a small loan from a local women’s empowerment group, which is in turn financed by a bank under a government scheme. The whole family chips in to play their part in making the idols, with her husband playing a lead role. After the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi, this family will get busy preparing idols of Hindu Goddess “Durga” for the festival Durga Puja.
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Digital Finance Prize: Happy Vendor, India
Photo by Subrata Adkhikary
Although this woman comes from a remote village 50 km away to sell ginger and garlic in the city, she is always smiling. She and other street vendors have no permanent place to sell their goods but manage to find places to do so, like under a truck or a bridge.
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10th Annual CGAP Photo Contest
more at: cgap