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Our framework: Technology for Inclusion in emerging markets

With Next Billion's flagship Digital Growth funds, our goal is to promote inclusive digitalization in emerging markets.

We believe that technology is uniquely capable of enabling digital & financial inclusion and that digital economy companies deliver impact at scale by providing affordable access to essential goods & services for the next billion households, women, and MSMEs in emerging markets.

Our Purpose

We aim to serve millions of low-income households, women, and MSMEs in emerging markets with digital tools that increase access to key goods & services and improve financial health.

We will do so by investing in high-growth, category-leading companies and thus delivering top-quartile financial returns to our investors.

Having been at the forefront of investing in digital economy companies in emerging markets for the past decade, we have developed the Technology for Inclusion Framework, our proprietary system designed to create and measure the impact resulting from our investments.

Digital and Financial Inclusion


Technology has the potential to solve acute pain points and democratize opportunity at scale; this cross-section of need and scalability makes investing in the digital economy extremely impactful, especially in emerging markets.


In Indonesia, for example, the average household earns less than $300 per month, and only half of the population has a bank account. Moreover, the vast majority of these accounts sit nearly empty, as over 70% of the working population – representing 100 million households – live paycheck-to-paycheck and thus withdraw the entire amount immediately upon receiving it.


For households such as these, who make their daily purchases using cash in offline retail stores and save any remaining amount ‘under the mattress’, inclusion in the digital economy represents opportunity: opportunity to access markets with unprecedented transparency and convenience, opportunity to attain financial health through paying and saving digitally, opportunity to access credit to grow a family business or to weather an emergency.


Every investment that we make will be in a company that promotes Digital and Financial Inclusion, and every investment will correspond to at least one of the three impact strategies outlined below.


1. Provide households access to affordable goods and services.

Household consumption in emerging markets is 60-80% of GDP, or roughly 1.5x the level of developed countries. Nevertheless, the distribution of essential goods and services – including and especially financial services – is highly inefficient.


In India, for example, nearly 90% of the retail trade flows through small, offline corner stores with inefficient supply chains and virtually no access to financing.

2. Create employment, leadership, and services for women.


Women in emerging markets face particularly large gaps in workforce participation and challenges in procuring services, such as financial, healthcare, and education.


According to the Council on Foreign Relations, closing the global gender gap in the workforce would add $28T to global GDP – and over 60% of this improvement would come from emerging markets.

3. Improve productivity and access to finance for MSMEs


MSMEs are a fundamental part of emerging market economies, accounting for 90% of businesses and 50% of employment globally; nevertheless, MSME productivity in emerging markets is highly inefficient, and opportunities for growth are limited.


According to OECD, MSMEs in developed countries are nearly 3x more productive than their emerging market counterparts[2], in part due to offline manual processes; meanwhile, the credit gap for MSMEs is estimated at $5.2T annually.


The Technology for Inclusion Framework represents our commitment not only to invest in high-impact companies but also to continuously work with them to protect against ESG risks and create impact through our involvement.

Please download our full Technology for Inclusion document here.

Next Billion - Technology for Inclusion Framework
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