Contact us

Hosted at the International Fund for Agricultural Development

Via Paolo di Dono, 44, 00142 Rome, Italy

Join our mailing list


SAFIN periodically hosts webinars to foster learning and knowledge exchange across the network and in the agri-SME finance ecosystem. The webinars feature new and exciting initiatives spearheaded by network partners, present new evidence or new approaches to “hot” issues in the sector.

Upcoming webinars

More webinars coming soon!

Past webinars

18 Sep
Fintechs and Financial Inclusion

Many technology-based companies are disrupting the global market for financial services with new products and solutions, some of which are well suited to reach underserved, low-income or remote customers in emerging market and developing economies. Fintechs have generated a lot of excitement in the global development community and many have also had significant market impact. But what is their role in improving delivery of financial services specifically to rural individuals, households, and enterprises? 

Between 2016 and 2018, CGAP supported 18 fintechs in Africa and South Asia that provided financial services to low-income or underserved customers to draw linkages and better understand their potential to improve financial inclusion, including in rural areas. In the recently published Fintechs and Financial Inclusion: Looking past the hype and exploring their potential, CGAP researchers present findings from analysis of  these fintechs, some of which provide value chain finance products, credit for agricultural inputs, and location-based access to finance for farmers.


These findings suggest that fintechs have the potential to advance financial inclusion in rural areas, particularly through smartphone-based payments, connections-based finance, location-based finance and de-risking finance for non-investment purposes. However, many business models require further development and further evidence of impact.

In this webinar, Gayatri Murthy, Financial Sector Specialist at CGAP and co-author of the study, will discuss its findings and some recommendations for policy and practice.  


Gayatri Murthy, Financial Sector Specialist at CGAP

Gayatri leads CGAP’s research on how fintech startups can catalyze financial inclusion. She has over 10 years of experience in building customer-centric financial services for underserved customers. She has led workshops for staff from financial institutions around the world, including at training events organized by the Boulder Institute for Microfinance, the Social Performance Task Force and the Aga Khan Agency for Microfinance. Before joining CGAP, Gayatri worked at Intermedia, where she conducted nationally representative surveys, impact evaluations and qualitative studies on the role of digital technologies in financial inclusion and civil society building. 

Webinar Resources

08 Jul
Blended finance and smallholder agriculture: lessons from an Oxfam study

The desire to understand what role blended finance can play in building inclusive agri-finance ecosystems has been a key driver of the joint effort of OECD and SAFIN partners to build a knowledge base on blended finance and agriculture in the past year. In this context, under-standing what impact blended finance programmes have had so far on agri-SMEs and smallholder farmers is a criti-cal concern. As confirmed by the blended finance and agriculture “landscape report” commissioned by the net-work in March 2019, data and analytical systems de-signed to measure development impact are as weak in this domain as in others where blended finance is in-creasingly applied, if not more.

A similar concern lies behind a recent paper by Oxfam on the theme of “Accountability Deficit? Assessing the effec-tiveness of private finance blending in ensuring that small-scale farmers are not left behind,” co-authored by Hanna Saarinen and Claire Godfrey. The paper is part of a broader effort by Oxfam to raise critical questions around the role of private finance in investing towards the Sustainable Development Goals. It looks at recent ex-amples of blended finance projects involving develop-ment finance institutions and development partners from the European Union, the Netherlands, and the US. Its findings suggests caution in assuming likely benefits from the use of blended finance on smallholders’ access to finance and investment.

In this webinar, jointly organized by SAFIN and the FAO community of practice on rural finance, Hanna Saarinen will discuss findings and recommendations for practice and for further lines of inquiry.


Hanna Saarinen, EU Policy Advisor on Investment in Agriculture, Oxfam International 

Hanna Saarinen has more than 15 years of experience in private, public, and non-governmental sectors. Five of those she spent in Southeast Asia devoting herself to land rights and governance, with particular focus on strengthening the role of local civil society on land tenure issues.
Since 2015, Hanna has worked for the Oxfam EU Advocacy Office in Brussels, where her mission is to influence the Euro-pean Union’s development policies related to agricultural investments and food securi-ty. Her educational background is in eco-nomics, business administration and social psychology.

Webinar Resources