Barclays scoops top innovation award for extending access to financial services in Uganda

07 November 2014

Barclays has been recognised for its innovative approach to extending financial services to village savings groups in Uganda at the Corporate Entrepreneur Awards held at the World Trade Centre in New York on Tuesday.

Run by MarketGravity, the awards recognize game changing innovation and entrepreneurship from within large companies. Barclays took top honours in the ‘Social Impact’ category which recognises corporate innovation that has had a positive social or environmental impact.

In Uganda, more than 80 percent of the population is unbanked and half of all households lack access to financial services of any kind. Financial exclusion reinforces the cycle of poverty by limiting access to healthcare, education and employment. This forces many people to keep their money in unsecure places, increasing the risk of loss or theft.

Barclays, Grameen Foundation and CARE International UK launched two mobile applications to help families in Uganda gain better access to financial services; helping them in turn to increase and manage their incomes. In the pilot to date, Barclays Uganda has linked 270 savings groups, providing over 9,000 individuals with access to financial services, representing a portfolio of over $400,000 in savings.

Corporate Entrepreneur Awards judges said that the project "ties closely into top-line growth for Barclays whilst addressing a fundamental issue in Africa."

On receiving the award, Mark Thain, Barclays, said "It’s a sobering fact that more than half of the world’s working adults are excluded from financial services. Providing the unbanked with basic financial services access through mobile technology enables them to plan and invest for the future, save money securely and protect themselves against unforeseen events."

For more information on the award, please visit: