RURAL INVESTMENT STRATEGIES: Making lump sums useful

The promise of financial inclusion is that it provides the tools clients need to not only manage their personal finances but also take advantage of market opportunities to produce more and earn higher incomes.

In reality, however, most rural economic actors face complex choices when deciding how to best use the financial resources they are able to accumulate. Should it be saved (and, if so, in cash, in a deposit, or in-kind)? Lent to a family member? Used to purchase inputs for the farm or enterprise? Invested in new equipment or starting a new income-generating activity? If so, which equipment or activity?

Lacking awareness of all the possible options for their savings, and unable to compare returns and risks for the few options they are aware of, many rural economic actors either play it safe, putting savings into familiar but low-margin activities, or gamble, sometimes with disastrous results.

An advanced version of its “Dreams to Reality” financial education program, ACCESS’s rural investment strategy program works with rural economic actors to compare a defined set of savings and investment options, weigh the risks, and set goals and milestones toward making the best use of their money.


  • Basic financial education for managers
  • Advanced financial education for managers
  • Linkage banking and financing


When branch staff review business options with clients, they can offer a range of products and services, thus enabling the financial service provider to achieve economies of scope.


  • Technical Assistance to IFAD’s Youth Entrepreneurship and Employment Support Services Programme (YESS): Leveraging the use of Remittances Towards Rural Development through Cooperatives:International Fund for Agricultural Development, 2019-20.
  • Technical Assistance to the Rural Enterprise and Remittance Project (Samriddhi): International Fund for Agricultural Development, 2019-20.
  • Regional Programme on Remittances and Diaspora Investment for Rural Development: International Fund for Agricultural Development, 2015-18.
  • Cambodia Country Strategy and Programme Evaluation: International Fund for Agricultural Development, 2017.
  • Support for Value-Chain Based Farm and Agri-Enterprise Development: European Union and Agence Française de Développement, 2014-17.
  • A Linkage Model for Commercial Bank Financing of Rural SMEs: GIZ Myanmar, 2016.