Measuring Shared Value Created from Financial Literacy Programs, and Inclusive Financial Products and Services
Financial service providers recognise that their future sustainability is directly linked to the sustainability of their clients. In Africa, financial inclusion and affordable financial products & services are important to the future sustainability of the continent as well.
Financial service companies respond in different ways to their corporate citizenship and social responsibilities. Some leverage their social investments to create additional business value.
These shared value strategies then provide opportunities to build future markets and provide competitive differentiation; whilst at the same time providing an opportunity to leverage the skills of employees as well as enhance their licence to operate.
The financial services company wanted to measure the impact and return on investment of their social investment initiatives for society as well as the company itself. The research question was what value or impact the investments delivered for the recipients, the company, the community and the local economy and country.
The client had been investing in financial literacy programs, low cost (entry level) savings and investment products, as well as skills development programs in various communities. In addition, the client had been monitoring and evaluating the interventions over a two-year period.
What we did
- We reviewed the impact intent/strategy. This included shared value, responsible investing and social investment strategies as well as the monitoring & evaluation reports.
- We interrogated the Theories of change & logic model frameworks of the investment portfolios and focus areas. Then we engaged both internal and external stakeholders. During the engagement process we collected additional impact data from recipients and beneficiaries that informed the impact validation & analysis process.
- We conducted an impact & return on investment assessment to verify and analyse the impact achieved.
- A cost benefit and effectiveness analysis were conducted, and the outcome of the impact assessment process was presented in an impact management report.
The impact and return on investment
The impact assessment confirmed that shared value was delivered:
- The company benefitted directly from the sale of new products & services and economic value were delivered. Additionally, the company’s brand value and reputation improved, delivering a viable return on investment. This impact and return could be quantified in financial value including number of new customers, value of transactions and the value of new products or services activated.
- Individuals and communities directly benefitted from increased knowledge about financial planning. The impact was a more effective form of financial planning, increased household and individual or personal savings, as well as economic empowerment and the inclusivity that resulted. The impact could be measured by the number of individuals who acquired banking accounts and financial products such as savings accounts that were activated.
- Our client therefore created shared value, in that access to financial services was improved and their business was positively impacted as well.