Ruth Brannvall

Boutique consultancy for international development and CSR

Reaching breakthroughs in government relationships

Sub-Saharan Africa
25. Sep 2013

It is in the DNA of most entrepreneurs to be more optimistic than the average population (research has confirmed this). So we are not surprised in the IAP team when companies come back and report different hurdles and changes to their plans which extends the time to reach the targets. Especially those that are dependent on government relationships often feel things are out of their control.

There is hope though - once in a while, we do see some that get pay-off for their hard work and persistence and pass that defining moment of reaching critical mass of customers and revenue. In the case of IAP grantees, we are especially pleased to see this as it also means that more social impact can be made.

This morning, Finaccess in Nepal shared with me the news that they at last have an agreement in place with the government to include Government-to-People payments in their offering. The relationship with government and the regulator has been a roller coaster for the company, setting back the scale-up by 11 months. Finaccess worked very hard to lobby the government and to find allies in the industry to propose necessary changes. Still, Finaccess has acquired more than 50,000 customers since the IAP funded project started in summer 2012, so their operations did not stand still in the meantime.

The good news with the G2P payments is that a pilot can start for two of the poorest areas in Nepal. Thirteen thousand women will receive a social benefit for their children to allow them to be in school. Finaccess is thereby also one of the first in the world to enable government payments through a mobile payment system.

Finaccess' target this year was to have 55,000 customers and we congratulate them on having to adjust next year's target upwards.

Stay optimistic!