The UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) recently committed approximately US$556,000 to support pilot training programs for garment workers in Bangladesh. The funding will fund technical assistance and merit-based grants for three companies aiming to boost the financial and digital skills, and thus financial and digital inclusion, of 135,000 people, mostly women, working in the sector. UNCDF’s implementation partners for the project are Quizrr, Ulula and Wagely. Wagely is said to offer its Earned Wage Access service to participants, allowing workers to view their salaries in advance. The other two companies are collaborating to provide digital training on “human rights and responsibilities, worker engagement and digital wages.”
Founded in 2020, Wagely is an Indonesian platform whose mission is to “provide a sustainable solution for all employees to break the cycle of debt caused by overdraft fees, high-interest loans or payday loans and a leadership role in building financial well-being to play for lower – and middle-income workers in Indonesia.”
Quizrr is a Sweden-based educational technology (edtech) company founded in 2013. It offers training for digital workers from offices in Bangladesh, China, Thailand and Sweden. The company reports that it has served 1.3 million users working in 600 factories.
Founded in 2013, Ulula, which means “reveal” in Chichewa, is a Canadian company whose services include anonymous feedback and engagement solutions for workers to report human rights abuses and tools to measure the extent of corporate contributions to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The company reports that it has served 1.6 million users in 40 countries.
UNCDF was founded in 1996 and is headquartered in New York, USA. It strives to create opportunities for poor people and their businesses by increasing access to microfinance and other forms of investment capital. The organization works in 47 low-income countries in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, with a particular focus on countries that have emerged from crises. For 2020, UNCDF had a budget of $75 million and supported initiatives that provide financial services to 3 million unbanked and underbanked customers.
By Saulius Simonas Ramanauskas, Research Associate
Sources and Additional Sources
Quizrr home page
Wagely home page
UNCDF home page
Previous MicroCapital briefing on UNCDF
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