The Future is Bright: FINCA Canada and Blakes Join Forces to Accelerate Financial Inclusion through Women’s Empowerment and Tech Innovation

Montreal- October 31, 2018- FINCA Canada (FINCA) has partnered with a leading Canadian business law firm, Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP (Blakes), to help expand its outreach with an increased participation in the BrightLife program to accelerate financial inclusion through the availability of technology, innovation, and women’s empowerment.

“As we increase our participation in the BrightLife Lighting Up Africa program, the support and expertise of Blakes will help us solidify and maximize our impact on improving the livelihood of those living in rural, hard-to-reach places,” says FINCA Canada’s Executive Director Marie-Claude Guay.

Across sub-Saharan Africa, 590 million people live without electricity. Grid expansion has struggled to keep pace with population growth, and in the absence of reliable energy, people’s health, safety, and productivity suffer.

FINCA uses innovative practices and cutting-edge technologies to transform finance in underserved markets, including credit scoring and analytics, e-wallets and point-of-service biometrics.

In Uganda, the BrightLife program has benefited over 100,000 people with life-enhancing clean energy products such as solar lanterns, solar home systems and improved cookstoves.

In partnership with Government Affairs of Canada, FINCA is now running two financial inclusion programs, one in Haiti and the other in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Blakes Montréal office will be advising on the expansion of the BrightLife program through its pro bono program, so FINCA can reach more people living without electricity or reliable energy.

“Our partnership is based on our mutual commitment to drive positive change and an understanding that together, we can have a greater impact in improving the livelihoods of families and contribute to global growth,” says Blakes Partner Fabien Lanteri-Massa who has extensive experience working in developing countries in Africa.

About FINCA Canada

FINCA Canada’s mission is to alleviate poverty through lasting solutions that help people — women in particular— to build assets, create jobs and raise their standard of living. FINCA Canada is a charitable partner organization of FINCA Impact Finance, a global network of community-based microfinance institutions and banks that operate across 20 countries in Africa, Eurasia, Latin America, the Middle East and South Asia. In addition to promoting financial inclusion, FINCA Canada supports programs that address pressing social issues like clean energy, water and sanitation, health care and nutrition.

About Blakes

At Blakes, we serve a diverse national and international client base, and our integrated office network provides clients with access to the Firm’s full spectrum of capabilities in virtually every area of business law. Blakes has been at the forefront of numerous initiatives that support positive change, improve the lives of those in need, and open communication in the workplace on important issues. From pro bono work and community involvement to diversity and inclusion, women’s initiatives, and environmental awareness, Blakes believes in giving back and leading forward.