Cross-Sector Collaboration - A Study on Collaborations in Financial Inclusion and Mobile Financial Services

University essay from Handelshögskolan i Stockholm/Institutionen för företagande och ledning

Abstract: Background: Across the globe, approximately two billion people do not have access to essential financial systems such as a bank account; at the same time, cell phones are becoming widely available, even amongst the poor. This opens up for a chance to connect the underprivileged to financial instruments, as mobile financial services can be offered at significantly lower costs compared to traditional banking options. However, apart from a rather small number of examples, the implementation of these services has not satisfied expectations. A potential approach to address this circumstance is seen in cross-sector collaborations among companies and non-commercial entities. Purpose: The overall purpose of thesis is to explore how cross-sector collaboration between an Information and Communication Technology (ICT) company and Charitable Development Organizations (CDOs) can facilitate financial inclusion in developing countries. Methodology: A qualitative case study approach was implemented with 16 semi-structured interviews and four secondary reports to complement information. Conclusion: What may be more important is a network effect with partners to whom organizations get introduced to in the initial collaboration. Implications: Empirical findings indicate that collaborations are not as close as literature suggests, that existing monitoring systems of partnerships lack precision, that long-term goals of partners should be considered more carefully, and that a resource exchange in the partnership is used to reduce risk. Limitations of this Study and Future Research: The significance of results is limited by the relatively small sample size and the narrow empirical focus on an ICT company partnering with CDOs. Future research should focus on the entities in the CDO definition more in depth as the number of partnerships also increases.

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