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Using Behavioral Science

There has been growing momentum to design financial and nonfinancial services for lower-income populations around the world that would meet the specific needs of these clients. CGAP’s “Clients at the Center Financial Inclusion Research Fund” (Fund) has been playing a catalytic role by supporting research focusing on understanding clients’ needs and delivering services that respond to these needs. CGAP engaged ideas42, a behavioral design firm, to apply its research methodology, which is founded in behavioral science, to conduct a qualitative research on how microentrepreneurs approach, decide, and act on key business and financial management issues.

This CGAP report provides a comprehensive summary of the objectives of the research, the behavioral methodology used for the qualitative research conducted in India and the Philippines, and key findings on how microentrepreneurs manage their finances.


CGAP is a global partnership of more than 30 leading development organizations that works to advance the lives of poor people through financial inclusion. Using action-oriented research, we test, learn and share knowledge intended to help build inclusive and responsible financial systems that move people out of poverty, protect their economic gains and advance broader development goals. We research and experiment to achieve proof of concept and extract lessons that can be built to scale by our partners, who apply our insights in the marketplace.

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