The partners work together with a focus on how a private sector cooperation can contribute to financial and economic inclusion on initiatives with a strong business case.
Queen Máxima first convened the CEOP at the World Economic Forum in January 2018, in her capacity as the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA). Since, these companies have pioneered a variety of collaborative, cross-industry initiatives to boost financial inclusion and reach new markets.
The collaboration of the CEOs and their companies represents the first high-level private-private partnership to further financial and economic inclusion. With a strong focus on finding sustainable solutions that can drive business growth, the group has agreed to develop partnerships and make specific commitments to expand inclusion among traditionally underserved customer groups such as women, farmers, migrants, and small business owners.
CEOP members also hope to connect with other CEOs who are interested in collaborative business models that improve their companies’ bottom lines while fostering financial and economic inclusion.
UNSGSA Queen Máxima, and her office at the UN, support the partnership through strategic planning, workshops and communication. The Special Advocate believes a private-to-private, cross-industry collaboration on financial and economic inclusion can chart new paths to innovative, at-scale solutions for those currently excluded from the financial system.
The Special Advocate has met virtually with the leaders of the CEOP since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to discuss members’ various efforts to the response and recovery process. The group has also explored potential ways to collaborate to enhance the economic resilience of low-income customers and small businesses in navigating the pandemic, especially through economic inclusion.
CEOP members work together in areas such as bundling telemedicine with digital financial services (DFS), as well as digitizing value chains to benefit merchants and micro-, small and medium-enterprises (MSMEs). Additionally, they exchange knowledge on customer insights regarding consumer behavior during the pandemic. They also share best practices such as contactless DFS and financial health—including employee wellbeing.