Accion’s Frontier Investments Group (Frontier Investments) is an early stage equity fund sponsored by Accion International focused on catalyzing a new approach to financial inclusion. It invests in innovative technologies and disruptive business models that enhance the efficiency, reach, and scope of products and services for the unbanked. Accion is a global nonprofit dedicated to building a financially inclusive world, with access to economic opportunity for all, by giving people the financial tools they need to improve their lives. A world pioneer in microfinance, over the last 50 years Accion has helped build 62 microfinance institutions in 31 countries on 4 continents. Those institutions are currently reaching millions of clients. The Accion U.S. Network is the largest microfinance network in the country and, since inception, has served hundreds of thousands of clients with loans and support. In the area of investing, Accion provides early-stage equity, quasi-equity financing and loan guarantees to help MFIs become independent of donor funds, build their capital base, attract deposits and attain financial leverage, and invests beyond microfinance to cultivate a financial ecosystem that will radically enhance the efficiency, reach and scope of financial services at the base of the economic pyramid.
Frontier Investments has adopted IRIS as the basis for its performance metrics system, housed in PULSE, which is used for portfolio measurement and monitoring. Using the IRIS metrics provides a common language which Frontier Investments uses to measure and monitor performance across its diverse portfolio and to compare against potential investment opportunities. Frontier Investments supports investee companies to identify, collect and manage with performance metrics. Adopting IRIS improves Frontier's ability to communicate financial inclusion impact. For more information about Frontier's experiences designing and implementing its impact management program, read their IRIS Use Case.
Other Impact Measurement Tools
Given Frontier Investments' financial inclusion focus and diverse portfolio that includes microinsurance, business process outsourcing, mobile payment systems and housing, Frontier has developed custom metrics specific to financial inclusion and the business model of investee companies that we use alongside complementary IRIS metrics to measure the impact on financial inclusion with respect to scale, quality of service, and clients. Accion uses PULSE to manage its portfolio impact data.