Tala Puts Inclusive Innovation Into Action

Shivani Siroya, CEO, at Tala, describes its targeted approach to financial inclusion for underserved populations

Shivani Siroya, CEO, Tala

For the past two years, the MIT Inclusive Innovation Challenge has awarded a total of $2 million to 40 organizations engaged in skills development, opportunity matching, technology access, job creation, income growth, and increasing financial inclusion.

At the April 27 The Future of Work: Capital Markets, Digital Assets, and the Disruption of Labor event in New York City, MIT IDE Assistant Director, Susan Young, spoke with one of last year’s IIC winners, Shivani Siroya, CEO of Tala, to learn more about how her organization is using technology to provide better access to financial services.

Susan Young and Shivani Siroya

Siroya said Tala has more than 1.3 million customers on the platform. In the last three years, “we’ve disbursed over 6.5 million loans. Only about 31% of the adult population worldwide is actually in a credit bureau; there are billions of people without credit scores or access to formal financial services. Beyond credit, we can advise about insurance, savings, education, and health products. Other service providers can come on to the platform, too.”
 
 The challenge, she said, “is that if you don’t also educate the customer on their identity and what it can be used for, you’re not really enabling them. Our mission is about financial choice and control. The IIC has really helped us get the message out.”

Watch the full video here.