L-IFT is a boutique consulting firm intending to stay small, flexible and pragmatic. We endeavour to create a collaborative and inspiring work environment for all our consultants, junior and senior. The organization is there to support its consultants rather than the other way around and will reward generously according to the results produced by the individual consultants. By working within the framework of L-IFT top quality thinkers and do-ers, innovators and implementers will be able to unleash their entrepreneurship without having to go through the tedious process of setting up their own company and systems.
Origins of our mission
After 25 years of devotion to financial inclusion via other organizations, Anne Marie van Swinderen, founder of L-IFT BV, recognized two gaps in the sector:
- there still is insufficient knowledge about the real demand for financial services and insufficient understanding of the complexity and the real challenges low-income people face in their financial management.
- The training of financial inclusion service delivering staff largely takes place once the staff is hired and there are no appropriate courses preparing young people for the fascinating career of microfinance. Most microfinance institutions end up hiring economics or banking & finance graduates who often have other ambitions than the intensive field-work talking to low-income clients.
In her view financial diaries research can close the first gap. By investigating people’s detailed financial behavior patterns over a long period of time, intricate information about people’s financial reality becomes available through which the demand for financial services can be better understood.
After conducting three financial diaries studies, it became clear that conducting financial diaries field-work is possibly the best preparation for a career as a loan officer. This realization brought about the plan for decades-long financial diaries research that could be self-financing.
To achieve this Anne Marie started a dedicated company with the involvement of a number of experienced financial inclusion, entrepreneurship and training and development experts.