Emerging Domestic Markets: How Financial Entrepreneurs Reach Underserved Communities in the United States

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The term “emerging market” refers to a country where incomes are currently low but that is likely to experience rapid growth and increasing economic competitiveness. Identifying emerging markets is important for international development, and for investors they represent intriguing opportunities to reap uncommon gains. Yet many of the characteristics of emerging markets—including demographic shifts, rising educational attainment, and growing urbanization—are also found closer to home, in communities that have been underserved by the existing financial-services system.

Gregory Fairchild introduces readers to the rising set of entrepreneurs whose efforts to reach marginalized groups are reshaping the emerging markets of the United States. He explores how minority-owned and community-development institutions are achieving innovations in consumer- and small-business-targeted financial services to further economic development and reduce inequality. Fairchild illustrates these transformative models through compelling narratives: the decision by a Chinese-ethnic credit union to open a branch in a new neighborhood, investment by a minority-led private equity firm in satellite radio for the developing world, and efforts by a community-development-loan fund to bring fresh foods into a food desert in Philadelphia. He analyzes the models of these organizations, measures their successes and failures, and provides suggestions for sustainable growth of similar organizations. Bringing together quantitative research, powerful stories of real-world entrepreneurs, and nuanced insights on public policy, Emerging Domestic Markets offers a vital set of prescriptions for inclusive financial development.

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Columbia University Press
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