In September 2018, Peking University hosted a forum on financial inclusion and social work’s role in advancing it. The forum’s discussants included Li Zou, CSD’s international director, and Muhammad Yunus, Nobel peace prize laureate, economist, microfinance innovator, and founder of Grammeen Bank. Yunus observed that poverty is largely the result of a set of structural factors.
This article, written by CSD experts Jin Huang, Margaret Sherraden, and Zou, builds upon Yunus’s insight, emphasizing financial inclusion and financial capability as policy priorities. It uses work by Michael Sherraden, the authors, and other CSD experts to illustrate social work’s possible contributions. It also articulates the rationale for identifying financial capability and asset building as one of the 12 Grand Challenges for Social Work, and it ties the challenge to social work practice. The article is deeply informed by contributions made through CSD’s Financial Capability and Asset Building initiative, which has advanced work on financial capability and inclusion by establishing a theoretical foundation and key components of an educational curriculum.