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Presented by Professor Susanna Khavul

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Large segments of the world’s population have no access to formal financial services and are considered financially excluded or unbanked. The vast majority live in developing countries, yet in the U.S., fifty million adults and their fifteen million children are underbanked and vulnerable. The recent widespread introduction of mobile money has made low-cost transfers, payments, and financial services available to a much wider segment of the population than the banking sector could reach in the past. Although widely adopted, the fundamental questions of whether mobile money fosters financial inclusion or is an effective tool for poverty alleviation remain unanswered. Khavul will build on an interdisciplinary research program and offer insights into the digitization of financial services. Such reflections prove timely given the increasing number of Silicon Valley firms that are creating more diverse and complex FinTech solutions, at least some of which seek to close the gap in financial inclusion.

Professor Khavul is a faculty member in the School of Management for the Lucas College of Graduate School and Business and Executive Director of GLAC: Silicon Valley Innovation Leadership Center.  She is also a Visiting Professor at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Her research focuses on strategy, entrepreneurship, and innovation and asks cross-cutting questions about how innovative high technology firms compete in a global economy. This is part of a stream of ongoing research on entrepreneurial finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer alternative financial instruments as well as FinTech innovations, financial inclusion, and mobile financial solutions in emerging and developed economies.

Hosted by Provost Vincent J. Del Casino, Jr., this series provides a unique opportunity for showcasing the important research and scholarly activities of SJSU faculty members.

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