Dependent Individualists

22% of Nigeria | 24 million people

young, measured, effective

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Watch Amaka's

Short Documentary

AMAKA'S STORY

Meet Amaka

 

"I can’t get all the stability in life but I’d like some for my children to begin with and then slowly get more..."

Amaka is 24 years old and grew up in a village in Ebonyi state with seven younger siblings. Her family struggled to get by, rarely having enough food. As the eldest, she was responsible from a young age for providing for the household. She had a child very early in her life at the age of 12 and since then, has had four more. Desperate to change her situation, she saved money and one day, fled to the neighboring Anambra state. She does odd jobs and occasional farming to support her children, and uses her earnings to buy food reserves. Amaka aspires to be a "big" trader and use the money she earns to send her children to school one day. However, since leaving her home, she hasn’t been able to borrow, because she is seen as a stranger.

Since moving to Anambra, what strategies have Amaka employed to slowly accumulate wealth and grow her family’s future?

 
 

SEGMENT OVERVIEW

Dependent Individualists,

by the numbers

Like Amaka, Dependent Individualists are mostly young, lower to middle socioeconomic status (SES), relatively poorly educated, married women who are confident in their own abilities. Approximately 24 million (22% of the Nigerian population) fall in this segment.

GENDER (FEMALE)

71%

51%

AGE (18-34)

63%

62%

SOCIOECONOMIC (SES 1-3)

66%

60%

Dependent Individualists

Nigeria Average

HIGH INCOME VOLATILITY

69%

54%

Dependent Individualists are the least financially healthy segment in Nigeria, though surprisingly they report facing the fewest types of financial shocks in the recent past. They have low and volatile income, driving cautiousness around spending, but making it difficult for them to plan and meet expenses, save towards goals, and build an asset base. Moreover, with only a minority identifying as primary household decision maker, they may have limited control over financial planning.

Financial Behavior & Attitudes

SAVINGS BEHAVIOR & ATTITUDES

Though most Dependent Individualists believe 

they do not earn enough to save, nearly all save. Their savings frequency is quite low compared to the rest of Nigeria.

SAVINGS ACCOUNTS

Their challenging economic circumstances may demand flexible financial strategies that favor 

group savings through family over formal methods, such as mobile savings.

BORROWING BEHAVIOR & ATTITUDES

Just under half of Dependent Individualists borrow, making them the least frequent borrowers in Nigeria. Most are uncomfortable holding debt and do not consider themselves dependable, perhaps feeling unsure of their ability to repay.

BORROWING ACCOUNTS

Group borrowing and mobile borrowing are low, as most Dependent Individualists distrust social financial networks and banks. As such, their distance from formal financial institutions may limit their familiarity with formal credit providers.

Dependent Individualists

Nigeria Average

Explore our complete set of findings:

 

DESIGN OPPORTUNITIES

How might we create products and services

for Dependent Individualists that...

Support Financial Planning

Provide easy-to-use tools for business accounting and management to support their small businesses and farming

Offer Reassurance

& Control

Use digital messaging that reinforces their confidence and feeling of control, but takes into account their low self-esteem 

Promote Flexible Savings

Accommodate their strong need for liquidity by eliminating withdrawal fees, account minimums, or fixed holding periods

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 The Human Account is led, created and developed by Dalberg with Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

 

Local partners are Lagos Business School in Nigeria, Ashoka University in India, not-for-profit development finance company, Karandaaz in Pakistan, and research and advisory firm, Busara Center for Behavioral Economics in Kenya.