Improving financial inclusion: towards a critical financial education framework
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Empirical research suggests that financial inclusion initiatives - such as facilitating access to financial resources or providing microcredit - are alone not enough to lower socioeconomic disparities. In this article, we adopt a critical stance as a guide for our empirical investigation. Our aim is to propose a financial education framework, tailored to low-income micro-entrepreneurs, that embraces new information and communication technologies (ICTs) and seeks to improve financial inclusion and social emancipation. This empirical study was conducted in an Amazonian municipality in Brazil where recent access to ICTs has brought about important and varied socioeconomic changes. Results show that ICT-supported and tailored critical financial education can play a dual role: On the one hand, access to financial education might decrease the effects of generative mechanisms on global/local tensions, triggered by standardized ICT applications; on the other hand, such access might increase financial inclusion and social transformation through the integration of guiding principles into financial education programs. © RAE.