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Principal® works each day to help people feel more financially secure.

That sense of security is unique to an individual and can ebb and flow throughout life—and is contingent on equitable access to useful and affordable financial products and services that meet their needs. In 2022, we also focused on financial inclusion, a foundational element of financial security and global economic progress.

Launching the Global Financial Inclusion Index

In partnership with the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr), we launched the Global Financial Inclusion Index—analyzing the degree to which governments, financial systems, and employers support financial inclusion in 42 international markets. Few markets scored high across all three pillars, suggesting a significant opportunity to provide deeper insights to identify and address structural gaps worldwide. We’re well-positioned to enable such progress.

Through our joint venture partnerships with some of the largest regional financial institutions in Brazil, China, and Southeast Asia, we can help deliver population-specific solutions and support worldwide.

Supporting diverse small businesses

In the United States, the Index revealed employer support as a critical driver of financial inclusion, but with one stark barrier: The smaller the business, the less support available to employees. We’re already addressing this challenge by providing small and midsize businesses (SMBs) with accessible products, tools, and education.

We also know that women and people of color are largely underserved by the financial industry. A study on The Gender Gap in Financial Health, conducted by the Financial Health Network and funded by Principal® Foundation, underscored in the U.S. what the Global Financial Inclusion Index revealed worldwide: worse outcomes for women on every measure, including spending, savings, borrowing, and planning. For women of color, that gap more than doubles.

This disparity extends to women-owned businesses seeking capital to start or grow their enterprises.(View start or grow their enterprises) That’s why in 2020 we committed to doubling the number of SMBs owned by women and people of color we support through product access, capital access programs, economic development, and financial education by 2025. We made meaningful progress toward that goal in 2022.

A few highlights:

  • Principal provides capital to fuel growth for women-owned businesses as a First Women’s Bank Mission Partner.
  • Principal® Foundation supports 1863 Ventures’ 3Rs (Recovery, Rebuild, Resilience) business development program, which provides business coaching and access to capital to women entrepreneurs and people of color.
  • In Singapore, Aidha, a Principal Foundation grantee, provides financial education and skill-building to migrant domestic workers and lower-income women.

It’s a market full of untapped opportunity that can boost the global economy(View boost the global economy)—one we’ll continue to nurture as we work toward greater financial inclusion across the globe.

Learn more about our environmental, social, and governance commitments at

Principal® Global Financial Inclusion Index is a proprietary model output based upon certain assumptions that may change, are not guaranteed and should not be relied upon as a significant basis for an investment decision.

Principal Financial Group Foundation, Inc. ("Principal® Foundation") is a duly recognized 501(c)(3) entity focused on providing philanthropic support to programs that build financial security in the communities where Principal Financial Group, Inc. ("Principal") operates. While Principal Foundation receives funding from Principal, Principal Foundation is a distinct, independent, charitable entity. Principal Foundation does not practice any form of investment advisory services and is not authorized to do so. © 2023 Principal Foundation.

Insurance products issued by Principal National Life Insurance Co (except in NY) and Principal Life Insurance Company®. Plan administrative services offered by Principal Life. Principal Funds, Inc. is distributed by Principal Funds Distributor, Inc. Securities offered through Principal Securities, Inc., member SIPC and/or independent broker/dealers. Referenced companies are members of the Principal Financial Group®, Des Moines, IA 50392. ©2023 Principal Financial Services, Inc.



  1. “21st Century Barriers to Women’s Entrepreneurship,” Majority Report of the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship

  2. Boston Consulting Group, “Want to Boost the Global Economy by $5 Trillion? Support Women as Entrepreneurs.”


This report contains forward-looking statements. Actual results may differ materially from the results anticipated in these forward-looking statements. For a complete explanation, and a list of the risks, uncertainties, and factors that could cause or contribute to such material differences, see our forward-looking and cautionary statements.