Most economic development programs that aim to reach the poorest households have not been designed using a sustainable business approach. Instead, these programs have been developed as grants and charity-driven projects. While there is a role for grant-driven programs, organizations can also make sustainable business decisions to extend outreach to poorer populations in the medium to long term.
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For over 30 years, microfinance institutions (MFIs) have been successfully serving some of the poor and poorest people around the world, primarily with credit products. Generally however, MFIs grapple to successfully add savings services to their portfolio of financial products.
The capability of their staff is perhaps the single most important resource microfinance institutions (MFIs) have for meeting the challenges of reaching more people, while navigating financial, regulatory, political, competition and other issues.
Grameen Foundation’s holistic approach to microsavings provides the framework and tools to develop and offer convenient, accessible, and secure poverty-focused savings programs while building sound financial, organizational, and operational practices that help transform microfinance institutions (MFIs) from credit-led to demand-driven institutions.
People-related issues have consistently ranked among the top ten industry challenges in the Microfinance Banana Skins report. This review analyzes the concerns raised in the 2011 report, including governance, management, staffing and the overall institutional strength of microfinance institutions.
This is not volunteerism for the sake of volunteerism, but rather a new business model for solving some of the real problems impeding the scale, sustainability, and impact of microfinance and T4D initiatives. A greater and more strategic use of volunteers can help the field to realize, more rapidly, strategic and operational improvements.
In Measuring the Impact of Microfinance: Taking Another Look, Odell examines studies which have demonstrated that microfinance helps poor people better cope with financial shocks that often upend their lives. It also addresses the difficulties in isolating microfinance’s impact from the myriad forces at play in poor people’s lives.
Grameen Foundation’s Community Knowledge Worker Initiative is based on the belief that a distributed network of intermediaries, or Community Knowledge Workers (CKWs), can use mobile devices to collect and disseminate information to improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers.
Grameen Foundation's Growth Guarantees program was launched in 2005 to increase microfinance clients’ access to loans by guaranteeing local funding for the microfinance institutions (MFIs) that serve them.
June 22, 2013
Just over three years ago, I found myself in a developing country managing a project that would help about 350,000 poor people save money.