microfinance

Time for a ‘Global Microsavings Movement’?

From the New York Times’ Nicholas Kristof, on microfinance savings programs:

“So it’s time for a global microsavings movement. Poor countries should ease the regulations (such as requirements for banking licenses) that make it hard for nonprofits to operate microsavings programs.

“Hugh Aprile, a Catholic Relief Services official here, noted that savings schemes are very cheap to start because no capital is used to provide loans. ‘It’s people using their own money,’ he said, ‘to build far more than they ever thought they could.'”

Kristof met recently with CRS regional information officer Robyn Fieser and talked about savings programs. Here’ the full story..

If you consider microfinance synonymous with “micro loans”–small amounts of money lent to help start businesses (for example)–you need to check out microfinance savings programs.

Two recent stories explain how micro savings programs work and the tremendous benefits they bring to families who are otherwise left out of most banking systems.

Debbie DeVoe recently wrote about a CRS savings program helping farmers in Tanzania break the cycle of poverty.

Lane Hartill’s savings story shows that savings programs offer more than fiancial benefits.

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