Grameen Model of Lending
Foundation for Women follows the Grameen model of lending in which a borrower can only receive loans by forming or being part of a borrowing group (also known as a solidarity group). Initially, only two group members receive a first loan, for which they are given a six-week period to begin repaying the principal and interest before the remaining members in the group become eligible for receiving loans. New loans for any member are only available once all previous loans have been repaid. Since FFW does not require any collateral from the borrowers, trust and peer pressure are key for ensuring that the loans are repaid in full.
Financial and Business Management Education
The Foundation for Women provides access to credit and financial literacy programs to women with the goal of empowering them out of poverty through microfinance. As a result, the women are able to create educational opportunities for their children and in so doing help break the cycle of poverty. FFW's educational programs also ensure that the women borrowers successfully grow sustainable businesses in their immediate community. The women learn about debt management, bank services, business development, savings, budgeting, and preventive health practices. The Foundation takes a holistic approach towards microfinance by using educational tools to help lift women and their families out of poverty.
Training and Economic Opportunities
Microfinance participants receive training and advice from community and business leaders who provide expertise such as business development, marketing, product design and sales opportunities. The Foundation for Women gives borrowers free access to local and international markets by promoting their products through outside retailers, farmers markets, swap meets, special events and online. These economic opportunities improve the lives of the microfinance recipients enabling them to become active and productive members of their communities.
Photo by Prashanth Rangachari