Chandra Shekhar “C.S.” Ghosh, founder and CEO of Bandhan, one of India’s largest microfinance providers (more than 3 million clients), runs a graduation program similar to Fonkoze’s CLM program for people who are too poor to benefit from traditional microfinance loans.
Bandhan’s program provides a weekly stipend as well as training and assistance in starting a livelihood project (livestock, agriculture, trading or petty manufacturing). Participants graduate when they can meet 12 criteria, including having two or more sources of income; eating at least two meals a day; and having at least two fruit or vegetable trees, secure housing, a savings account, children in school, and access to healthcare. After graduation, participants have access to the full range of products that Bandhan provides all its clients, including group and individual loans; social loans for health, sanitation, and education; and access to health education and services.
Bandhan’s pilot graduation program had 300 participants, 98% of whom graduated after 24 months. Bandhan has now expanded the program to include 10,000 people and hopes to expand to 50,000 within three years.
“My objective is to alleviate poverty,” says Ghosh. “If I invest in the mothers and provide them with opportunities, they will invest in their children, giving them better food and education. Those children will graduate and be able to get better jobs, and, automatically, poverty will come down.”
Visit Bandhan’s website to learn more: http://bandhanmf.com/.
Photo Credit: Microcredit Summit Campaign
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Table of Contents
- Executive Summary
- Reaching Fewer
- The Promise of Mobile Technology
- The Psychology of Scarcity
- Developing Appropriate Products
- Conclusion and Recommendations
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