One key aspect of those who live in poverty is a lack of options. Personal finances are one area in which lack of options can have a huge impact on a family and community. Sometimes income and/or expenses are irregular, leaving folks vulnerable. The opportunity to borrow a small amount of money can be extremely helpful when school fees are due, a family faces unexpected medical expenses, or the time is right to expand a small business. However, the very poor do not have access to traditional banking services, and may be vulnerable to exploitation by people offering high interest loans.

-- Dawn Berkelaar,  EDN #115

Please note that the links listed below may lead to additional resources which have not yet been added to this collection.


  1. 2014-11-14 The following video describes how to start a savings group. It includes how to form a group, how to organize the group and then how to organizing a savings box. Scientific Animations Without Borders (SAWBO) is a Michigan State University based program. SAWBO transforms extension information on...
  2. 2014-11-14 This animation describes the process of electing a management committee. We discuss how decisions are made collectively and how a committee is elected as part of this process. It is the second animation out of six in the Microfinance Animation Series. Scientific Animations Without Borders (SAWBO)...
  3. 2014-11-14 This animation describes the concept of fines that can be applied when one misses a group meeting and in the same order, fines that can be applied when one misses a savings payment. It is the third animation out of six in the microfinance animation series. Scientific Animations Without Borders...
  4. 2014-11-14 In this animation, you will learn the steps necessary to start every meeting in a savings group and then the process of taking a loan. It is the fourth animation out of six in the microfinance animation series. Scientific Animations Without Borders (SAWBO) is a Michigan State University based...
  5. 2014-11-14 In this animation we will explain what needs to be done in a meeting where a loan has been requested. We discuss how to determine both the purpose and process of taking a loan. This is the fifth out of six microfinance animations in this animation series. Scientific Animations Without Borders...
  6. 2014-11-14 This animation explains how to hold a meeting. We discuss the core activities that need to occur at all meetings. This is the sixth out of six microfinance animations in this animation series. Scientific Animations Without Borders (SAWBO) is a Michigan State University based program. SAWBO...
  7. The Global Development Research Center is an independent nonprofit think tank that carries out initiatives in education, research and practice, in the spheres of environment, urban, community and information, and at scales that are effective.
  8. 1999-01-01
  9. 1997-11-01 Amazon.com Description This book considers various types of microfinance schemes and compares the effectiveness of different approaches in aiding poverty reduction. The provision of credit and other financial services has become increasingly seen as the answer to the problems facing poor people....
  10. 2012-04-20 One key aspect of those who live in poverty is a lack of options. Personal finances are one area in which lack of options can have a huge impact on a family and community. Sometimes income and/or expenses are irregular, leaving folks vulnerable. The opportunity to borrow a small amount of money...
  11. 2015-11-18 Village Savings and Lending Associations (VSLA), a form of micro-banking in rural communities, allows smallholder farmers to acquire the capital required to invest in their agricultural enterprises, while also serving as a gateway to learn about new innovations in agriculture. This presentation...
  12. 2013-02-20
  13. 2010-01-20 The microfinance revolution has allowed more than 150 million poor people around the world to receive small loans without collateral, build up assets, and buy insurance. The idea that providing access to reliable and affordable financial services can have powerful economic and social effects has...
  14. 2001-01-20 Some people tout microfinance as the most important tool now available for fighting poverty while still others doubt its contribution to the "truly" poor. This volume offers a reasoned, moderate voice on the virtues and problems of microfinance. Drawing on the success story of Bolivia, Rhyne...
  15. 2009-04-20 Nearly forty percent of humanity lives on an average of two dollars a day or less. If you've never had to survive on an income so small, it is hard to imagine. How would you put food on the table, afford a home, and educate your children? How would you handle emergencies and old age? Every day,...
  16. 2010-11-01 Amazon.com Description Microenterprise Development (MED) has been embraced with great enthusiasm by mission groups. Over 1200 Christian organisations are currently implementing MED in the two thirds world. But many of these efforts begin with little understanding of the basic fundamentals of...
  17. 1996-12-01 Inspired by the enormous success of the Grameen Bank in providing financial assistance to the poorest of the poor, four individuals - a central banker, an appropriate-technology NGO organizer, a professor of international relations and a top-level communist official - each sought to replicate and...
  18. 2001-01-01
  19. Cambodian animal agriculture faces many significant challenges and problems, mostly these are disease related; with this being the single biggest constraint on animal production in Cambodia. The relatively high price of processed animal feeds and continuing drought are also significant production...
  20. 2004-08-20 The absence of financial savings and credit access is widely cited as an obstacle to poverty reduction in the rangelands of east Africa. The well-known successes of microfinance initiatives in many parts of the world hold out the promise of scaleappropriate financial services for people...