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Economic Empowerment Through Self-Help Groups

In communities throughout South Asia, NCM helps organize self-help groups. Through this model, groups of 15 individuals, typically women, come together to save, access credit, and plan for the future. At each meeting, group members add their own savings—as little as five or 10 cents each week—into a collective fund. As the fund grows, group members can take a loan from the savings to start a small business. As those microenterprises begin to generate income, the women pay back loans at an interest rate of 10 percent, which in turn builds up the group’s fund. The members can then take out additional loans to expand their businesses.

Self-help groups differ from other forms of microfinance. Instead of focusing exclusively on micro-loans, self-help groups combine savings and loans with training and capacity building, and interest payments go back to the group, not an outside bank. Members work together, supporting one another in ways that create lasting change. As women develop small businesses, they are able to provide for their families. Not only can they put food on the table for their children, but they can also send their children to school—ensuring opportunities for a brighter future.

Self-help groups empower women to see themselves in light of Genesis 1:27, as people who are made in God’s image—people who are capable, creative, productive, and valuable.

Take a moment to read the specific stories of how self-help groups have reshaped the lives of real people in need at ncm.org/magazine

 

This story was republished from NCM Magazine. You can read more and discover how communities are ushering in “God’s Kingdom of Enough” at: ncm.org/magazine 

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