What is Social Microfinance?
Microfinance is the provision of financial services to low-income groups who traditionally lack access to credit facilities. At VEG we have strived to create a more socially orientated microfinance programme. Our social-microfinance initiative is tailored to provide comprehensive and integrated non-financial services as well as loans.
Given the gender-biased nature of market economies in traditional societies it is women who are most in need of the services available from social-microfinance. In addition, research shows that availability of finance to women better ensures that generated profits are ploughed back into the development of the household and family. By creating a means for women to build profitable businesses, microfinance not only supports women, but creates life-changing opportunities for their families, as well. We believe that only by offering women access to credit facilities, and thus access to the markets in the Volta region, can the women we strive to help truly become empowered in all aspects of their lives.
Alongside its micro-loans VEG provides small business training in areas including customer service, stock management and record keeping. As we take the socio-environmental context of our clients into consideration, we also give life skills training together with our business programmes. These training sessions cover subjects as diverse as personal hygiene, malaria prevention, teenage pregnancy and domestic violence. It is only through this holistic approach to economic improvement that the social standing of women in the Volta region can improve.
Who We Work With
VEG works almost exclusively with women in the rural villages of the Volta region. We reach out to those who cannot access easily services in the main urban centres and who otherwise would lack financial or training opportunities.
We believe that in order to truly help the women we serve we must build a strong relationship with both them and their communities. Part of building this relationship involves offering back to back loans of increasing amounts. This both reduces our risk as unreliable clients are weeded out for larger loan amounts, as well as allows the growth of the business to follow a natural progression, the sustainability of the client growing with each new loan.
In 2014 we aim to disburse around 300-400 microloans.