Since launching our microfinance activities in 1974, BRAC has grown to become one of the world’s largest providers of financial services for the poor.
Innovative, inclusive, and client-focused, BRAC has utilised 40 years of expertise to design, test, and adapt loan and savings products to meet the unique needs of people living in poverty. BRAC’s microfinance activities work through a unique ‘credit-plus’ approach, addressing the specific needs of people such as rural women, youth and adolescents, landless poor, marginal farmers, migrant workers, urban poor, and small entrepreneurs. BRAC recognise the heterogeneity among the poor and carefully target and develop customised financial services that best meet their varying needs.
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Microfinance Multiplied, a term coined by BRAC is the idea that the impact of microfinance can be amplified when paired with other development programmes. BRAC understands that poverty exists on a case by case basis and a shifting scale of severity. Reaching marginalised communities requires innovation within micro-financial services. Drawing upon BRACs expertise and making its interventions widely accessible in areas such as rural development, education and health enables BRAC to not only meet but go beyond the specific needs of different groups.
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Microfinance Products & Services
BRAC offers a number of tailored savings and loans products to women, landless farmers, adolescents, migrant workers, and micro entrepreneurs. BRAC complements these solutions with financial education and client protection services that enable BRAC’s borrowers to make informed financial decisions.
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Across the world, women are disproportionately excluded from financial systems and the resources needed to manage households, limiting their ability to be self-sufficient, or contribute to the family’s income and decision-making. Money in the hands of women is more likely to be invested in family needs, such as nutrition, and education. To meet this need, BRAC provides women with access to collateral-free credit and savings services. These services are delivered through Village Organizations (VOs), which are community lending and savings groups of 15-40 women who meet regularly with BRAC staff and offer a valuable opportunity to increase financial literacy, raise awareness about women’s rights, and learn about BRAC’s services.
bKash – the fastest growing mobile money provider in the world – is a joint venture between BRAC Bank and Money in Motion providing a complete mobile financial service solution to expand access to a broader range of financial services, with the ultimate goal of universal financial inclusion. With over 100,000 community-based agents, bKash has a subscription base of more than 17 million clients. Read more
Banking the poor
The financial lives of poor people are no different from those of rich. They require the means to feed their family every day and the ability to budget for big expenditures, such as weddings, children’s education and building a home. But if you’re poor, your income is small and unreliable. Read more about how to economically empower the poorest.
The road to inclusion
We actively support the drive to universal financial access by 2020, having enabled the financial inclusion of over 6 million people in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda and Myanmar. The Center for Financial Inclusion says that in three years, the number of unbanked have dropped from 2.5 million to 2 million. Read more
Every year, led by the Social Innovation Lab, BRAC canvases colleagues, clients and the public to get new ideas about how mobile money can work better – and then pilots them. Read this blog about last years seven winners to see what we are working on.