The CGAP Pro-Poor Innovation Challenge
List of Selections

Alternativa Solidaria Chiapas A.C. (AlSol Chiapas A.C.), Mexico. AlSol uses a Grameen Bank peer lending methodology in rural communities in Chiapas, one of the poorest regions in Mexico. The majority of AlSol's clients belong to indigenous communities that have been displaced by guerrilla and religion-related conflicts. AlSol is developing an insurance product to reduce client vulnerability.

The Local Enterprise Assistance Program (LEAP), Liberia. LEAP is a village bank program working with very poor and economically vulnerable people in a war ravaged country. It has 4,400 clients but is well on its way to achieving institutional and financial self-sufficiency. In a prevailing post-conflict, post-disaster situation with too many programs confusing relief and credit functions, LEAP sets a strong example of how it is possible to build sustainable programs based on sound microfinance principles.

Constanta Foundation (Constanta), Georgia. Constanta is an NGO that provides significantly small loans for Georgia and Eastern Europe in general. Constanta works with those internally displaced after the conflict in South Osetia and Abkhazia. Constanta plans to introduce a similar lending product for the poor in rural areas around Tbillisi, the capital.

Women Economic Empowerment Consort (WEEC), Kenya. WEEC provides group based credit, tailored to the changing lifestyle of Maasai women. In recent years the Maasai have been faced with severe droughts and shrinking natural resources, that have decimated their cattle herds, restricted their nomadic practices and forced them to adapt to a sedentary, less subsistence-based, lifestyle. WEEC provides Maasai women with credit in the form of cattle that WEEC purchases in bulk, passing on the discount to clients.

Youth Self Employment Program (YOSEFO), Tanzania. YOSEFO provides group lending and savings services to households, often with HIV/AIDS orphans. YOSEFO plans to introduce a new lending product which will help clients pay for high school fees for students. These fees have been preventing many children, especially girls, from getting secondary education.

Association Mennonite de Developpement Economique (AMDE), Haiti is a Community Bank program working with very poor people in rural, mountainous areas of Haiti. In an effort to provide a more equitable and sustainable basis to the development of community banks, AMDE wants to provide innovative literacy and business skills training to its members.

CASHPOR Financial & Technical Services Ltd. (CFTS), India is developing a new loan product for landless agricultural women workers in one of India's poorest districts in conjunction with training on very small-scale poultry rearing. These very small loans (average loan is $43) will allow destitute women, who are otherwise excluded, to eventually graduate into clients of more mainstream microfinance programs.

Padakhep Manabik Unnayan Kendra (Padakhep), Bangladesh has recently introduced a program to provide services to street children, a vulnerable population outside the scope of conventional microfinance. In addition to providing them with financial services, there is an effort to improve STD and AIDS awareness.

Uganda Microfinance Union (UMU), Uganda proposes to develop a non-cash transfer mechanism to facilitate rural-urban remittances. This will enable small traders vulnerable to the high incidence of armed robbery in the region to trade in different markets free from the dangers of carrying cash.

Women and Associations for Gain both Economic and Social (WAGES), Togo has set up a special program that offers very low loan sizes ($51) with no preliminary savings to returning refugees around Lome and very poor people in an environmentally vulnerable region of Togo.

GRET,Cambodia is an experimental project providing health insurance and primary health care facility to the rural poor of Cambodia. Product design is based on extensive market research and participatory demand analysis.

Swayam Krishi Sangam Microfinance Ltd, Hyderabad, India is a small MFI using the Grameen Bank peer lending methodology. The proposed project is to introduce smart cards to lower the high transaction cost of providing financial intermediation for very poor, low caste clients in remote areas.

Freedom from Hunger-Ghana is enhancing the capacity of existing financial intermediary institutions through linking credit with non-formal adult education to improve health and nutrition of clients and their families..

CBDIBA - ONG, Benin is providing savings and loan services and non-financial services such as literacy training and information on legal rights to clients in urban and rural areas. Since 1999, CBDIBA has launched new savings and loan products (average loan size: $17) targeted exclusively at very poor women who are single heads of households in remote rural areas.

Hari Srinivas -
Return to the Inspiring Ideas Page
Return to the Virtual Library on Microcredit