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From Loan Sharks to Lady Bosses: AVAG Empowers Women Financially

loan receiver

We collaborate with communities to bring about social change and promote mutual assistance. In the last three months, we have linked 182 women from 17 women’s groups with the nationalised bank to get loans worth around Rs.11.1 million. All the women in the groups save an amount monthly and take loans from their internal savings whenever there is a financial need. 

Further, in the three months, more than 100 groups have utilised around Rs.2.5 million to benefit  537 women. Why should we facilitate this lending process? Normally, the families borrow for their emergency needs at higher interest rates ranging from 30 to 120 percent per year and lose a sizable portion of their income in repaying only the interest. But when women get loans through our women’s groups, the interest is 12-18 percent. The women mentored successfully carry out an empowering exercise of managing their savings, helping each other in times of need, being transparent and accountable, and uplifting one another mutually.   

Here's the magic: Women in these groups save regularly, building a safety net and fostering a sense of community. When a financial need arises, they can access loans from their collective savings pool at a much lower interest rate (think 12-18%). This not only saves them a significant chunk of money (Rs. 2.5 million  million utilised by over 100 groups benefiting 537  women in the last three months!), but also teaches them valuable financial literacy skills, turning them into their financial bosses.