Financial inclusion is an important tool to empower the poorest sections of society with access to affordable credit. This in turn gives them better access to basic education, health services and provides improved opportunities to start independent business ventures so as to achieve financial self-reliance.
“Financial inclusion is a key enabler to reducing poverty and boosting prosperity. WBG President Kim has called for Universal Financial Access (UFA) by 2020.” – The World Bank
- AVAG’s financial inclusion programme began in 1995 and has become a strong pillar of our development activities.
- Within the AVAG network, SHG members can take loans from several places. One of the most important sources of credit comes from internal lending, which is raised from monthly savings of members.
- For all external loan linkages the approval of the executive committee of the federation is mandatory. SHGs are helped to get loans from the banks, revolving funds of the federation and AVAG.
- Every external loan is sanctioned to the SHG as a whole and never to an individual member. This not only increases accountability and ensures timely repayment but also fosters strong bonds within the groups by maintaining transparency.
- The Men’s and Women’s Federations play a major part in the decision-making process for loan approval. Group members are encouraged to give priority to those in need rather than dividing the borrowed amount into equal shares.
- AVAG continues to offer financial training to members, focusing on capacity building.
In addition to providing financial support and training, financial inclusion program provides a forum for members to build their social conscience and define their own principles of ethical lending.