There is a vast potential market for retail financial services among low-income clients, and a growing number of commercial banks have successfully entered this market. These are the findings of recent research undertaken by CGAP, the global resource center for microfinance supported by a syndicate of 30 multilateral, bilateral, and private donors.
From the ‘agricultural credit era’ (1950s–1970s) through the ‘microenterprise era,’ institutional arrangements and product designs that characterized financial services to the poor were underpinned by a dominant image of the poor.
As existing and trusted institutions with large branch networks reaching rural areas, Arab postal networks have the potential to be powerful tools in the fight for greater financial inclusion in the Arab World.
This Occasional Paper reports on two separate studies of SHG programs. Part I looks primarily at the financial viability of SHG programs. Part II proposes a methodology for designing SHG programs to ensure their sustainability.