Until recently, microfinance in India (really microcredit) had been driven by innovators and entrepreneurs, but also enabled by government policies such as of priority sector lending and regulatory restrictions prohibiting deposit mobilization for most MFIs.
When Women’s World Banking (WWB) started our savings and financial education program for girls in 2008, we were excited about the potential to provide a sustainable, scalable way to encourage girls to build assets and become better money managers.
Toward the end of the 19th century, postal services began to contribute to the development of a savings culture in many of today’s industrialized countries. And they are playing a similar role in developing and emerging countries at the dawn of the 21st century.
From a policy perspective, if we could find a way to help individuals use savings rather than debt to make large expenditures, many would have more money for food, festivities, investment and mitigating risks in the long run.