hiveonline is working with CARE in Niger to bring access to financial services to unbanked communities. CARE created the Village Savings and Loans Association (VSLA), started in Niger in 1991, which now has 600,000 members in Niger and 10 million worldwide.
VSLA groups of 10-20 members, mostly women, contribute a small amount to a savings pot every week. That fund is then used to lend to members and support a social fund for emergencies. The amounts saved are small, so not large enough to boost the women’s business ambitions. Microfinance Institutions struggle to lend to these women because of logistical and KYC challenges. The women manufacture goods such as cosmetics and foods to sell on local markets, and would like wider market access.