Savings Groups

Savings groups have proven to be one of the most effective, low-cost mechanisms to provide basic financial services to the poor, particularly in rural areas, at very large scale. 

They are safe, sustainable and profitable. Repayments rates are the highest in the microfinance industry; more than 90% of groups survive more than five years; and the average annualised return on assets of savings groups is 33 percent.  Furthermore, the promotion of savings groups is scalable: there are estimated to be well over 250,000 savings groups in operation in Sub-Saharan Africa alone.

A savings group is a member-owned institution composed of a small number of people who save together and take small loans from those savings. Savings groups are promoted by numerous international and local NGOs, government agencies and microfinance institutions and differ in procedures and methodologies.

Nevertheless, a savings group is generally a more transparent, structured and democratic version of the informal financial services found in the villages and urban slums in many parts of the developing world.

Information Exchange

The SAVIX is a reporting system that provides transparent and standardised data on community-managed microfinance.

 The online reporting system collects and validates financial and operational data from over 214,000 savings groups in all regions of the developing world and the agencies that promote them.

 

Benchmarking and informed decision-making are critical to achieve high-quality programme results and the aim of the site is to facilitate analysis, develop norms and improve performance sector-wide.  

 

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