Microcredit funds with a substantial impact

Self-help organizations and microcredit successfully pave the way out of extreme poverty for more than 1,200 women in Bangladesh

This is aid that is sustainable: thanks to the establishment of self-help organizations, more than 1200 women from one of the poorest regions of Bangladesh could help themselves out of the deepest poverty into an autonomous life without fear for their existence. This was enabled by a NETZ e.V microcredit project, supported by the help alliance with 12,000 euros and accompaniment to its successful conclusion.

Dr. Phillip Billion, Lufthansa Cargo AG, established the cooperation between help alliance and NETZ. In addition to financial start-up aid through microcredit funds, the self-help organizations for women are the cornerstones of the project. These are advised by federations led by the project participants and which accompany them to financial and social independence. Until now, however, there had been a lack of know-how and capital in order to offer support to the self-help groups. It is at this point that the involvement of help alliance began.

Lily BegumĀ“s success story

The story of Lily Begum demonstrates what success the project has already achieved through the microcredit funds. Together with her family, she lives in the district of Kurigram, one of the poorest regions in the north-west of Bangladesh. Inadequate infrastructure, a low level of education and extremely few jobs outside agriculture mean that they, like many other families, live in deep poverty. Through the aid project Lily was able to participate in one of the many self-help organizations and received a small loan of 2000 Taka, which amounts to about 21.50 euros: for a European not exactly capital with which to open a small business. For Lily and her family, however, this sum meant investing in jute production and thus securing their existence. Lily was able to increase her income quickly, repay the loan, and save from the profit. Lily is already thinking one step further and hopes to be able to store more jute soon, in order to be able to further increase her profit. The participation in the group meetings and the targeted advice for Lily’s business played a central role in her success.

Comprehensive self-help

In concrete terms, the participants of the groups are sustainably promoted by coupling the necessary know-how and capital to build a secure existence for the whole family. For women this means that the risk of slipping back into absolute poverty is significantly reduced. The thematization of the rights of women and how they can assert them step by step is also a central element of the group meetings. The goal is, among other things, to effectively combat childhood marriage, corruption or dowry fraud. The help alliance micro-loans allow the participants of the groups access to important resources such as livestock and land and can help to build up their own small business.


Complete success: sustained continuation of the project

“The support from help alliance was essential to provide a sustainable economic base for the project participants and their self-help organizations,” says Dr. Trillion. The established credit funds guarantee further access to capital for the participants of the groups in the coming years, without further support from the project. Simultaneously, the credit funds will provide the income for the self-help organizations, which will continue to be a local player for the rights and interests of women.

“Lily’s story is a prime example of how micro loans can have a far-reaching, lasting impact on individual women and families. The good thing about the project is that the federations will now be able to independently look after the interests of their members like Lily in the future. help allianceĀ“s support has made a significant contribution to this,” Dr. Trillion explains.