Savings Groups (SGs) are community-based financial institutions where members mobilize and manage their own savings, pooling this money in a loan fund from which they can borrow in amounts as small as $5. This approach has proved to be low-cost, highly sustainable, and extremely profitable for the member-owners while achieving significant scale, especially in remote rural areas. It is estimated that SGs are now established in more than 75 countries worldwide, reaching more than 15 million members in over 750,000 groups. However, SGs are becoming increasingly overcapitalized and require linkages to formal financial institutions and virtual wallets. This is now being accelerated through digital platforms developed in partnership with financial technology companies, mobile network operators and payment aggregators. The advent of agency banking in most countries introduces another opportunity into the linkages journey. This calls for a more strategic engagement with relevant stakeholders in terms of product development, delivery channels, digitizing operations and disseminating relevant knowledge in savings groups, financial technology and bank linkages in order to better manage opportunities.
This 8-week, online course is designed to:
Expose participants to the methodological approaches and training tools employed by major implementing organizations in promoting savings groups
Guide financial inclusion practitioners through a focused roadmap of technology-enabled business models at the bottom of the financial pyramid
Introduce participants to the concept and framework of SG bank linkages, from both the demand side (Savings Groups) and supply-side (financial service providers) perspectives
Introduce participants to the concept of Digital Savings Groups
Explore the opportunities that Savings Groups present for accelerating uptake at the last mile for social enterprises and agro-input suppliers
Target audience: Medium to senior-level professionals in NGOs, financial institutions, government agencies, and donors promoting community-managed microfinance approaches.