Today 2.8 billion people live on less than USD 2 a day. Most of this population survives thanks to small grassroots level enterprises such as small trades and shops, farming, etc. One of the reasons for the exclusion of these groups is their lack of accessibility to financial services. Because of their lack of collateral, mainstream banks refuse to grant them the loans which would allow them to develop their small businesses and improve their livelihood.
Microfinance institutions, cooperatives and credit and savings mutual institutions have been created to develop the financial products most apt to the needs of these groups, and help them climb out of poverty thanks to their work.
Supporting the development, strengthening and independence of these organizations is an effective way to fight poverty, because it affords these underprivileged groups access to the resources they need to start or maintain their micro and small businesses.
FIG has an excellent record of aiding these organizations by helping them access credit, strengthening them institutionally and hence helping them become financially independent. The surety provided by FIG improves their ability to get local bank loans, and enables them to establish solid business relations with the banks, while avoiding the foreign exchange risk inherent to direct foreign loans.
Besides offering guarantees, FIG assists these organizations in other ways:
- it supports institutional strengthening
- it helps negotiate better terms with local banks
- it opens the door to regional and international networks
Since its foundation in 1996, FIG helped 48 organizations get loans from local banks.
FIG’s record of only 2 % of losses confirms the worthiness of its mechanism of guarantee. In addition to becoming creditworthy, FIG’s partners work to strengthen economically the most vulnerable layers of the population.