BRAC's microfinance programme in Sierra Leone provides loans to women who are not served by other microfinance institutions, giving them the opportunity to start their own businesses in their local communities. Borrowers of microloan are not required to provide collateral, and reimburse their loans on a weekly basis against competitive interest rates. Through this initiative we help the government of Sierra Leone achieve its goal of developing a feasible and fully functioning microfinance sector. BRAC offers microloans along with other services, and provides small enterprise programme loans to entrepreneurs who are seeking to expand their business. The loans comprise of:
BRAC delivers microloans through village organisations (VOs)- an organised group of women who come together to improve their socio-economic position. The VOs meet weekly to make their loan repayments and to discuss credit decisions with BRAC's credit officers. BRAC provides financial literacy training and technical assistance to these members, enabling them to increase income from existing activities as well as start new income generating activities.
Small enterprise programme
BRAC offers small enterprise loans to entrepreneurs who seek to expand their business. The loans enable these business owners to create new employment opportunities and provide new services. Without BRAC's microloans, these entrepreneurs would otherwise have limited access to mainstream financial services, which are too big to qualify for microloans and demand larger collateral.
The small enterprise loan is offered to individuals rather than groups. It is available for all entrepreneurs, with repayments made on a monthly basis. Some members of the microloan programme become eligible for small enterprise loan as their businesses expand, requiring bigger investment.