Sunday, 17 January 2016 00:00

Microfinance for women

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MF for women

Across the world, women are disproportionately excluded from financial systems and resources needed to manage households, limiting their ability to be self-sufficient, or contribute to the family’s income and decision-making. Furthermore, money in the hands of women is more likely to be invested in the needs of the family, such as nutrition, and education.
BRAC provides women with access to collateral-free credit and savings services. In Bangladesh we call this project dabi, which means ‘demand’ or ‘right’.

Dabi loans are invested in a range of uses according to the need of individual borrowers and their households. Many loans are used to support income-generating activities and micro-enterprises such as cattle-rearing or craft-making. Because BRAC believes that it takes more than just finance to set up a successful enterprise, we also provide clients with access to productive assets, such as resilient farm animals, as well as access to markets to ensure fair prices. Alternatively, many loans are invested in children’s education, land or housing. Loans typically range from USD 160 to 5,000, and are repaid in weekly or monthly instalments over the course of one year.

Dabi products are delivered via ‘village organisations’ (VOs) which are community lending and savings groups of 15-25 women. VOs meet regularly with a BRAC field officer, in a place that is convenient for clients, not far from their doorsteps. Besides making savings deposits and paying loan instalments to BRAC, the meetings offer a valuable opportunity to increase financial literacy, raise awareness about women’s rights, and learn about other BRAC services in health, education, and legal aid services that they can access.

The VO network was and remains an important enabler of BRAC’s success in delivering grassroots development interventions to millions of poor women and households across the country. Today there are nearly 300,000 VOs administered by over 2,000 branches spread across all districts of Bangladesh.

BRAC runs similar projects in Myanmar, Pakistan, Uganda, Tanzania, Sierra Leone and Liberia.



9.7 million


3.4 million

Total savings

USD 419 million

Total outstanding

USD 845 million    

Average loan amount


Read 8241 times Last modified on Thursday, 20 April 2017 04:23

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