What does "Swayam Krishi Sangam" mean?
Swayam means Self, Krishi means Effort, and Sangam means a
collective or cooperative. This is in the regional language of
"Telugu" where SKS works.
What is the average loan size at SKS?
In the first year, members may secure a maximum of Rs. 10,000
($204) in income-generating loans. Loan eligibility increases
by an additional Rs. 3,000 ($61) each subsequent year,
provided neither the member nor the group has defaulted on any
loan. Continuous credit is available only to those SKS members
who demonstrate a perfect repayment and credit history as well
as credit discipline.
Does SKS lend money to individuals?
No. SKS is based on a group lending model. Members must form
groups of five to be officially recognized, qualifying them to
then apply for a loan. These groups collectively guarantee
each others loans. As a result no collateral is required.
What are the typical businesses operated by SKS members?
Typical businesses operated by SKS members are farming,
fishing, paddy husking, weaving and garment sewing, and
selling milk from water buffaloes and cows.
Do you charge the borrower's interest on the loans?
Yes; SKS charges 15% interest. This interest rate is
necessary to cover the cost of delivery and to allow SKS to
become sustainable. Sustainability is a necessary precursor to
reaching greater numbers of clients. Providing financial
services to the doorsteps of the poorest of the poor people
can be quite expensive, especially in relation to the size of
the transactions involved. This is one of the most important
reasons why other banks don't make small loans. SKS clients
willingly pay the 15% interest rates because they understand
that the alternatives will not assure them long-term access to
What is the impact of SKS?
A recent study released by the World Bank ("Fighting
Poverty With Microcredit: Experience in Bangladesh,"
1998) found that profits from Grameen-modeled microfinance
businesses were increasing borrower's consumption by 18% per
year, and that the percentage of poverty was reduced by 70%
within a few years of joining.
SKS has helped the poor to increase income, build viable
businesses, and reduce their vulnerability to external shocks.
By providing access to financial services, SKS plays an
important role in the fight against the many aspects of
poverty. For instance, income generation from a business helps
not only the business activity expand, but also contributes to
family and community development, children's education,
Who funds SKS?
was initially supported by individuals and various
institutions such as The Ravi & Pratibha Reddy Foundation;
The Echoing Green Foundation; The i2 Foundation; The
Maharashtra Foundation; The Sarode Foundation; and the India
Development Service. Additional funding comes from private
donors. Currently SKS borrows from various banks and
other financial institutions at market rates.
How can I know more about
Some suggested readings:-
To The Poor by Muhammad Yunus with Alan Jolis (Public Affairs, 1999)
on the Rural Poor
by David S. Gibbons & Sukor Kasim (reprinted by Grameen
Grameen Bank: Replicating a Poverty Reduction Model in India,
Nepal and Vietnam
Edited by Helen Todd (IT. Publications, 1996)
Rural Women: The Impact of Grameen Bank In Bangladesh
by Rahnuma Shehabuddin (Grameen Bank, 1991)
Us Credit: How Muhammed Yunus's Micro-Lending Revolution is
Empowering Women from Bangladesh to Chicago by Alex Counts (Times Books/Random House, 1996)
Edited by David S. Gibbons (Grameen Bank, 1995)
Quest of Empowerment
by Ainon Nahor Mizan (University Press Ltd., 1994)
to Empower: The Grameen Bank's Experience of Poverty
by Susan Holcombe (UPL Press & Zed Books, 1995)
As Process: Process As Growth, What We Can Learn from Grameen
by Andreas Fuglesang & Dale Chandler (Grameen Bank, 1995)
Price of a Dream: The Story of the Grameen Bank and the Idea
that is Helping the Poor to Change Their Lives by David Bornstein (Simon & Schuster, 1996)
from the Field: Interviews with Microcredit Practitioners for
Edited by Alex Counts (CASHPOR, 1997)
at the Center: Grameen Borrowers After One Decade
by Helen Todd (Westview Press, 1996)