SKS Microfinance crosses 1 lac member milestone in West Bengal
• Extends collateral free loans worth Rs 80 crore in West Bengal
• Operating in 14 districts through 43 branches in West Bengal
• Plans to increase member base to 2,31,000 in West Bengal
West Bengal - March 18, 2008
SKS Microfinance, one of the fastest-growing Microfinance institutions in the world, has crossed 1 lac member milestone in West Bengal. The company, which aims to economically empower the poor by giving them collateral free loans in a sustainable manner, for income generating activities, started its operations in the region in November 2006.
“In West Bengal, over 48 lakh households live below poverty line, requiring Rs 10,008 crore to alleviate poverty. SKS Microfinance has disbursed over Rs 1 crore to 1 lakh members since its inception in November 2006,” elaborates Mr K V Rao, VP, Member Servcies, SKS Microfinance.
In West Bengal, SKS operates in Nadia, Jalpaiguri, North 24 Parganas, Cooch Beehar, Darjeeling, Hoogly, South 24 Parganas, Bardhaman, Kolkata, Birbhum, Murshidabad. SKS plans to start its operations in Bankura and Howrah by March 2009
Borrowers use loans for starting micro-enterprises, ranging from trade, services, production and agriculture. In West Bengal the loans are primarily used for setting up trade. Returns on borrower enterprises average 100%, enabling them to earn income, build assets, and get out of poverty.
SKS uses a lending model that was developed by Nobel Prize winner, Muhummad Yunus of the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh. The system involves forming groups of women who serve as guarantors for each other, thus enabling SKS to provide loans without taking any collateral from borrowers.