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SKS is an initiative to empower the poorest of the poor to become self-reliant. Since 1998, SKS has been working in India, where over 400 million people live in poverty, more than any other country in the world. These poor people cope with their vulnerability by turning to money-lenders who charge exploitative rates of interest-often as high as 72% per year - that put the poor in a debt trap. SKS breaks this cycle, by giving the poor loans for emergencies and for income generating activities.

The poor cannot access loans from conventional banks because they have no collateral. SKS meets the needs of the poor by providing collateral-free credit at their doorstep.

SKS works through women's sangams ("collectives") because women are the most marginalized and because women tend to use resources more productively than men. That is, women tend to invest their income in the household and for their children.
The poor live on the brink of subsistence, and often have to sell their limited assets or get into bonded labor (a form of indentured servitude) to survive. Through the working capital provided by SKS, poor people generate income, build assets, and move toward self-reliance.


By providing loans to the poorest, we expect to help raise their incomes and thus also spur the village economy.
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