Access to finance is a fundamental right to all, as much as education, healthcare and sanitation. This is the basic premise on which microfinance is founded upon.
ACTED's microfinance projects
ACTED has been engaged in microfinance since 1997. For more than a decade, ACTED’s activity has been based on innovative initiatives, led in partnership with numerous growing actors from diverse professional and cultural backgrounds.
OXUS is progressively taking over ACTED’s interventions in the microfinance sector. Nevertheless, certain individuals in a situation of extreme vulnerability do not always fulfil OXUS’s selection criteria. For this reason, ACTED has maintained its microfinance activities for the most vulnerable community members.
In all cases, the focus is on the mobilization of local solidarities in the form of solidarity-based groups, agricultural unions, parent/teacher associations, as well as village banking organizations.
ACTED considers that supporting local economic initiatives is an indispensable condition for the sustainable development of regions severely affected by a crisis.
ACTED's commitment to microfinance
For the past 10 years, ACTED has been working in microfinance to provide fair means to the most vulnerable people so that they can launch and to support an economic activity in the countries and contexts where these are virtually inaccessible. Microfinance is an obvious and consistent extension of our humanitarian commitment and contributes, as well as our other activities, to the global reduction of poverty, one of the Millennium Development Goals defined by the United Nations in 2000.
To help populations and to effectively meet their needs, ACTED surrounded itself with and relies on specialized stakeholders – OXUS, the South Asian Microfinance Network (SAMN), the peer to peer lending website Babyloan, Octopus Microfinance Software and the Convergences platform. The success of microfinance as well as its capability to effectively reduce poverty will depend on the capacity of all actors to develop synergies by developing targeted and innovative solutions.
A network of microfinance institutions
OXUS has historically been ACTED’s microfinance tool. Since 2005, the organization has separated its microfinance operations from its development activities in a dedicated for-profit entity OXUS. OXUS has developed its services to reach out to more clients and cover more areas, through increased financial capacities and technical expertise. www.oxusnetwork.org
Octopus Microfinance Software
A Management Information System (MIS) for microfinance institutions
Octopus is an easy-to-use and affordable management information system enabling MFIs to manage their operations, including CRM, loan tracking, deposits, reporting. www.octopus-microfinance.com
SAMN – South Asian Microfinance Network
The regional microfinance association in South Asia
SAMN (South Asian Microfinance Network) is the regional microfinance in South Asia, gathering the national associations of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka. SAMN aims at promoting investments and regional integration in South Asia by encouraging links with banks, microfinance institutions, regulators, investors, etc. www.samn.eu
The first French peer to peer lending website
Babyloan, the first French peer to peer lending website, offers a new kind of support, based on loans rather than on donations. The Internet user can support a micro-entrepreneur by lending him/her a certain amount of money, find information, discuss and debate with other “Babylonians”. www.babyloan.org
Reinforcing synergies between sectors
Initiated by ACTED in 2008, Convergences is a permanent exchange platform designed, among others, to reinforce the synergies between microfinance experts and practitioners, stemming from the sectors of the social economy, finance, civil society and new technologies.
By establishing linkages and synergies between different microfinance sectors, ACTED wants to promote the development of a sustainable economic model which will enable populations to contribute themselves to their economic development and will thus reduce poverty. www.convergences.org