More Than Money

Poverty is about more than money, it’s about exclusion. That's why Trickle Up brings together women living in extreme poverty to form savings groups. Together, they learn financial literacy, invest money in each other's businesses, and support each other through difficult times.
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Poverty is about more than money, it’s about exclusion.

Udita: “We don’t believe in an individualistic approach, we believe in a group collective action. An SHG is a self-help group of women, between 12 to 15 members. They will have a thrift and credit facility, they will have their own bank account.”

Sagarika Gayen: “I am the chairperson of my group. Our group meets every Wednesday. We burn incense sticks. To keep the meetings timely, members must arrive before the incense burns out or pay a fine. We talk about everyone’s situation, who wants a loan from the group, and who needs to repay a loan.”

Arpita Mandal: “We discuss our children, how we can help them, and how we should invest our money.
98% of Trickle Up savings groups engage in collective action to improve their entire communities.

Lakshmi Mandal: “When we began the group, the people from Prasari, Trickle Up’s partner, told me to make a plan, and my plan was to raise chickens.”

Sagarika: “We provided a loan to another woman to start her incense business. She’s doing very well. I used my loan to start a fishery, which has made some profit.”

60% of participants take low-interest loans from their savings groups to grow their businesses and improve their homes.

Sukesh Mandal, Program Staff, Prasari: “The importance of the group is not only financial security. Any kind of problem the women encounter can be solved within the group.”

Lakshmi: “With my loan, I bought some bamboo to build a house. But it was destroyed in a fire. Many groups came together to help me with money and a place to stay. So I was able to rehabilitate my life.”

Lakshmi’s SHG motivated 299 participants in 19 other groups to contribute money to help rebuild her home, a 100% participation rate.

Arpita: “When I speak in my group, people listen. I have a strong voice now.”

Sukesh: “We can work on a larger scale than now, and help many more women.”

Sagarika: “My dream is for our group to develop into a true business cooperative. Using the earnings from our businesses, we will all lead a better life.”

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