BCIT helps people break out of poverty with microfinance

BCIT helps people break out of poverty with microfinance

Try to imagine your life without finance, without a savings account to safely store your money, without student loans to pay for education, and without insurance for when things go horribly wrong. Yet for many people around the world, this is the unfortunate reality, and it is keeping them trapped in poverty. Is there any way to change this? Yes, it’s called microfinance.

Seva Mandir is the largest non-governmental organization in Udaipur, India, and they have added a twist to microfinance. Instead of becoming a bank, Seva Mandir instead organizes people in each village into self help groups, which are essentially like credit unions. They are trained in financial literacy and are given a safe place to save their money.

This pooled money is then lent within the group at low interest rates, allowing members to fund things like tuition for their children, investments for their farms (such as seeds or equipment), small entrepreneurial businesses and shops, and medical emergencies.

This semester, the BCIT Finance Club will be fundraising for Seva Mandir. Students can help the club fund the creation of more SHGs, as well as other entrepreneurial ventures. Please see bcitfinance.com/micro for details.[hr]

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