Microcredit has emerged as a powerful tool for alleviating poverty and raising living standards of poor women who lack access to traditional financial institutions which require sufficient collaterals to provide loans. Further, the poor find it difficult to generate sufficient income from such loans to cover high interest rates.
CORD has successfully initiated an interest-free loans scheme “Value Chain Association” to help Self Help Group (SHG) members to initiate /expand their livelihood projects. Over 600 women have formed these mutual self help organizations with the able guidance of CORD and receive small loans to establish their own livelihood projects. These loans are repaid in six months, in equal installments so that another group of women could get loans from this revolving fund.
A donation of Rs. 50,000 (US$ 335) received from a lady donor towards this fund was initially utilized to provide loans of Rs 10,000 (US $ 67) each to five needy women to start small projects of poultry, horticulture, agriculture, dairy and small retail business. Loans were repaid in six months and that money too was loaned to another set of women. Further women are empowered to develop their livelihood skills through various training programs and workshops organized by CORD. Wherever possible, CORD also helps them to market their produce by having trade stalls at popular festival sites.