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In Their Own Hands: How Savings Groups are Revolutionizing Development


A Simple, Powerful Idea

More than 2.5 billion people who live on less than $2 a day need a better way to save and borrow. Members save what they can in a communal pot and loan their growing fund to each other for their short-term needs. Jeffrey Ashe and Kyla Jagger Neilan illustrate how these savings groups form and function and how little “outside” support is actually required for their success. Savings groups are a “catalytic innovation” that bypasses subsidies, dependency, and high costs while effectively increasing food security, building assets, and empowering the community. Today, saving groups have 10 million members around the globe—with minimal support, membership could grow to 10 times this number. Check out the recent piece in the New York Times on savings groups and Jeffrey Ashe.

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