Economic programs have roots in a set of economic activities are straightforwardly involved in Microfinance Program anyways. As a key tool of poverty alleviation, SSS started on the Microfinance Program designed for the underprivileged families in the company of the feature of collateral free financial services to utilize internal and external assets and opportunity, which tries to minimize the financial miseries and scale up the income and living stander in 1991.
The goal of the program is to include group-members in income generating activities, provide financial services, empower the women, and uproot poverty through increasing income and assets.
The Major Objectives of Microfinance Program of SSS
- Development Unit Building (Samiti)
- Skill and Capacity Creation
- Income and Employment Generation
- Socioeconomic Enrichment and Empowerment
To effective the goal-centric objectives, the program pursues the methodology: organizing and inspiring people for development, increasing consciousness to alleviate superstitions and antisocial events, analyzing assets and economic opportunities of the families, providing financial inclusive services, training and technical supports to run income generating activities, motivating toward savings for enhancing assets and capacities, creating self and wage-employment and ensuring women empowerment and building up families and society without poverty through sustainable earnings. The momentous impacts and success of the program are pointed up below:
Development Unit Building (Samiti)
Microfinance Program of SSS directly follows group-based approach to include people in the program and development activities. Every group (Samiti) is a unit of enrichment of the people, which facilitates development activities with potential initiatives of execution, mainly—the group mobilizes and organizes the people into male and female groups at the village, suburban and urban levels, develop leadership and managerial skills, make participation in economic and social activities, and promote group dynamism and amity.
The group-members are step by step enlightened about socioeconomic problems and opportunity, family assets analysis and utilization, capacity scrutiny, income generating activities, capital accumulation, credit proposal producing etcetera through the regular weekly meeting. After at least two weeks of inclusion, every member of the group can get credit in accordance with capacity and need. Credit is disbursed among them on agriculture (crop and vegetable, fishery, livestock and gardening), small and medium business, cottage and handicraft, direct services, transportation, house building, hotel and food business, overseas employment and so on are mentionable. As on 30 June 2022, total groups (samiti) under the microcredit program of the organization stood at 40,307.
Savings accumulates capital and assets can be a great help in the period of unexpected risk or disaster occurrence. To encourage the target-people to make a regular habit of depositing savings, SSS has been putting a variety of savings schemes into action illustrated below. As on 30 June 2022, the savings balance took the figure of Tk. 1,627.74 Crore, with the growth rate of 30.66 percent.
Credit Operation: Performance and Trend
To stay in income generating activities sustainably, capital availability is very vital. Supply of fund to the economic activities of the group-members regular-basis keeps them steady and lively in their venture, which, by degrees, augments the credit demand. SSS continuously disburses credits to the group-members in line with their need and capacity. Up to 30 June 2022, the cumulative disbursement of credit of the organization placed the figure of Tk. 33,314.94 crore. In 2021-22, the organization disbursed credit Tk. 6,194.44 crore to 7,36,843 borrowers remaining outstanding of Tk. 3,594.41 crore with regular recovery rate—99.37 percent.
The credit products of the organization are casted into the nature and types designed from the consideration of socioeconomic conditions and feasibility of the target-people. The products are: Jagoron, Agrosar, Buniad, Sufolon, Shahos, Sanitation, ENRICH, SEP (Pineapple) Credit, Special and Service Holder, Nabanna, and the others. Of which, Buniad (for ultra-poor), Jagoron (for moderate poor and lower class) and Agrosor (for middle class and micro-entrepreneurs) are principal credits. A member can receive a special credit along with a principal one in line with his/her capacity and need.
Skill and Employment Creation
SSS, along with financial services, imparts training and mechanism on toxin-free vegetable and fruit cultivation, cow, goat, hen and pigeon rearing, fish culture, horticulture (profit making fruits: dragon, date, pineapple, palm, lemon etc.), poultry and layer farming, beef fattening, milch-cow rearing, indigenous hen farming, forestry (gardening and nursery), business planning, management and marketing and so on to the target people to invigorate and build up skill, knowhow and capability; which puffs up self and wage employment generation and drives them toward the expected enrichment. These kind trainings are taken place, where in-house technical staff—agro-fishery-livestock and other experts, and external resources persons from government agriculture, fishery and livestock departments are presence as master trainers. As a prolific outcomes, the trained group-members of the organization run decent income generation activities and enterprises, which fosters self and wage-employments and sustainable livelihoods and contributes to the national economy. Till to the date (as on 30 June 2022), the organization rendered training to the some 1,56,500 group-members.
Innovation and Microenterprise Promotion
SSS constantly patronizes the new-ideas and creativities of the group-members in economic activities, especially: new product, methodology, market, input and raw material sources in their income generating activities to boost up micro enterprises, which is considered as basic economic unit in the developing countries akin to Bangladesh. The organization, since the beginning of the undertaking economic development program, has been nourishing innovative group-members through providing them with financial services, technical supports, training, market-linkage, and the like to promote micro enterprises, which gradually turn into small and medium enterprises, in where wage-employment opportunity is extended and the total process gives the birth of a vibrant contribution to the national economy. Up to the reporting margin, there are a total of 1,93,523 enterprises in existence financed by SSS, of these, 95 percent enterprises belong to woman proprietorship.
Institutional Capability and Sustainability
To add capacity and sustainability in both of demand and supply sides is the solemn attention of the organization decorated the staff members with efficiency, professionalism, potentiality and dedication to deliver the quality services to the target peoples by way of suitable nourishment, which ameliorates the competencies in favor of proficient and effectual implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the programs, and royal society. In 2021-22, a total of 2,298 staff members were imputed professional training under the off-the-job and in-the-job training programs of SSS.
Product-wise Analyses and Discussion:
Jagoron, one of the major credit products of SSS, is introduced for the poor and middle-class people implemented in all branches of the organization to carry out income generating activities and self-employment in 1991.
Under the product, in 2021-22 a total of Tk. 2,542.84 crore were disbursed with technical supports and imparting training on livelihoods, whereas recovery rate was 99.63 percent.
Agroshor (Micro Enterprise Credit)
Agroshor credit product, designed for the micro-entrepreneurs, has launched in SSS in 2002 owning the goal—to create wage-employments through micro enterprises development. As a most significant credit product of the organization, it is available everywhere in the working area. The eye-catching feature behind the initiation of the product is—because of collateral and personal guarantor requirement, the mainstream financial institutions do not provide loan to the micro-entrepreneurs coming from the poor families. Then again, banks and other conventional financial organizations possess the restriction–they cannot supply the small loan. SSS, as an innovative microfinance institution, always goes ahead to stand by the target people with essential and time-befitting financial inclusion.
Under the product, a couple of services, e.g., financial services, technical support, capacity building training, market-linkages and so on make the entrepreneurs benefit to enlarge their venture. Along with the other products, Agroshor Credit is activated in every small-group under the branches of the organization. The same breadth, there are some small-groups comprised of only micro-entrepreneur members.
The overall services and supports of the organization upgrade the micro-entrepreneurs, in particular, their business, empowerment, social status, employment creation etcetera to get enrichment and this process elevates self-sufficient and poverty-cut scenario, which naturally and indirectly contributes to and beats up our national economy. As on 30 June 2022, Agroshor credit product renders inclusive services to 1,93,523 entrepreneurs, among whom, 99 percent are women entrepreneurs.
The enterprises under the product, keep the seven lac families into earning systems predominately six lac female employees through wage-employments generation. In 2021-22, an amount of Tk. 2,383.32 crore disbursed under the component.
Sufolon (Seasonal Agro-credit)
Sufolon, one of the weight-bearing secondary credit products of SSS initiated in 2006, has been chalked out to support the target families involved in the agro-fisher-livestock activities as a subsidiary credit, which is putting into operation in working area by the services of 459 branch offices of the organization. Uniqueness of the product is a season-based credit, pay-back duration is three to six months and one-time realization system. Sufolon credit is invested on seasonal crops and vegetables cultivation, fish culture, beef fattening, livestock rearing , and the like, which gearing up the facilities—using supplement credit along with the principal one and one-time payment system uplifts the activities, income and progress of the group-members. In 2021-22, the organization disbursed Tk. 939.91 crore, whereas the cumulative disbursement stood at Tk. 3,949.49 crore under the credit product.
Buniad (Ultra-poor Credit)
Buniad, one of the principal credit products of SSS starting in 2001, is set down for the target families lived under the poverty line (ultra-poor families) cherish up the goal: to mobilize the facilities for them to access to the financial services, has been extending implementation over the working area under the 195 branch offices of the organization. This segment of the people do not have mentionable assets or income generating activities are mainly from the destitute families, but under the product the organization tries to bloom them up by means of the financial services, skill-training, capability-building and the others to run self-employment and gradually stir up toward the decent income generating livelihoods. In 2021-22, this product disbursed Tk. 11.70 crore.
Sahos (Disaster Management Credit)
Sahos, one of the significant subsidiary credit products of the organization launched in 2007, is facilitated for the target families stricken by natural catastrophes analogous to flood, heavy rainfall, drought, tornado, cyclones, and so forth to stand up their income generating activities by degrees, has been keeping application into whole working area of SSS reckoning on disasters happened. In 2021-22, no amount was disbursed, because there did not touch down any serious disaster and among the COVID-19 stricken families, the organization disbursed special credit as well.
Sanitation Credit (Tube-well and Latrine Loan)
To ensure the safe drinking water and sanitation for the target families, SSS has formulated a credit product: Sanitation Credit with a goal: health, hygiene and safety for all to attain sustainable development in1992. Under the product, the organization delivers the families with financial and technical supports to install the secured tube-well and sanitary latrine is activated in allover working area of the organization. Up to June 30, 2022 the cumulative disbursement on Sanitation Credit was Tk. 4.23 crore, the same linking, in 2021-22 some of 173 families got credit of Tk. 26 lac on tube-well and latrine installation.