Guide / Toolkit

The People Part: Common Sense Advice in Motivating Microfinance Clients and Staff

What is the best way to sustain a program in the long run?

The guide is intended to support staff who are starting or currently managing a microfinance program and looks at the means of providing the best environment to run a successful program. States that concentrating on client needs and staff capabilities is the best way to sustain a program in the long run. The goal in microfinance training is to consistently provide support, inspire new ideas and motivate staff to serve clients as well as possible. Sees two essential ingredients in a successful microfinance program:

  • Market for the product which has lots of potential clients;
  • Well-trained staff of sales people well-suited to delivering the product.

Finds that well designed microfinance programmes can act as catalysts in assisting micro-entrepreneurs and that spending lots of time with clients will help establish roots in communities while clients and staff should form close partnerships, based on trust and respect, to sustain an institution in the long-term. Clients have to demonstrate that they are committed and capable to repay a few loans, before they are lent more sizeable amounts. Concludes that successful microfinance programs are:

  • Client responsive - knowing clients, understanding their businesses and meeting their needs;
  • Mutually accountable - creating partnerships where both clients and credit staff have a stake;
  • Financially sustainable - making good loans while covering costs of operations;
  • Operationally efficient - providing efficient client service using stream-lined policies and procedures.

About this Publication

By Gibson, S.