The Microfinance Channel to Market

How has the Grameen Technology Center succeeded in helping microfinance reach rural areas?
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This presentation describes the activities of the Grameen Technology Center. The objectives which led to the creation of the Center were to:

  • Make micro-credit delivery more efficient;
  • Enhance income generating opportunities for the rural poor;
  • Provide poor communities with access to information for better health and education.

The presentation discusses the projects taken up by the Center:

  • The village computing project in India was launched 6 kiosks in Tamil Nadu in August 2003:
    • It provided a wide range of services like E-governance, on-line market, computer classes, copying, typing, desktop publishing, etc.
    • Its goals were to become profitable in 6 months and to develop a replicable, sustainable, business, technical and operational model for village computing.
    • The results of this program were very positive.
  • The village phone program was launched in Bangladesh in 1997:
    • It was conceived as a weapon against poverty.
    • Its goal was to bring phone services to rural areas so that villagers could access information quickly.
    • This program too was successful.

The Center decided to replicate the village phone experience in other countries. It chose Uganda as the first country for replication:

  • It created a new company in Uganda called the MTN village phone and also provided the equipment needed to operate these phones;
  • The program was launched in 1993 with the aid of major donors and was successful.

The presentation concludes by outlining the steps for successful replication of programs.

About this Publication

By Wood, T.