Mobilizing Savings for CAURIE-MF Clients in Senegal
This paper provides an overview of Catholic Relief Services' (CRS) Caisse Autonome pour le Renforcement des Initiatives Economiques par la Microfinance (CAURIE-MF) project in Senegal. CAURIE-MF links credit with savings for poor women microentrepreneurs. In June 2006, CAURIE-MF designed and launched a pilot savings product, named Passbook Savings, in a limited number of village banks. A year later the savings product had been rolled out to nearly every village bank throughout the network. With the launch of this product, CAURIE-MF was able to open 66 new village banks and diversify its loan portfolio. It opened seven new service points throughout Senegal. Its loan portfolio increased from $1.5 million $3.5 million, and its operational self-sufficiency increased from 73% to 111%. During this process, CAURIE-MF managed key issues related to competition and growth. The Passbook Savings product fuelled an incredible period of growth for CAURIE-MF. Lessons learned include:
- Adopt a participatory approach in the development of operating processes;
- Invest in staff training and development;
- Maintain close ties with clientele;
- Assess management information systems continuously.