Today’s Revolutionary:  Enrique Peñalosa

“A developed country is not a place where the poor move around in cars - rather it’s where even the rich use public transportation”

Enrique Peñalosa
Former mayor of Bogata Colombia

 

 

Catch up on over 200 previous “Today’s Revolutionaries” here.

 


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Savings Groups are catching on in Europe and North America.

Follow this movement, and maybe get involved yourself.

Start by reading the Northern Lights page of Savings Revolution.

Then, if you like, contact us below, and we can talk about how you can form your own groups. We’ll put you in touch with someone who can help you do that!

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    Favorite Sites

    Here are some other sites that Kim and Paul read, that we think you might enjoy.


    In Their Own Hands - Discussion, photos, and blog postings inspired by the new book by Jeff Ashe and Kyla Jagger Neilan. Jeff Ashe has done more different things well in bringing financial services for the poor than anyone I can think of, and this rich experience is reflected in the book. Totally recommended.

    The SEEP Savings Led Working Group site. Congratulations to SEEP for putting together this comprehensive, easily accessible go-to site on savings groups. Check out their library, their report on outreach by country, and lots of other goodies.

    Making the Road - a blog by Bill Maddocks. “Through honesty, courage and persistent inquiry we learn the way forward as development practitioners and human beings.” Bill brings rich experience not just with development work, but with life, to these discussions. 

    Village Finance Blog. Brett Hudson Matthew’s thoughtful posts are grounded in an understanding of oral cultures, history, and social dynamics. Recommended for anyone trying to understand what’s really happening in savings groups. 

    Institute for Money, Technology and Financial Inclusion at UC Irvine. “Its mission is to support research on money and technology among the world’s poorest people. We seek to create a community of practice and inquiry into the everyday uses and meanings of money, as well as … technological infrastructures”. ‘Nuff said.

    David Roodman’s Microfinance Open Book Blog. David Roodman combines intelligence, honesty, and a sense of humor. He attempts to bring intellectual rigor to the analysis of the impact of financial services, and isn’t afraid to ruffle a few feathers in the process.

    Clean Air, Bright Light. This site by Savings Revolution co-founder Paul Rippey contains useful information about lessons learned in using savings groups to promote clean lighting. Still in development but check it out anyway!

    The Evidence Project. Chris Dunford was CEO of Freedom From Hunger for many years and probably more than anyone helped FFH earn a reputation of being willing to look closely at what they were doing, and whether they really were meeting people’s needs. Chris continues that role now as a blogger…

    Center for Financial Inclusion. CFI supports traditional microfinance to become more client friendly, more inclusive, and generally smarter. They have a long-term vision for the sector, and the blog attracts many good writers and thoughtful comments.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Financial Promise for the Poor 

    Financial Promise for the Poor: How Groups Bulld Microsavings is your go-to book on savings groups. Its contributors are authors you often read in this blog. It covers current innovations in microsavings happening around the world.

    Also, don’t miss…

    Savings Groups at the Frontier, the book inspired by the 2011 Savings Group Summit!

    Buy in UK or US.

    Search Savings Revolution

     
     
     
     

    Over the last twenty years, many people have become interested in helping poor people around the world get good financial services. Mohammed Yunus and the institution he founded, the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, won a Noble Prize in 2006 for helping start a movement that has brought financial services to millions around the world. 

    Banks and microfinance institutions are one way to bring financial series to the poor. Savings Groups, managed by the members and based on savings rather than debt, are another solution. In fact, we think they’re such a good solution that they really are revolutionary.

    Savings Groups are self-selected groups of 15 to 30 women and men who get together to save and borrow. Rather than go into debt to an external institution, they manage their own savings through transparent procedures and all the money they earn through interest on loans stays in their village, and in their group.

    This seven-minute video is a great short introduction to savings groups:

    A number of international non-profit organizations work with local partners to train people in villages and cities in how to manage their own savings groups. There are now over five million savings group members in Africa alone, and the movement is also growing in Asia and Latin America. (There are even a few groups in Europe and North America).

    Savings Revolution is designed to help you learn more about Savings Groups, and to get involved with the most exciting new approach to bringing safe financial services to people around the world.

    Monday
    Nov282011

    « Savings Group Training Videos »

    A room of skeptical faces were staring back at me. My impassioned description of the success of the savings group program elsewhere seemed to be falling on deaf ears. The participants were simply not buying this idea of introducing savings groups in areas where we were already working. How were three locks and a box and this simple methodology going to make a difference? Realizing we were getting nowhere sitting around talking about the groups, we stopped what we were doing, cleared the schedule for the day and headed for an impromptu meeting with members of one of the pilot groups that we (World Vision) had recently helped start. After about an hour of discussion with group members, something very interesting happened; all of the skeptics began to show a real interest in trying savings groups in their own communities. In fact, they were enthusiastic and eager to get started. An hour sitting with a savings group accomplished more than hours of trying to explain the methodology and its benefits in a workshop.

    Following this experience, I realized that, particularly in countries where savings groups do not yet exist, a “virtual” study visit would be quite helpful in both promoting the savings group methodology and supporting its implementation. Fortunately, I drive to work with our Videographer and the result of our subsequent collaboration is this training video package. It includes introductory and promotional videos, a series of short training videos to be used alongside the VSLA guide, and several case studies from the Philippines highlighting both the economic and social benefits of savings groups. We hope to add some case studies from other regions and provide French, Spanish and Portuguese versions over the course of the next year.

     An Introduction to Savings Groups

     Step 1 - Opening the Meeting
     Step 2 - Daily Savings
     Step 3 - Share Purchasing
     Step 4 - Loan Repayment
     Step 5 - Calculating New Loan Fund
     Step 6 - Loan Taking
     Step 7 - The Social Fund
     Step 8 - Totaling Balances
     Step 9 - Closing the Meeting

    I hope you will find these useful and would welcome your feedback.

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    Reader Comments (1)

    I'm loving all the videos. Thanks a lot. Step 8 is the most challenging I must say.

    Mon, November 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGerard Brightman

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