Home Economy Microfinance firm to empower Kerala women

Microfinance firm to empower Kerala women


Kochi (Kerala) : Hyderabad-based SKS Microfinance Pvt Ltd Tuesday launched operations in Kerala. The firm intends to provide loans and other financial services to poverty-stricken women.

A registered non-banking financial company, SKS Microfinance intends to empower poor women to become economically self-reliant by giving them access to income-generating loans and other financial services.

Modelled on the Grameen Bank of Bangladesh, SKS provides initial loans of up to Rs.12,000 to members without collateral.

The repayments are collected over 50 weeks in weekly instalments. A further mid-term loan of up to Rs.4,000 is available to members after 25 weeks.

Kerala is the 15th state for SKS’ operations in the country.

Announcing the launch, the firm’s chief operating officer, M.R. Rao, said Kerala has been on their map for some time.

“The state has roughly 2 million poor households with a credit need for Rs.42 billion. We hope to tap this potential in the market,” Rao told reporters here.

To begin with, SKS has launched operations in Palluruthy in Ernakulam district and Thriprayar in Thrissur district.

It will soon offer their services in Palakkad, Alapuzha, Kollam, Malappuram and Kottayam districts.

“We have had very good response from our first two branches. We have enrolled over 800 members already. We hope to reach out to 7,000 poor households this fiscal (2007-08),” said K.V. Rao, vice president of the company.