Journal of Microfinance / ESR Review


Providing microfinance to the poorest of the poor in rural areas remains a challenge. Grameen demonstrated that the poor are viable clients for loans and reached them on a massive scale. However, they reach only the upper level of the poor and provide narrow and limited financial services with rigid systems and procedures, which in many ways do not address the needs of the poorest. Despite earning signs of success with their SafeSave innovative approach to serving the poorest in the urban area, this rural adaptation and experiment has faced challenges because of the different social and economical structures of the rural economy and the different pattern of poverty dynamics in the rural area. Some of the recent experiments following SafeSave in the rural areas of northern Bangladesh show that understanding rural poverty, financial products, and mechanisms; identifying the poorest and their needs; and most importantly, educating clients and motivating providers and promoters are the key.


Mohammed Emrul Hasan is a manager and advocate in development with a specialization in financial services for the poor, currently working as microfinance specialist with Plan International-Bangladesh.



Journal Title

Journal of Microfinance

Issue and Volume