|What does a Co-operative approach to inclusive finance look like?
In an inclusive financial system all households have somewhere to save, borrow, transfer and insure. Financial co-operatives are part of an inclusive financial system. In urban centers they compete with banks and microfinance institutions. In many rural areas they are the only formal provider of financial services.
Co-ops are different from other financial institutions. What sets them apart is that they are owned and capitalized by their members. What this means is:
• decisions are made at the local level
• a culture of savings, not a culture of indebtedness (credit is important but perpetual debt is not a poverty solution)
• profits are ploughed back, either as dividends to members, building the co-op or funding community projects
Other areas of expertise