When we mention about micro financing a business, the organization coming into our minds would be a start up founded by one or more techies or a retail business chain or food carts. There is more to the spread of microfinance, and now, microfinance is more about making funds available to the unreachable like rural households, entrepreneurs without funds, traditional businesses running into debt etc.
The definition of the term has itself increased in depth, with its purpose more or less connected to the social and economic development of the weaker sections of the population. These sections are mostly away from the better-off population dwelling in the more civilized areas and often lack any links to a regular banking operation. Modern banking terms like savings, insurance, transfers, merchant accounts and the availability of expensive, high-quality consumer goods and resources may not be accessible to them.
With the introduction of micro financing opportunities, things are for a revolutionary change. There are many incidences where proper funding and group activities saved dooming villages and traditional businesses. Microfinance has not only led to better economic and social conditions of the underprivileged but has also led to a rise in employment opportunities and per capita income. Below are some of the areas where microfinance has been doing wonders for the lower strata of the society.
Household garment factories: The handlooms, weaving machines and hand-made threads were almost becoming items limited to displays in museums and archaeological exhibitions. Thanks to efforts through micro financing plans, families and traditional weavers have now found their endangered occupation and means of livelihood gaining entry into the mainstream market.
Handicrafts and wooden furniture: Every piece of handicraft or art takes several days and sometimes months of dedicated hard work and inherent skill, but was almost unrewarded in the modern society. These talented sections fought with daily requirements and the love for their traditional skill with the increasing demands of the civilized population. Microfinance has brought into their lives fresh hopes of a revival and co-operative societies to work together and bring back the prosperity.
Home-made edible items: Pickles, jams, and squashes without artificial preservatives and additives are getting more and more takers with the realization of better health with home-made food and rural innocence. These chefs never underwent any professional cooking courses, yet their sense of taste and ingredient mix is unmatched. Microfinance related household efforts have given these sections, majorly constituting of women a new way of finding their identity.
Farming and diary: Droughts, floods, and feudalist powers always resulted in the wiping off of the essential livelihood occupations and discouraged even the ardent lovers of the traditional businesses to try their luck. Microfinance and collective measures to increase farmlands, combined with green and white revolutions, headed by financing opportunities are giving them new sunrise.