How Rojiroti works
Rojiroti members organise and manage their own groups, analyzing their livelihood and financial needs and sharing information. Members decide what level of group savings best meets their needs and capacity. Typical amounts saved range from 0.50 to 10 rupees (US$0.01-$0.20 and £0.01-£0.13) per week per member. Being a group member requires weekly meetings and, given the small savings and loans to start with, this is attractive for poorer rather than richer community members. After the groups demonstrate their creditworthiness by borrowing and repaying through this fund, they become eligible for larger institutional loans from Rojiroti at an interest rate of around 18% APR.
Rojiroti staff may introduce new ideas, but ultimately the livelihood strategies that emerge reflect the interests of individual group members.
While most microfinance requires loans be given for business purposes, Rojiroti supports loans for personal use, such as for child health care and roof repair. Such borrowing can have a major impact on a poor households livelihood if it reduces reliance on credit from moneylenders who charge high interest rates or if it prevents the sale of a productive asset, such as a cow or a piece of land. The group will still want to know how the loan will be repaid and this judgement has proved sound: more than 99% of loans are repaid.
Rojiroti is a pioneer in the industry because of its cost-effective and efficient approach to microfinance. Between 2012 and 2015 we were able to transform the lives of more than 150,000 people at less than £2 per person. The Rojiroti method of group organisation and management combined with group-determined loans allows us to work with poor and marginalized women - normally beyond the reach of microfinance.