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Is There a Business Case for Small Savers?

This study by CGAP examines quantitatively whether or not small savers—defined here as the half of all savings clients of a microfinance institution (MFI) with the smallest deposit account balances—contribute to or undermine the sustainability of the MFI. MFI sustainability has long been accorded a place of central importance in microfinance for reasons that are well known. Perhaps because of the necessary focus of microfinance for so many years on lending, achieving sustainability has often been thought of in terms of reducing loan granting and recovery costs and charging sufficiently high loan rates. Arguably, less attention has been paid to the impact of other products, such as savings accounts and particularly small savings accounts, on MFI sustainability.

CGAP
CGAP is a global partnership of more than 30 leading development organizations that works to advance the lives of poor people through financial inclusion. Using action-oriented research, we test, learn and share knowledge intended to help build inclusive and responsible financial systems that move people out of poverty, protect their economic gains and advance broader development goals. We research and experiment to achieve proof of concept and extract lessons that can be built to scale by our partners, who apply our insights in the marketplace.

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