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Many institutions around the world are turning to microfinance both as a strategy to help lift the poor out of the poverty trap and to make a decent return on investment.
SKS Microfinance Limited (SKS) is a non-banking finance company regulated by the Reserve Bank of India and currently operating in 19 of India's 28 states. SKS' mission is to eradicate poverty by providing financial services to the poor.
Insurance company Zurich Financial Services has partnered with a Swiss government agency and UN group International Labor Organisation (ILO) to provide microinsurance to African farmers.
USAID, through a university partnership between Ohio State University and Colegio de Postgraduados en Ciencias Agrícolas, is working to facilitate the development and growth of microfinance institutions serving rural areas in Mexico.
The Financial Services for the Poor initiative created by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation provides poor people with reliable access to a range of safe, affordable financial tools and services intended to help them build better, healthier lives.
Santander Microcrédito (Banco Real ABN AMRO) works with Accion to support small businesses in Brazil
Santander Microcrédito, an initiative by Banco Real ABN AMRO, offers small loans to growing businesses that lack access to conventional forms of credit.
The global financial services company, Citi, has a 40-year history of philanthropic and technical support in microfinance.
Societe Generale focuses its microfinance activities in those countries in which the Group provides universal banking products and services.
Standard Chartered started developing a formal microfinance programme in 2004, and is now active in Nepal, India, Pakistan, Ghana and Bangladesh.
Insurance company ICICI has partnered with Indian based microfinance institution BASIX to pilot the sale of rainfall insurance to farmers in India.